Chrysostom: On giving to the poor

Sometimes when I read the early church fathers I find their writings impenetrable. This might be because the translation is hard work or because the debates and concerns just don’t connect. Other times I am stunned by the power of prose and the immediacy with which it speaks to us today in different cultures, 1800+ ¬†years later. This quote is in the second category. Watch how Chrysostom demolishes our arguments for not giving to the poor. “Immediately accusations are brought against the applicant. For why does he not work, you…

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How John Chrysostom upset the rich

I’m reading Henry Chadwick’s history The Early Church and there are some absolute gems which I’ll post for your reflection, edification and application. John Chrysostom (Golden Voice) was one of the greatest preachers of the early church and who under severe pressure was made Bishop of Constantinople (c 398AD). There he initiated a whole series of reforms raising the moral standard of the clergy and knocking on the head some of the more dubious accounting practices of the priests. But it wasn’t just the clergy who were on the receiving…

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