Irenaeus: The Rise Of Heresies

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Teachers in the early church typically addressed or wrote about specific issues or problems facing the body. These early teachers have the general title of apostolic fathers. As such, the writings of the apostolic fathers were very focused on single issues and did not expand on the totality of Christian doctrine. However, this began to change near the end of the second century with the rise of heresies such as Gnosticism and Marcionism. The rise of heresies and the creation of competing doctrines required a response founded in orthodox beliefs. The response to these heresies needed to be address the full spectrum of Christianity. As such, many leaders in the church rose to respond to the heresies and address them through the clear exposition…show more content…
somewhere in vicinity of Smyrna in Asia Minor. He was a disciple under Polycarp of Smyrna. Irenaeus was first and foremost a pastor. He had the heart of a pastor to lead and shepherd his flock. As such, his writings focused on being a witness to the faith of the church. As a shepherd himself, he introduced the concept of divinization, which identifies God’s purpose, as the Great Shepherd is to make us more divine. However, he taught that it was not to be like or the same as God, but to grow in his nature. He went further to teach that this process extends into the Kingdom of God and eternity, where the Christian grows closer and closer to…show more content…
He believed that the position of Cyprian and others was too lenient and the lapsed were being readmitted too easily. These individuals, with juxtaposed positions, truly highlighted a key issue that was prevalent in the early church. This issue of what should be done to with baptized Christians who sinned divided the Western church. These issues and the subsequent divisions resulted in penitential systems that are still seen today. These systems ultimately became the seeds that grew into the reformation movement and the teaching on justification and

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