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Defending Christian Truth

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By mom22mene
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Defending Christian truth has been extremely important in church history. As the early church began to expand, Christianity had to compete with a number of ethnic, philosophic, and mysterious religions in the Roman world. False teachings and doctrinal error began to surface inside and outside the church. To put an end to the confusion and restore doctrinal truth, God called a group of men, known as the Apologists, to defend the truth.
The Apologists were scholarly men who took on the task of composing a defense and endorsement of Christian truths. Their objective, to dispel falsehoods and misunderstandings, and to point towards Christian truth.
False teachings were found inside and outside the church. Examples of heresies in the church include Marcionism, a belief that there was a creator god who was evil and a redeemer god who was good. Ebionitism taught Jesus was not the second person in the Godhead. Instead, He was the prophetic successor to Moses. Montanism believed in celibacy and prolonged fasting. It also taught obedience to the Holy Spirit through His prophet Montanus and challenged church authority. Gnosticism, Manicheanism and Neoplatonism are examples of heresies outside the church. Gnosticism and Manicheanism are closely related, teaching among other things dualism believing spirit is good, material or physical is evil. God did not create the universe. Neoplatonism is a mystical religion based on the philosophical teachings of Plato. While these errant teachings were harmful to the early church, it forced the church to examine their beliefs concerning the Godhead, the role of the Holy Spirit and the canon.
The third century brought doctrinal changes. There were disputes over the characteristics of the Godhead, the nature and character of Jesus and the salvation doctrine. These disputes sometimes resulted in error. In an effort to...

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