Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Omnibus 2: Background of Eusebius

Eusebius was born around 265 in the eastern Roman Empire.  He was appointed bishop of Caesarea in 313, became an advisor to Constantine, and was one of the leading bishops at the Council of Nicea in 325.  His history, written at the request of Paulinus the bishop of Tyre, is the first history of the early church designed to record the history of God's people from the life of Jesus through his present day.  His stated intention is to cover the names and deeds of apostles and bishops, major historical events, writings that teach and defend the Christian doctrine, names of heretics, the fate of the Jews who rejected Jesus, and the achievements of confessors and martyrs.

To Eusebius history is more than the story of man.  It is rather the story of God working out his purposes in this world.  He believes that God is sovereign and that nothing can happen apart from His determination.  He clearly states that Jesus is the Son of the Living God, Creator of heaven and earth, and is both fully God and fully man.   Christ came into the world in part to create a new people called Christians, so that now the world is no longer divided into Jews and Gentiles but rather into believers and non-believers.  Because of this division, he recognizes that the church is at war and believes that it will triumph in the end because Jesus has triumphed over Satan.  He also recognizes that within the church the truth of God is working to transform people making them strong and courageous, inspiring them to fight for the purity and unity of the church, and infusing them with compassion.

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