1. What Are The Main Challenges To Christianity In The First Three Centuries?

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1.Describe the main challenges to Christianity in the first three centuries and how the Apostolic Fathers and the Apologists responded to each.

One of the main challenges that faced Christianity in the first three centuries was Gnosticism. Cerinthus was one of the earliest Gnostic teacher and troublers during the 1st Century (28). Gnostics believed that each person possessed a special, higher spiritual knowledge (29), and that humans are made up of matter. One of the biggest arguments Gnosticism placed on Christianity was that Christ appeared to be fully human, as opposed to being both human and God (29). One approach to dealing with Gnosticism was through The Didache. No one knows who wrote the Didache but it was a circulation of letters for the churches in Rome, instructing Christians how to treat prophets, live their daily Christians lives, and about spirituality and worship (44). Justin Martyr was one of the first to write a work that refuted the teaching of Gnosticism. His work, Against the Heresies was his most powerful work in defeating Gnosticism (39).
Another main challenge Christianity faced was Montanism. Montanism is a stem of Gnosticism but was considered to be a great danger to the Christian community (31).
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With this Greek Philosophy also rejected the mystery religions and magic, all of which are things we can see in the Christian faith. Greek Philosophy also believed in only one God, and this one god is simple, completely spirit, perfectly moral, immutable and eternal. Greek Philosophy influenced early Christian thought in the manner that it was okay to tie Greek philosophical ways into our understanding of the bible and of scripture. Great theologians spent much time, questioning if there was any proper way to incorporate the philosophy into the text, or it it would be pushing, an already delicate situation, over the

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