Chrysostom and Luther on the Intergenerational Character of the Faith: Retrieving the God-Designed Parental Role in the Transmission of the Faith to the Next Generation

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Chrysostom and Luther on the Intergenerational Character of the Faith: Retrieving the God-Designed Parental Role in the Transmission of the Faith to the Next Generation

ABSTRACT

Although hardly anyone would argue against the importance of parents in the faith formation of their children or that God commanded parents to pass on the faith to their children, there is still a clear tendency in the church to concentrate the teaching of the faith around the temple and the pastor rather than giving to the home and the parents the proper attention in accordance with God’s design. This thesis addresses the issue by harvesting contributions from two esteemed theologians of the history of the Church, John Chrysostom and Martin Luther. The analysis of relevant texts from these authors shows that Chrysostom and Luther support the thesis that the transmission of faith is inherently intergenerational, i.e., God created the human being in such a way that he has a natural tendency to learn from the previous generation and pass on to the next generation the faith in all its nuances or what it means to be completely human the way God intends us to be. Further insights from the research in Chrysostom and Luther also corroborate what other contemporary authors have been emphasizing, that the distinctiveness of the Christian life must be recovered in order to pass on to the next generation God’s account of what it means to be human. Otherwise, the world will inculcate in the young a different version of what it means to be human. The testimony of these two highly esteemed theologians, one from among the Church Fathers and the other from the Reformation era, should not be taken lightly. Therefore, this research contributes to the discussion aimed at recovering the role of parents in the faith formation of new generations by including the voices of Chrysostom and Luther in order that their inputs may be reappreciated.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chrysostom and luther on the intergenerational character of the faith…………………………………….i
RETRIEVING THE GOD-DESIGNED PARENTAL ROLE IN THE TRANSMISSION OF THE FAITH TO THE NEXT GENERATION………………………………………………………I
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS……………………………………………………………………………………………vii
ABBREVIATIONS ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..viii
ABSTRACT………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….ix
CHAPTER ONE……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1
INTRODUCTION…………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1
CHAPTER TWO…………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4
THE INTERGENERATIONAL CHARACTER OF THE FAITH……………………………….. 4
SCRIPTURAL FOUNDATION………………………………………………………………………………. 5
THE HUMAN BEING WITHOUT HISTORY …………………………………………………………. 6
HARDWIRED FOR INTERGENERATIONALITY………………………………………………… 13
PASSING ON WHAT IT MEANS TO BE HUMAN……………………………………………….. 19
THE FAITH WE RECEIVED FROM OUR PARENTS AND WILL PASS ON TO OUR CHILDREN………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 25
THE VISION OF THE GOOD LIFE OUR CHILDREN ARE GETTING………………….. 30
IN LOCO PARENTIS……………………………………………………………………………………………. 35
PASSING ON THE FAITH IN A POST-CONSTANTINIAN WORLD…………………….. 39
RETRIEVING THE PARENTAL ROLE IN THE PASSING ON OF THE FAITH TO THE NEXT GENERATION…………………………………………………………………………………. 41
CHAPTER THREE ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 44
JOHN CHRYSOSTOM ON THE INTERGENERATIONAL CHARACTER OF THE FAITH………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 44

THE INTERGENERATIONAL CHARACTER OF THE FAITH……………………………… 46
MONASTICISM OR MARRIED LIFE………………………………………………………………….. 49
THE ECCLESIAL FAMILY…………………………………………………………………………………. 53
THE MONASTIC FAMILY …………………………………………………………………………………. 57
VAINGLORY……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 61
THE SCHOOL AND THE FAMILY……………………………………………………………………… 66
TELLING STORIES AND THE BIBLE ………………………………………………………………… 68
LEADING CHILDREN TO MARRIAGE………………………………………………………………. 70
CHAPTER FOUR………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 75
MARTIN LUTHER ON THE INTERGENERATIONAL CHARACTER OF THE FAITH ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 75
THE INTERGENERATIONAL CHARACTER OF THE FAITH……………………………… 76
THE BLESSED ESTATE OF MARRIAGE AND THE CHRISTIAN HOUSEHOLD…. 79
PASSING ON THE CATECHISM………………………………………………………………………… 85
THE PLACE OF THE ROD………………………………………………………………………………….. 90
IN LOCO PARENTIS……………………………………………………………………………………………. 92
BRINGING CHILDREN UP TO BE FULLY HUMAN…………………………………………… 97
BRINGING CHILDREN UP TO FULFIL THEIR VOCATIONS……………………………. 107
LEADING CHILDREN TO MARRIAGE…………………………………………………………….. 112
CHAPTER FIVE ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 119
A COMPARISON BETWEEN CHRYSOSTOM AND LUTHER ON THE INTERGENERATIONAL CHARACTER OF THE FAITH……………………………………. 119
THE SURROUNDING WORLD…………………………………………………………………………. 119
TRAINING FOR WORLDLY VOCATIONS ……………………………………………………….. 123

MARRIED LIFE AND MONASTIC LIFE……………………………………………………………. 129
THE PLACE OF THE ROD………………………………………………………………………………… 133
CHAPTER SIX………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 137
INPUTS FROM CHRYSOSTOM AND LUTHER FOR TODAY …………………………… 137
THE MONASTIC FAMILY ……………………………………………………………………………….. 137
DARE TO MARRY……………………………………………………………………………………………. 142
NOT CHURCH-CENTERED ONLY, NOR CHURCH-DISCONNECTED EITHER… 146
CHAPTER SEVEN ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 154
CONCLUSION………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 154
BIBLIOGRAPHY………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 156
VITA………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 160

Additional information

Author

Charles Samuel

No of Chapters

7

No of Pages

170

Reference

YES

Format

PDF

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