Schaff, Philip. History of the Christian Church (The Complete Eight Volumes in One). Amazon Kindle Edition, 2014.
Volume 2, Ante-Nicene Christianity A.D. 100-325, “Chapter 12. The Development of Catholic Theology in Conflict with Heresy” Sections 137-158, Loc. 18758-20235.
§ 142. God and the Creation.
Schaff insists that a Christian view of scholarship stands apart from the views of other groups, including those of non-Christian religions. “We must ever bear in mind that Christianity entered the world, not as a logical system but as a divine-human faith; and that the New Testament is not only a theological text-book for scholars but first and last a book of life for all believers (Schaff 2014, Loc. 19235). The historic confessions of Christianity are centered on the reality of the Trinity. For this reason, Schaff says, Irenaeus begins to combat Gnosticism using the foundation of the biblical view of God and creation. A view of God is “at the bottom of all religion” (Schaff 2014, Loc. 19249). The biblical view of God, then, as recognized in the New Testament and certainly by the early apologists, includes Jesus as God the Son. In creation and redemption, then, the God of Christianity is completely set apart from the gods of the Gnostics. This is clear in Tertullian, who emphasizes the corporeality of God the Son (Schaff 2014, Loc. 129256).
Schaff also observes that the unity of God, inherited from Judaism, “stands apart from the pgan polytheism and Gnostic dualism. The concept of creation out of nothing by the word of God also is strikingly different from the pagan and Gnostic teachings (Schaff 2014, Loc. 19263). For this reason, also, evil “is not an original and substantial entity, but a corruption of nature, and hence can be destroyed by the power of redemption” (Schaff 2014, Loc. 19270). Redemption depends on a correct view of creation. Schaff observes that Origen’s heresy was rooted in a view of creation which had “an endless succession of time” and therefore became Platonic (Schaff 2014, Loc. 19277).