THE HOLY FIRE by Robert Payne


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Subtitled The Story of the Fathers of the Eastern Church, this spans the earliest days after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus through to the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Here we learn about the spiritual and mental giants of the early church:- Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Athanasius, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyassa, Gregory Nazianzen, John Chrysoston, Dionysius the Areopagate, John Damascene and Gregory Palamas. These were all touched with ""holy fire"", and their God-intoxication made them more incandescent than the Fathers of the Western Church. Their fiercest disputes were against those who seemed to lessen God's supreme majesty, His absolute dominion over mankind, His absolute mercy, His perfect divinity. They strove to take seriously the admonition,- ""Be ye therefore perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect"" -- and were willing and eager to pay the price the world demanded. Their constant quest was the Hagi Sophia, the holy wisdom, and readers of this book about them, richly illustrated with their writings, will find themselves carried along on this quest. It is not an easy book to lay aside. It is good to live for a while in Alexandria, Antioch, Damascus and Constantinople when the Holy Fire burned with such kindling brightness. Robert Payne, well known as a novelist, has written a book on the Fathers of the Western Church, and several books on China.

Publisher: Harper