Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Irenaeus on words and wolf-spotting
This is a follow up post to "What Lies Beneath". Paul's point in 2 Cornthians 11 about the same signs (Jesus, gospel, Spirit) signifying different things for the false teachers was made by Irenaeus in the opening section of Against Heresies. Here we have two consistent features of heresy.
1. The use of Christian vocabulary with unbiblical content
2. The smuggling of an alien worldview under the guise of Christian words and thinking
"Lest, therefore, through my neglect, some should be carried off, even as sheep are by wolves, while they perceive not the true character of these men--because they outwardly are covered with sheep's clothing (against whom the Lord has enjoined us to be on our guard), and because their language resembles ours, while their sentiments are very different".