Scripture and the Quest for Holiness in Christian Antiquity
Contemporary Christians are increasingly turning to the past for wisdom and guidance in the 21st century. While some of the past is best left behind, other portions offer buried treasures for Christian life and ministry. This lecture examines the nature of holiness in the great Desert Fathers and Mothers in Egypt, Palestine and Syria from the 3rd – 6th centuries, with an emphasis on the role of Scripture in personal development and pastoral counseling. In it, Dr. Nassif examines the rise of the great desert disciples and the role Scripture played in cultivating a life of holiness. For them, the Word was not only to be interpreted with the mind, but also to be “seen” as an exegeted text. A holistic “hermeneutic of the desert” emerged in the context of personal discipleship and a life of prayer, fasting and inner watchfulness.