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Jay Rogers
International Director
Jay Rogers

The Forerunner

IRENAEUS OF LYONS

IRENAEUS AGAINST HERESIES - BOOK I
IRENAEUS AGAINST HERESIES - BOOK II
IRENAEUS AGAINST HERESIES - BOOK III
IRENAEUS AGAINST HERESIES - BOOK IV
IRENAEUS AGAINST HERESIES - BOOK V
IRENAEUS - FRAGMENTS FROM THE LOST WRITINGS


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IRENAEUS OF LYONS

Irenaeus (c. AD 120-200) was bishop of Lugdunum in Gaul, which is now Lyons, France. His writings were formative in the early development of Christian theology. He was a disciple of Polycarp, who himself was a disciple of the Apostle.

Born in the first half of the second century between the years AD 115 to 125, Irenaeus is thought to have been a Greek from Polycarp's hometown of Smyrna in Asia Minor, now Izmir, Turkey. He was raised in a Christian family, rather than converting as an adult, and this may help explain his rigid adherence to orthodoxy. During the persecution of Marcus Aurelius, Irenaeus was a priest of the Church of Lyons. The clergy of that city, many of whom were suffering imprisonment for the faith, sent him (AD 177 or 178) to Rome with a letter to Pope Eleuterus concerning Montanism, and on that occasion bore emphatic testimony to his merits. Returning to Gaul, Irenaeus succeeded the martyr Pothinus, becoming the second Bishop of Lyon.

During the religious peace which followed the persecution of Marcus Aurelius, the new bishop divided his activities between the duties of a pastor and of a missionary. Almost all of his writings were directed against Gnosticism, the sect of Christianity which was spreading at the expense of what later became the Christian orthodoxy. The most famous of these writings is Adversus Haereses (against heresy). In 190 or 191 he interceded with Pope Victor to lift the sentence of excommunication laid by that pontiff upon the Christian communities of Asia Minor which persevered in the practice of the Quartodecimans in regard to the celebration of Easter.

Nothing is known of the date of his death, which must have occurred at the end of the second or the beginning of the third century. In spite of some isolated and later testimony to that effect, it is not very probable that he ended his career with martyrdom. He was buried under the church of Saint John's in Lyon, which was later renamed St. Irenaeus in his honor.

Irenaeus wrote a number of books, but the most important that survives is the five-volume On the Detection and Overthrow of the So-Called Gnosis, normally referred to by the Latin title Adversus Haereses ("Against Heresies"). The purpose of Against Heresies was to refute the teachings of various Gnostic groups; apparently, several Greek merchants had begun an oratorial campaign praising the pursuit of "Gnosis" in Irenaeus' bishopric. The discovery of the Nag Hammadi Library in 1945 bears out Tertullian’s description of Gnosticism.

Irenaeus cites from most of the New Testament canon, as well as the noncanonical works 1 Clement and The Shepherd of Hermas; however, he makes no references to Philemon, 2 Peter, 3 John or Jude - four of the shortest epistles. Irenaeus lists all four of the now canonical Gospels as divinely-inspired, in reaction to Marcion's edited version of the Gospel of Luke, which Marcion asserted was the one and only true gospel.

The central point of Irenaeus' theology is the unity of God, in opposition to the Gnostics' division of God into a number of divine "Aeons", and their distinction between the utterly transcendent "High God" and the inferior "Demiurge" who created the world. Irenaeus uses the Logos theology he inherited from Justin Martyr. Irenaeus was a student of Polycarp, who was tutored by John the Apostle. John used Logos theology in the Gospel of John and book of 1 John. He prefers to speak of the Son and the Spirit as the "hands of God". Christ, according to him, is the invisible Father made visible.

His emphasis on the unity of God is reflected in his corresponding emphasis on the unity of salvation history. Irenaeus repeatedly insists that God began the world and has been overseeing it ever since this creative act; everything that has happened is part of his plan for humanity. The essence of this plan is a process of maturation: Irenaeus believes that humanity was created immature, and God intended his creatures to take a long time to grow into or assume the divine likeness. Thus, Adam and Eve were created as children. Their Fall was thus not a full-blown rebellion but a childish spat, a desire to grow up before their time and have everything with immediacy.

Everything that has happened since has therefore been planned by God to help humanity overcome this initial mishap and achieve spiritual maturity. The world has been intentionally designed by God as a difficult place, where human beings are forced to make moral decisions, as only in this way can they mature as moral agents. Irenaeus likens death to the whale that swallowed Jonah: it was only in the depths of the whale's belly that Jonah could turn to God and act according to the divine will. Similarly, death and suffering appear as evils, but without them we could never come to know God.


The Real Jesus

The Real Jesus:
A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ

Who is the Real Jesus?

Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archaeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the "historical Jesus" -- a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archaeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regretably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

 

This presentation explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views.

Presented in ten parts -- perfect for individual, family and classroom study -- viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history -- "the same yesterday, today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).  He is the real Jesus.

Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.

Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!

Running Time: 130 minutes


$19.95

ORDER NOW!

For more information


The Beast of Revelation: IDENTIFIED

Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation? Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry's insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation -- and even more importantly -- amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!

Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue -- but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.

Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study -- for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John's famous letter "... to the seven churches which are in Asia." (Revelation 1:4)

For more information

Beast of Revelation

Running Time: 145 minutes
(Available in DVD only)

$17.95
ORDER NOW!


God's Law and Society

INCLUDES A FREE
ON-LINE STUDY GUIDE!


God's Law and Society
powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.

Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misperceptions related to this volatile issue:

  • Are we under Law or under Grace?
  • How does the Old Testament Law apply today?
  • Can we legislate morality?
  • What about the separation of Church and State?
  • Was America founded as a Christian nation?
  • What would a Christian America look like?

    Download the free
    Study Guide!

  • Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study. Speakers include: George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, R.J. Rushdoony, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!

    Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!

    Running Time: 240 minutes

    Watch over 60 streaming videos from God's Law and Society at:
    The Second American Revolution

    Price reduced!
    $39.95
    $19.95

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    For more information


    Amazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism

    Over four hours of instruction!

    Just what is “Calvinism?” Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

    This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

    For more information

    Amazing Grace

    Running Time: 257 minutes
    $19.95
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    Real Jesus

    The Real Jesus Update

    The Real Jesus:
    A Defense of the Divinity and Historicity of Christ

    is now available! This is a two hour, ten minute presentation debunking the myths about Jesus propogated by liberal theologians, which seem to be repeated endlessly in the popular media. You can order the newly expanded and improved DVD version hosted by Eric Holmberg and view some video clips from "Podcast" version as well ...

    continued ...