Author Topic: Lactantius is a known liar and Tertullian a known heretic!?  (Read 3932 times)

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Offline TruthSeeker

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Lactantius is a known liar and Tertullian a known heretic!?
« on: November 04, 2005, 01:01:44 PM »
A good brother who I think is well respected posted this......"Lactantius is a known liar and Tertullian a known heretic". I am sure he will explain but I search for other opinions too.

WHY.......because I thought these men were good early fathers and I especially here Tertullian mentioned a lot.


 The only thing I can think of in regard to Tertullian that might be "off" is his view on infant baptism. However, if my memory is correct here I think he lived in North Africa and that this belief was common in that area at that time even though I am not sure why.
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Offline EkhristosAnesti

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Re: Lactantius is a known liar and Tertullian a known heretic!?
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2005, 01:06:31 PM »
I believe Tertullian got caught up in the Montanist movement late in his life.
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Offline TruthSeeker

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Re: Lactantius is a known liar and Tertullian a known heretic!?
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2005, 01:27:57 PM »
After doing some reading it seems I am now becoming a "fan" or this man. Could it be that he has been "passed" by for sainthood.

Has the orthodox church ever reconsidered him for sainthood?

http://www.tertullian.org/
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Offline Beavis

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Re: Lactantius is a known liar and Tertullian a known heretic!?
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2005, 04:35:41 PM »
Tertullian was a very good man earlier in his life.  Unfortunately, however, he became a Montanist, which was like an early form of extreme Pentecostalism.  Lactantius was known to lie, or at least exaggerate, in his "Life of Constantine".
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Offline Fr. David

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Re: Lactantius is a known liar and Tertullian a known heretic!?
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2005, 05:16:54 PM »
Like Beavis said (man, that's weird to say!), Tertullian started out well, but ended his life outside the Church as a Montanist.  For this reason he--along with Origen--can never be considered saints of the Orthodox Church for, although they contributed a LOT that was very sound theologically to the Church when they were Orthodox, they did not "endure to the end," as it were, and finish the race within the Church.

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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Lactantius is a known liar and Tertullian a known heretic!?
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2005, 05:34:22 PM »
Like Beavis said (man, that's weird to say!), Tertullian started out well, but ended his life outside the Church as a Montanist.ÂÂ  For this reason he--along with Origen--can never be considered saints of the Orthodox Church for, although they contributed a LOT that was very sound theologically to the Church when they were Orthodox, they did not "endure to the end," as it were, and finish the race within the Church.

Absolutely correct.
However, I would be interested to know why Lactantius has earned the title of "known Liar" in this thread....
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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Lactantius is a known liar and Tertullian a known heretic!?
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2005, 07:43:39 PM »
Truthseeker,

You might find The Commonitory of St. Vincent of Lerins to be helpful (it should be required reading for anyone considering Orthodoxy). Fwiw, he talks about Tertullian in particular in Chapter 18.

Offline Doubting Thomas

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Re: Lactantius is a known liar and Tertullian a known heretic!?
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2005, 10:24:59 PM »
Wow...I've read some excerpts of The Commonitory before, but never those sections about Tertullian and Origen.  Thanks for pointing those out.  :)
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Offline TruthSeeker

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Re: Lactantius is a known liar and Tertullian a known heretic!?
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2005, 10:28:52 PM »
Truthseeker,

You might find The Commonitory of St. Vincent of Lerins to be helpful (it should be required reading for anyone considering Orthodoxy). Fwiw, he talks about Tertullian in particular in Chapter 18.



Good stuff... thanx
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Offline TruthSeeker

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Re: Lactantius is a known liar and Tertullian a known heretic!?
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2005, 10:40:49 PM »
Truthseeker,

You might find The Commonitory of St. Vincent of Lerins to be helpful (it should be required reading for anyone considering Orthodoxy). Fwiw, he talks about Tertullian in particular in Chapter 18.


