Books by Dave Armstrong: “The Quotable Eastern Church Fathers: Distinctively Catholic Elements in Their Theology”

Books by Dave Armstrong: “The Quotable Eastern Church Fathers: Distinctively Catholic Elements in Their Theology” April 8, 2013
Cover (555 x 821)
[completed on 8 July 2013, 303 pages, and published at Lulu on the same day]

[cover design by Dave Armstrong]— For purchase information, go to the bottom of the page —




Introduction and Sources


This collection is devoted to documentation of examples of “distinctively Catholic” theological beliefs or doctrines in the Eastern Church fathers; that is (very broadly speaking, or generalizing), ones in harmony with historic Catholic teaching but differing in some way from one or more strains of Protestant theology (including liberal theology) or Eastern Orthodox views.
Quotations will be drawn from the “Three Holy Hierarchs” of Eastern Christian Tradition: St. Basil the Great (c. 330-379, abbreviated as “B”), St. John Chrysostom (c. 345-407, “JC”), and St. Gregory Nazianzen (c. 330-c. 390, “G”). St. Athanasius (c. 297-373, “A”) is usually added to this list, and these are the Four Great Eastern Doctors of the Church.
Additionally, the following four fathers are included: St. Cyril of Alexandria (c. 376-444, “CA”), St. Ephraim [or, Ephrem] of Syria (c. 306-373, “E”), St. Cyril of Jerusalem (c. 315-387, “CJ”), and St. John Damascene [or, John of Damascus] (c. 676-749, “JD”). All eight men are designated as “Doctors” of the Catholic Church.
Quotations are drawn from the public domain works listed below; using the abbreviations in quotation marks, as a quick reference. All of these sources are found online at the magnificent Christian Classics Ethereal Library website. I am greatly indebted to it for making the compilation of this book far easier than it would have been, prior to the Internet.
Early Church Fathers: Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Series 1 [“NPNF1-”] (Philip Schaff, editor, Edinburgh, 1889, 14 volumes).
Early Church Fathers: Nicene & Post-Nicene Fathers Series 2 [“NPNF2-”] (Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, editors, Edinburgh, 1900, 14 volumes).
A Library of Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church, Anterior to the Division of the East and West, Translated by Members of the English Church [“LFC43” / “LFC47” / “LFC48”] (Oxford: James Parker & Co. / Rivingtons, 1881; Volumes 43, 47, and 48).

Commentary on Luke [“CL”] (St. Cyril of Alexandria, translated by R. Payne Smith, Oxford University Press, 1859).


S. Ephraim’s Prose Refutations of Mani, Marcion and Bardaisan, by C. W. Mitchell, Vol. 1 of 2 [“EPR”] (London: Williams and Norgate / William Clowes & Sons, Ltd., 1912).


St. John Damascene on Holy Images, Followed by Three Sermons on the Assumption [“JDHI” / “JDA”] (translated by Mary H. Allies, London: Thomas Baker, 1898).

