The Main Challenges Of Christianity During The First Three Centuries And How The Apostolic Fathers And The Apologists Responded
1318 Words Mar 4th, 2016 null Page
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). Montanus headed this operation and claimed the church to be spiritual dead (31). The biggest issue with Montanus was that be believed himself to be the “mouthpiece of the Holy Spirit” (31). Montanus and his two women followers would travel around acting as…