Best of BAM: St. John Chrysostom: Preaching at a Crossroad
On today’s Bible Answer Man broadcast, Hank discusses the life and teachings of St. John Chrysostom, the golden-mouthed preacher. St. John Chrysostom preached at a crossroad in the history of Christianity. He was born in 350, which was around the time that St. Constantine established Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire. This was before the Church had an officially ratified New Testament canon and only 25 years after the first ecumenical council. At age 36, John was privileged to speak in the most popular church in Antioch—a church founded by St. Paul and visited by St. Peter. Although St. John was the golden-mouthed preacher, he was careful to warn the faithful against listening to his sermons as a substitute for participation in the liturgy and in Holy Communion and was well-known for urging people to read and study the Bible regularly. It is Hank’s personal belief that Chrysostom’s sermons on Lazarus and the Rich Man—which are contained in the book On Wealth and Poverty https://www.equip.org/product/cri-resource-cri2011wa/—are the most poignant and profound in the annals of Christian preaching. Over and over again, he returns to a strand in the triple-braided cord made famous by his Lord: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. St. John looks beyond earthly externalities to those things that are truly good, namely virtue and heavenly reward.
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