Index of Topics

Abortion 9
Absolution 9
Almsgiving 10
Angels, Guardian 11
Angels, Veneration of 11
Apostasy (Falling Away from the Faith or Salvation) 13
Apostolic Deposit 15
Apostolic Succession 15
Atonement, Universal 18
Baptism and Being “Born Again” 22
Baptism and Grace 23
Baptism and Justification / Sanctification 24
Baptism and Salvation 25
Baptism, Infant 28
Baptism, Method or Mode of 29
Baptism of Blood 29
Baptism of Desire 30
Baptism, Schismatic or Heretical 31
Baptismal Regeneration 31
Bishops and Church Government 35
Caesaropapism, Falsity of 37
Celibacy and Consecrated Virginity 38
Children, Salvation of 40
Church and Salvation 41
Church: Authority of 41
Church, Catholic 41
Church, Holy Mother 43
Church, Indefectibility of 43
Church, Infallibility of 43
Church: One “True” 44
Church, Sinners in 45
Concupiscence 45
Confirmation, Sacrament of 45
Conscience, Examination of 46
Contraception; Contralife Will 46
Councils, Ecumenical 47
Creeds 49
Cross, Sign of the 49
Crucifixes 51
Dead: Almsgiving for 52
Dead: Masses for 54
Dead: Prayer for 56
Demons 57
Denominationalism; Sectarianism 58
Development (of Doctrine) 60
Dissent (from Catholicism) 61
Eucharist and Grace 61
Eucharist and Salvation 62
Eucharist: Closed Communion 65
Eucharist: Real Substantial Presence 66
Eucharist: Transubstantiation 74
Eucharistic Adoration 76
Evangelical Counsels 76
Evil 78
Excommunication 79
Exorcism 80
Faith Alone (Falsity of) / Antinomianism 81
Faith and Reason 86
Faith and Works 87
Fasting and Abstinence 94
Free Will 94
Free Will and God’s Foreknowledge 98
God: Anthropomorphism 100
God: Anthropopathism 101
God: Circumincession / Coinherence / Perichoresis 102
God: Creation Ex Nihilo 105
God: Goodness of 106
God: Holy Spirit / Filioque Issue 106
God: Immutability, Simplicity, and Self-Sufficiency 113
God: Omnipotence of 117
God: Omnipresence of 118
God: Omniscience of 120
God: Outside of Time 120
God, Providence of 121
God: Sustainer of Creation 123
God the Father: Invisible in His Essence 125
God the Father: Monarchia / Principatus of 127
Gospel, The 131
Grace: Degrees or Greater Measure of 131
Grace, Irresistible (Falsity of) 131
Hardening of the Heart 132
Healing 133
Hell (Eternal Punishment) 134
Heresy; Heretics 134
Hermits 138
Holy Days 138
Holy Items 138
Holy Places; Shrines 139
Images, Icons, and Statues: Use and Veneration of 140
Indulgences 144
Jesus Christ: Supposed “Ignorance” of Certain Matters 145
Justification, Infused (Sanctification) 149
Justification, Ongoing / Multiple 153
Lent 154
Marriage: Sacrament 155
Mary: Bodily Assumption of 155
Mary: Mother of God (Theotokos) 157
Mary: New Eve; Second Eve 163
Mary: Perpetual Virginity of 163
Mary: Sinlessness 165
Mary: Veneration of 167
Mary: Virginity In Partu (During Childbirth) 168
Mass, Daily 169
Mass, Sacrifice of 170
Mass, Sacrifice of (and the Crucifixion) 172
Merit 173
Monks and Nuns 176
Mortification and Self-Denial 176
Original Sin; Fall of Man 178
Orthodoxy (Correct Beliefs) 179
Paganism and Christianity 181
Papacy; Popes; Papal Primacy 182
Paul and Peter 185
Penance / Temporal Punishment of Sins 185
Peter: Primacy of 191
Peter: Successors of (as Popes) 195
Prayer (of the Righteous) 196
Priests: Alter Christus 196
Priests; Sacrament of Holy Orders 196
Priests and “Call No Man ‘Father’” 199
Procreation 200
Purgatory; Preparation for Heaven in the Afterlife (and This Life) 200
Rationalism (in Opposition to Faith) 201
Relics 201
Reprobation; Causes of Damnation 206
Roman Primacy 208
Rule of Faith / “Three-Legged Stool” (Bible-Church-Tradition) 214
Sacraments 218
Sacraments and Salvation 219
Sacraments: Ex Opere Operato 219
Saints: Awareness of and Contact with This World 220
Saints, Communion of 220
Saints, Imitation of 222
Saints, Invocation and Intercession of 224
Saints, Veneration of 225
Salvation and Works 233
Salvation, Instant (Falsity of) 237
Salvation, Moral Assurance of 240
Satan 241
Schism; Separation 244
Scripture: Canon of 246
Scripture: Deuterocanon 246
Scripture: Hermeneutics (Interpretation) 254
Scripture: Inerrancy and Infallibility 255
Scripture: Inspiration of 256
Scripture: Old Testament 258
Scripture: Perspicuity (Clearness of) 260
Scripture: Septuagint (Ancient Greek Translation) 265
Sin: Mortal and Venial 265
Suffering, Redemptive (Participation in Christ’s Suffering) 266
Synergy: Cooperation with God’s Grace as “Co-Laborers” 269
Theophanies 274
Theosis; Deification; Divinization 274
Total Depravity (Falsity of); Human Nature 280
Tradition, Apostolic 281
Tradition, Oral 286
Traditions of Men 294
War, Just 295
Works, Good (in Grace) 295
Works of the Law / “New Perspective on Paul” 296
Worship (Latria) 297


[all on Facebook unless otherwise specified]
St. John Chrysostom

 On Synergy: Cooperation with God’s Grace as “Co-Laborers”

Citation of Ecclesiasticus [Sirach] as Scripture

On the Spiritual Benefits of Baptism

On the Falsity of “Faith Alone”

On the Moral Assurance of Salvation

On Free Will and God’s Foreknowledge (Romans 9)

On Masses for the Dead

On Crucifixes

On the Veneration of the Saints

On the Sacrifice of the Mass

On Purgatory

On the Definition of the “Gospel”

On Free Will

On Closed Communion

St. Athanasius

On God as the Sustainer of Creation

On the Omnipresence of Jesus

On Apostolic Succession

On the Power of the Sign of the Cross

On Satan

On the Falsity of Caesaropapism

On the Deuterocanon

On Theosis; Deification; Divinization

On the Holy Spirit

On the Rule of Faith (“Three-Legged Stool” of Bible | Tradition | Church)

On Mary, Mother of God (Theotokos)

St. Basil the Great

 On Oral Tradition as Authoritative, Even Concerning the Doctrine of God

On the Falsity of Instant Salvation

To St. Athanasius, Suggesting That the Pope Should Suppress Heresies and Schism in the Eastern Church

On Faith and Reason

On the Supposed “Ignorance” of Jesus Christ (The Last Days)

On Faith and Works

On Mary, Mother of God (Theotokos)

St. Gregory Nazianzen

On the Perspicuity of Scripture and the “Me, My Bible, and the Holy Spirit” Mentality

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