The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers, Christian Fathers, or Fathers of the Church were early, often influential theologians, some of which included eminent Christian teachers and great bishops. Their scholarly works were used as a precedent for centuries to come. The term is used of writers or teachers of the Church, not necessarily "saints", and not necessarily ordained, though many are honoured as saints in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran Churches, as well as in some other Christian groups.
Two notable Church Fathers, Origen Adamantius and Tertullian, were never canonized as saints by the Catholic Church. Origen, though the seminal influence on the Greek Church, expressed views on the pre-existence, transmigration, and apokatastasis of souls that were later condemned as heretical, while Tertullian, generally credited with one of the first lucid and theologically sound Trinitarian formulations and an orthodox Catholic Christian, adopted later in life some of the beliefs and practices of the heretical Montanist sect.
Famous quotes containing the words church and/or fathers:
“I believe that in this country the press exerts a greater and a more pernicious influence than the church did in its worst period.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“Important as fathers are, their influence on children shouldnt be exaggerated just because they were ignored so long. There is no evidence that there is something especially good about fathers as caretakers. There are no areas where it can be said that fathers must do certain things in order to achieve certain outcomes in children. The same goes for mothers.”
—Michael Lamb (late20th century)