Gee...the last statement in Chapter 18 is pretty strong and to me conveys that Tertullian turned his back on God and may be lost.
But Montanus and his followers were still orthodox in doctrine so were they all "that bad"?
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Offline DavidH

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Re: Lactantius is a known liar and Tertullian a known heretic!?
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2005, 10:44:44 PM »
Christ is Among Us!
 ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚ Why is Lactantius referred to as a "known liar"? Is it because modern scholars don't agree with his assessment of St. Constantine the Great (even though the Church evidently does)? I have seen several instances where Lactantius is referred to as St. Lactantius although I am unaware of his feast day............it seems to me that it is more likely for modern scholars are mistaken than that a saint (?) writing about a saint would be a "known liar". Is there something specific in his writings that would merit this charge from the Church's perspective?
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Lactantius is a known liar and Tertullian a known heretic!?
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2005, 10:51:05 PM »
But Montanus and his followers were still orthodox in doctrine so were they all "that bad"?

Montanus and his followers were certainly not orthodox in their doctrine. Apart from claiming to speak as Divine oracles, they also claimed that if someone fell into sin after baptism, they could no longer be forgiven or redeemed.
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Lactantius is a known liar and Tertullian a known heretic!?
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2005, 10:56:28 PM »
Why is Lactantius referred to as a "known liar"?
That makes two of us asking this question.
I wonder if anyone will answer? :-\
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Re: Lactantius is a known liar and Tertullian a known heretic!?
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2005, 03:17:40 AM »
After doing some reading it seems I am now becoming a "fan" or this man. Could it be that he has been "passed" by for sainthood. Has the orthodox church ever reconsidered him for sainthood?

If someone dies out of communion with the Church, he can't be a saint. It is as simple as that.

Offline Nacho

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Re: Lactantius is a known liar and Tertullian a known heretic!?
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2005, 06:01:54 AM »
Just as an aside, the montanist movement in early Christianity does prove that the 'gifts of the spirit' were a common practice in the early chuch. There is proof that charismatic gifts were very evident until around the 6th century in the church, after that less references can be found of such phenomena except among many of the monastics throughout the ages. The montanist were condemned for taking the gifts of the spirit too far, but that doesn't mean within the mainstream of the church that they weren't practiced at all, but were used as a much more moderate means. I'm not sure where this fits in with todays church seeing that your average Orthodox person doesn't have any experience with many of the 'outward' gifts that were practiced by early Christians.
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Lactantius is a known liar and Tertullian a known heretic!?
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2005, 08:54:12 AM »
Just as an aside, the montanist movement in early Christianity does prove that the 'gifts of the spirit' were a common practice in the early chuch. There is proof that charismatic gifts were very evident until around the 6th century in the church, after that less references can be found of such phenomena except among many of the monastics throughout the ages. The montanist were condemned for taking the gifts of the spirit too far, but that doesn't mean within the mainstream of the church that they weren't practiced at all, but were used as a much more moderate means. I'm not sure where this fits in with todays church seeing that your average Orthodox person doesn't have any experience with many of the 'outward' gifts that were practiced by early Christians.

I find this a very strange claim, Nacho, particularly when St. John Chrysostom speaks of the charismatic gifts described in I Corinthians as being outmoded in his own day (4th Century). Commenting on the Charasmatic gifts in I Corinthians, St. John Chrysostom writes:
Quote
“This whole place is very obscure: but the obscurity is produced by our ignorance of the facts referred to, and by their cessation, being such as then used to occur but now no longer take place”  (St. John Chrysostom, “Homilies on 1 Corinthians,” Vol. XII, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Hom 29:2).

 Do you have any evidence from any of the Fathers to the contrary?

Does anyone bother to check facts anymore?
« Last Edit: November 05, 2005, 09:21:54 AM by ozgeorge »
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Offline Nacho

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Re: Lactantius is a known liar and Tertullian a known heretic!?
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2005, 11:27:52 AM »
Quote
Do you have any evidence from any of the Fathers to the contrary?

Yes, there is enough evidence in my opinion that shows charismatic gifts were part of the early church. There is a really good book I read awhile back by two Roman Catholic scholars called, "Christian Initiation and Baptism in the Holy Spirit: Evidence from the First Eight Centuries. They did a pretty good job in their research using mainly patristic sources as their guide in proving that many of the gifts outlined in 1st Cor. 12 by the Apostle Paul were in operation in the church.

