Monday, June 17, 2019

Clement of Alexandria

Clement of Alexandria (c. 150—215) is a significant philosopher of the early church. In about 190 he began teaching his own school of thought, which centred on the reasonableness of the Christian faith. He wrote three books: Exhortation to the Greeks, Instructor, and Miscellanies. Clement’s “new philosophy” was actually Biblical Christianity aimed at correcting gnostic heresies.

Clement was one of the first leaders to speak up in favour of Christians using visual art in their worship. He suggested, "Let our emblem be a dove, or a fish, or a ship running before the wind, or a musician's lyre, or a ship's anchor. And if there be a fisherman, he will remind us of an apostle, and little children being drawn up out of the water."

The following is considered by some to be the oldest Christian hymn, other than texts from scripture; it was translated into English by F. Bland Tucker.

Jesus, Our Mighty Lord

Jesus, our mighty Lord,
our strength in sadness,
the Father's conquering Word,
true source of gladness;
your name we glorify,
O Jesus, throned on high;
you gave yourself to die
for our salvation.

Good shepherd of your sheep,
your own defending,
in love your children keep
to life unending.
You are yourself the Way:
lead us then day by day
in your own steps, we pray,
O Lord most holy.

Glorious their life who sing,
with glad thanksgiving,
true hymns to Christ the King
in all their living:
all who confess his Name,
come then with hearts aflame;
the God of peace acclaim
as Lord and Savior.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection is Ampersand (2018, Cascade). His books are available through Amazon, and Wipf & Stock, including the anthologies The Turning Aside, and Adam, Eve, & the Riders of the Apocalypse.