Gregory of Nazianzus

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Today, in the Eastern Churches at least, the feast of Gregory of Nazianzus is celebrated.

Such a name sounds a little tongue tying, and if you’re Protestant you may be suspicious of this figure of church history. However, you have to think in different terms. Basically, Gregory was a lot like the 4th century version of Dallas Willard. Except he was more educated and more spiritual (note this isn’t at all a dig at DW).

Or we could say he was like Rick Warren, except entirely more deep and profound. He did not just aid in the Church in being a pastor, he was also a profound theologian during a time in which the Church didn’t quite have a firm grasp on the bounds of belief.

“Let us overcome them by gentleness, and win them by piety; let their punishment be found in their own consciences, not in our resentment. Dry not up the fig-tree that may yet bear fruit.”

There are people who are good Christians, who are honored by God. Among these people there are those who resonate even more broadly, echoing through the centuries so that even when we do not know their name we are vitally affected by their having lived and believed. Gregory of Nazianzus was such a man.

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