Some ancient Christian correspondence for you.

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“Theophilus (Θεόφιλος, friend of God), bishop of Antioch (died 181 AD). Theophilus was born into a pagan family in Syria and became a Christian as an adult by studying the Scriptures. Towards the end of the second century, he wrote a three-volume apologetic work, Ad Autolychum (To Autolycus), to an intelligent pagan friend named Autolycus, “an idolater and scorner of Christians.”3 In this, his sole surviving work, Theophilus tries to convince Autolycus of the falseness and absurdity of paganism (idolatry) and the truthfulness of Christianity by contrasting the gods of the Greco-Roman religions with the God of Christianity. In Ad Autolycus, Theophilus “draws upon his impressive learning as he makes his case, quoting philosophers, poets and historians that would be familiar to his audience.”4 Not only does Theophilus work on an extensive philosophical level, but his apologetic methodology “focuses on the creation story [account] in particular, offering a lengthy exposition of Genesis and the creation week.”5 Theophilus is an important apologist to learn from as he sees the importance of the authority of Scripture, especially in Genesis, in his apologetic work against pagan philosophies.” From Answersingenesis.com

Theophilus – To Autolycus – Book 1

Chap. II. — That the Eyes of the Soul Must Be Purged Ere God Can Be Seen.

“But if you say, “Show me thy God,” I would reply, “Show me yourself,3 and I will show you my God.” Show, then, that the eyes of your soul are capable of seeing, and the ears of your heart able to hear; for as those who look with the eyes of the body perceive earthly objects and what concerns this life, and discriminate at the same time between things that differ, whether light or darkness, white or black, deformed or beautiful, well-proportioned and symmetrical or disproportioned and awkward, or monstrous or mutilated; and as in like manner also, by the sense of hearing, we discriminate either sharp, or deep, or sweet sounds; so the same holds good regarding the eyes of the soul and the ears of the heart, that it is by them we are able to behold God. For God is seen by those who are enabled to see Him when they have the eyes of their soul opened: for all have eyes; but in some they are overspread,4 and do not see the light of the sun. Yet it does not follow, because the blind do not see, that the light of the sun does not shine; but let the blind blame themselves and their own eyes. So also thou, O man, hast the eyes of thy soul overspread by thy sins and evil deeds. As a burnished mirror, so ought man to have his soul pure. When there is rust on the mirror, it is not possible that a man’s face be seen in the mirror; so also when there is sin in a man, such a man cannot behold God. Do you, therefore, show me yourself, whether you are not an adulterer, or a fornicator, or a thief, or a robber, or a purloiner; whether you do not corrupt boys; whether you are not insolent, or a slanderer, or passionate, or envious, or proud, or supercilious; whether you are not a brawler, or covetous, or disobedient to parents; and whether you do not sell your children; for to those who do these things God is not manifest, unless they have first cleansed themselves from all impurity. All these things, then, involve you in darkness, as when a filmy defluxion on the eyes prevents one from beholding the light of the sun: thus also do iniquities, O man, involve you in darkness, so that you cannot see God.”

Here Theophilus is arguing that God must open your eyes via spiritual new birth, (regeneration) and that God must cleanse you from sin, (justification) and that you must live accordingly by the power of God in the Spirit. (sanctification)

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