Early Church Writing

St Irenaeus Blog 3 Allegorical Interpretations of Scripture

After Adam and Eve had eaten of the apple they were ashamed and hid, weaving coverings of fig leaves, a rather itchy leaf. St Irenaeus tells us, “Adam adopted a dress suited for his disobedience, awed by the fear of God,” which is the beginning of wisdom, “waiting for God’s coming.” By his dress he admits to himself, “I by disobedience lost that robe of sanctity which I had from the Spirit, I do now acknowledge that I am deserving” of such uncomfortable dress, which tortures the body. God, who is merciful, clothes them instead in a more comfortable tunics of skins of fur. They were then driven out of Paradise and the Tree of Life because “God pitied them and did not desire that he should continue a sinner forever, nor that his sins become immortal.” God set a limit to his sin by imposing death, “so that man, ceasing at length to live to sin, and dying to it, might begin to live in God.” There would be life in Christ, as St Paul exhorts, “O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?” […]

Early Church Writing

St Irenaeus Blog 2 Against Heresies

St Irenaeus elegantly summarizes his refutation of Gnosticism, “If Christ was not born, neither did He die. If Christ did not die, neither did He rise from the dead. If He did not rise from the dead, He did not conquer death and abolish its reign. If Christ did not conquer death, how are we to ascend to the light, we who from the beginning have been subject to death? Those who rob man of redemption do not believe that God will raise man from the dead.” […]

Early Church Writing

St Irenaeus Blog 1 Against Heresies, Introduction

St Irenaeus teaches us, “The redemption depends on the real Incarnation, the real suffering on the Cross, and the real resurrection of the flesh. All three of these are a scandal for Gnosticism. On their view, Mary is not really Mother of God, and Christ did not really suffer, NO, the heavenly Christ escaped before the man Jesus suffered, and there can be no question at all of an actual resurrection of the flesh. Underlying this refusal of the flesh and its saving role in the Incarnation is a confusion between the human spirit (nous) and the divine Holy Spirit.” The Gnostics want to replace the Holy spirit with the human spirit. Irenaeus preaches “the salvific character of the Incarnation of God’s Son and Word.” […]