Gonzalez, Justo L. The Story of Christianity: The Early Church to the Reformation. Revised and Updated ed. Vol. 1. New York: HarperCollins, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Ch. 21, “Ambrose of Milan” Loc. 3967-4067.
Ambrose of Milan had a “dramatic” career, according to Gonzalez. In 373, the bishop of Milan, Auxentius, died. As he was appointed by an Arian emperor, the stage was set for conflict between orthodox and Arian factions (Gonzalez 2010, Loc. 3975). Milan’s governor, Ambrose, sought to assure a fair election and avoid riots. As Ambrose addressed the crowd at the church, a cry of “Ambrose, bishop” began (Gonzalez 2010, Loc. 3980). Despite Ambrose’s attempts, he agreed to become the bishop, rising suddenly through baptism and the ministerial orders (Gonzalez 2010, Loc. 3985). Ambrose poured himself into the work, gaining all the theological training he could in a short time. Ambrose brought much of the learning of the Eastern Church to the West, including the work of the Cappadocians (Gonzalez 2010, Loc. 3996). Ambrose had deep convictions of pastoral care and of support for the poor and weak (Gonzalez 2010, Loc. 4009). He was also instrumental in the conversion of Augustine (Gonzalez 2010, Loc. 4014). Ambrose was adamant in his opposition to Arianism, refusing an imperial request to have an Arian basilica (Gonzalez 2010, Loc. 4024). After the defeat of Maximus, an Arian, by the Eastern emperor, Theodosius, the empire had only one emperor, a Nicene Christian (Gonzalez 2010, Loc. 4039). Despite being largely in theological agreement, when there were disputes between Theodosius and Ambrose, Theodosius was defeated (Gonzalez 2010, Loc. 4043). This made for a bond of trust between the two, creating respect for Ambrose.