Friday, September 16, 2011

A Voice from the Past - Irenaeus

Error in fact, does not show its true self, lest on being stripped naked it should be detected. Instead, it craftily decks itself out in an attractive dress, and thus, by an outward false appearance, presents itself to the more ignorant, truer than Truth itself, ridiculous as it is even to say this.

Irenaeus, 125-202 AD, Against the Heresies, Book 1, Preface, 2 (trans. Dominic J. Unger, Capuchin Province of Mid-America, 1992, p.21)

Is this true? How might it be applied?


  1. Generally speaking, I think that the word heresy is used too broadly. Too often we cause injury when we try to remove the speck in the heretics eye.

  2. I think this is often a knife that cuts both ways. There are those who see heretics under their bed, sort of like people did with communists in the sixties. There are also people who will accept anything that sounds good no matter what it is. I think there is a very careful balance here. But we should be more concerned with understanding and convincing people than labeling them.

  3. I so agree Mike. Labels and stereotypes are not helpful.