March 11th, 2013
(c. 130-200) A disciple of Polycarp who was said to have been a disciple of the Apostle John, Irenaeus was one of the greatest theologians of the early church. He served as the bishop of Lyons (France). Irenaeus is known for his polemics against the false teachers and teachings of his day. In his Against Heresies, he fought against Gnosticism (those who believe that they had a secret knowledge of Christ), and, in doing so, was the first to appeal to ”apostolic succession” to demonstrate
that Christ”s teachings were not secret, as the Gnostics argued, but were evident, being found in all those who found their teachings in the traditions of the church that went back to the Apostles. In doing so, he was one of the first to argue for an “orthodox” Christianity.