I call upon You, Lord, God of Abraham and God of Isaac and God of Jacob and Israel, You who are the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God who, through the abundance of your mercy, was well-pleased towards us so that we may know You, who made heaven and earth, who rules over all, You who are the one and the true God, above whom there is no other God; You who, by our Lord Jesus Christ gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit, give to every one who reads this writing to know You, that You alone are God, to be strengthened in You, and to avoid every heretical and godless and impious teaching.

St Irenaeus of Lyons, Against the Heresies 3:6:4

Saturday, January 9, 2010


I love patrology (i.e., the study of the early Church Fathers); I love apologetics; I love good theology, and I love a redemptive-historical view of the Bible, one that holds Jesus high and centered. These are just a few reasons why I love Irenaeus and his works.

Reading the patristics often requires a critical eye. Few early Church fathers were thoroughly orthodox in their theology, oftimes, being influenced by their heritage and saturation in Platonism and the spirit of the age. With Irenaeus, however, one may relax and enjoy. His mind and subsequently his theology were radically transformed by the Rule of Faith (i.e., the essential gospel) and a Christological reading of all the Scriptures.

James Dennison, Jr. has written an insightful piece titled “Irenaeus and Redemptive History”, which covers Irenaeus and his redemptive-historical hermeneutic, particularly the “recapitulation” theme. Something very central to Irenaeus’ eschatology, Christology, anthropology, and soteriology—in a word all his theology.

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