A few examples that I can think of right now would be from church leaders such as Irenaeus, who wrote around A.D. 150 "...we hear many of the brethren in the church who have prophetic gifts, and who speak in tongues through the spirit, and who also bring to light the secret things of men for their benefit..." Elsewhere he said, "When God saw it necessary, and the church prayed and fasted much, they did miraculous things, even of bringing back the spirit to a dead man." Near the close of the second century, Tertullian cited similar incidents, describing the operation of prophecies, healings and tongues, and in 210, Origen reported many healings and other charismatic gifts, as did later writers such as Eusebius, & Firmilian.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2005, 11:28:40 AM by Nacho »
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Re: Lactantius is a known liar and Tertullian a known heretic!?
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2005, 02:42:42 PM »
Christ is Among Us!
 ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚ Why is Lactantius referred to as a "known liar"? Is it because modern scholars don't agree with his assessment of St. Constantine the Great (even though the Church evidently does)? I have seen several instances where Lactantius is referred to as St. Lactantius although I am unaware of his feast day............it seems to me that it is more likely for modern scholars are mistaken than that a saint (?) writing about a saint would be a "known liar". Is there something specific in his writings that would merit this charge from the Church's perspective?
 ÃƒÆ’‚  In Christ,
Rd. David
From what I have skimmed from the net just now Lactantius was a believer in a flat earth and a Dualist? I have never read him so I do know how true these accusations are. Too bad I am not a Latin scholar.
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Re: Lactantius is a known liar and Tertullian a known heretic!?
« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2005, 04:47:47 PM »
Sorry guys...didn't know Lactantius was a Saint.  I just know most scholars agree that his biography of St. Constantine contained some immense exaggerations.
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Lactantius is a known liar and Tertullian a known heretic!?
« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2005, 06:05:08 PM »
Yes, there is enough evidence in my opinion that shows charismatic gifts were part of the early church. There is a really good book I read awhile back by two Roman Catholic scholars called, "Christian Initiation and Baptism in the Holy Spirit: Evidence from the First Eight Centuries. They did a pretty good job in their research using mainly patristic sources as their guide in proving that many of the gifts outlined in 1st Cor. 12 by the Apostle Paul were in operation in the church.
I'd be interested to read some of their evidence if you could present it.

A few examples that I can think of right now
Now, you didn't just "think of these right now" did you? You simply copied sections and paraphrased from this Wikipedia article (which, for all you know, could have been written by Benny Hinn).

would be from church leaders such as Irenaeus, who wrote around A.D. 150 "...we hear many of the brethren in the church who have prophetic gifts, and who speak in tongues through the spirit, and who also bring to light the secret things of men for their benefit..." Elsewhere he said, "When God saw it necessary, and the church prayed and fasted much, they did miraculous things, even of bringing back the spirit to a dead man."
What is the Context? Is he talking of his contemporaries? The second quote clearly speaks in the past tense, so he is not talking of contemporaries there.

Near the close of the second century, Tertullian cited similar incidents, describing the operation of prophecies, healings and tongues, and in 210,
Tertillian was a heretic, not a Church Father. And Tertillian himself was a Montanist, so basically that would be like asking a Pentacostal if Christians speak in toungues today and basing your doctrinal belief on his answer.

Origen reported many healings and other charismatic gifts, as did later writers such as Eusebius, & Firmilian.
Origen was a heretic, not a Church Father.
Eusebius was a heretic, not a Church Father.
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Offline GiC

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Re: Lactantius is a known liar and Tertullian a known heretic!?
« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2005, 06:17:53 PM »
Both Origen and Tertullian were heretics, but I believe can also be said to be Church Fathers. To quote Chrysostom on Origen, he is like a beautiful rose, but like any rose has dangerous thorns. The same could probably be said of Tertullian.
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Lactantius is a known liar and Tertullian a known heretic!?
« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2005, 06:24:54 PM »
Both Origen and Tertullian were heretics, but I believe can also be said to be Church Fathers. To quote Chrysostom on Origen, he is like a beautiful rose, but like any rose has dangerous thorns. The same could probably be said of Tertullian.

St. John Chrysostom's description would fit a femme fatal more than a Father of the Church.
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