Not Restricted to an Elite

Christian theologians such as Tertullian (c. 160-225), Irenaeus (c. 140-202) and Hippolytus (c. 170-236) argued against the Gnostics as follows. There is only one God, who created the world, which is inherently good, so the acceptance of a second, inferior, demiurge is absurd. Yet more absurd are the cosmological speculations of the Gnostics and their conviction that the path of salvation led not over the redeeming work of Christ carried out on the cross but rather over a secret knowledge accessible to only a small elite. The salvation of Christ is not restricted to an elite but, rather, is open to all people who believe in him and his message. It should also be noted that, although early Christianity overcame Gnosticism, it was nonetheless influenced by its disparagement of and contempt for the material and corporeal.

Baumer, The Church of the East, p. 37

Photo by Stefan Steinbauer on Unsplash

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