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Church’s Response to Gnosticism. Discipline; catechesis; polemic. Irenaeus’s description of Gnostic teachings and practices. Irenaeus’s arguments against the Gnostics. St. Irenaeus of Lyons. Approx. 130-200 AD Knew Stt. Polycarp & Justin Bishop of Lyons Wrote Against Haeresies ca. 180.

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church s response to gnosticism
Church’s Response to Gnosticism
  • Discipline; catechesis; polemic.
  • Irenaeus’s description of Gnostic teachings and practices.
  • Irenaeus’s arguments against the Gnostics.
st irenaeus of lyons
St. Irenaeus of Lyons
  • Approx. 130-200 AD
  • Knew Stt. Polycarp & Justin
  • Bishop of Lyons
  • Wrote Against Haeresies ca. 180.
select study questions
Select Study Questions
  • Why did Irenaeus write Against Heresies? What was his purpose? (p. 197)
  • What Gnostic school does he mention on p. 197-8? What have we learned about the teachings of this school from Ptolemy’s Letter to Flora? (see the previous assignment).
  • Why are the Gnostics dangerous?
  • How did the Gnostics understand the process of redemption?
  • How does Irenaeus describe the common faith of the church? (chap. 10, pp. 201-2; chap. 22, p. 203-4)
origen of alexandria do the two testaments speak about the same god
Origen of Alexandria:Do the two testaments speak about the same God?
  • Gnostics: No. The God of the OT is imperfect or even evil. The God of the NT is merciful and good.
  • Response of the Fathers:
    • Promise and fulfillment
    • Jesus’s Father is the God who created the world and gave the Law.
    • Divine mercy presupposes divine justice
    • Anthropomorphisms must not be interpreted literally