Emmaus Road Publishing

Friendship and the Fathers: How the Early Church Evangelized

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For the Church Fathers, friendship was at the heart of the Gospel. It was the way to salvation and the most effective means of evangelization. God had taken flesh in order to befriend mankind. Jesus had called his Apostles friends. The first Christians, in turn, spread salvation through friendships of their own. Evangelizing the world was done through one friend bringing another into the Church—where both could be friends with God.

Friendship and the Fathers brings together, for the first time, the Fathers’ doctrine and stories of friendship—mostly in their own words. You’ll meet many giants of the early Church, including

  • Minucius Felix, and walk with him as he brings a pagan friend to faith.
  • Basil and Gregory, best friends from school whose friendship was shattered and then restored.
  • Ambrose, who encouraged his clergy to cultivate strong friendships.
  • Augustine, whose grief for a lost friend led him to profound insights—and whose friendship with St. Jerome was fraught with emotional baggage.
  • Rabanus Maurus, the great biblical commentator and writer of hymns, whose counsels on friendship have never before appeared in English.

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