(Book: First Apology, by Justin Martyr, courtesy of The Christian Classics Ethereal Library.)
We’re up to Chapter 6 already, and this one’s pretty intriguing. Justin is writing in the second century, well before the official formulation of the doctrine of the Trinity that took place in Nicaea in the fourth century. At a casual reading, it seems like Justin follows more or less the modern Trinitarian view of God—with one sharply discordant note. Referring to the fact that Christians were called “atheists” for refusing to worship the Greco-Roman gods (which he declared to be demons), he writes:
Hence are we called atheists. And we confess that we are atheists, so far as gods of this sort are concerned, but not with respect to the most true God, the Father of righteousness and temperance and the other virtues, who is free from all impurity. But both Him, and the Son who came forth from Him and taught us these things, and the host of the other good angels who follow and are made like to Him, and the prophetic Spirit, we worship and adore, knowing them in reason and truth, and declaring without grudging to every one who wishes to learn, as we have been taught.
Whoa, since when do Christians worship and adore “the host of the other good angels who follow and are made like Him”? Something has clearly changed in Christianity since the second century, and it’s not just the worship of angels.