Volume > Issue > Recovering the Art of Christian Polemics

Recovering the Art of Christian Polemics

UNCHARITABLE? DIVISIVE? STRIDENT?

By David Mills | October 2002
David Mills is a Senior Editor of Touchstone: A Magazine of Mere Christianity.

Most well-read Christians know the two most famous stories of the early Church’s approach to dialogue. St. Polycarp tells us that the apostle John once went to the public bath in Ephesus and found inside a Gnostic teacher named Cerinthus. John ran out crying, “Let us fly, lest even the bath-house fall down, because Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is within.”

Polycarp himself once met the heretic Marcion walking down the street. Marcion hated the creator-God of the Hebrews, and to get rid of Him had tossed out the Old Testament and much of the New and rewrote the bits he kept. Marcion asked Polycarp, “Do you know me?” and Polycarp answered, “I do know you. You are the firstborn of Satan.”

Enjoyed reading this?

READ MORE! REGISTER TODAY

SUBSCRIBE

You May Also Enjoy

What Are Clothes For?

Este artículo: en español

[Fashions] express the decision and moral direction that a nation…

Briefly: March 1999

Reviews of Our Moral Life in Christ... The Seeker's Catechism... Path Through Catholicism... The Trial of Faith of St. Therese of Lisieux... Liturgical Question Box: Answers to Common Questions About Modern Liturgy...

Letters to the Editor: April 2019

Letter to a Friend on Church Division... The Great Diabolical Trap... Minimizing the Incarnation... Another Explanation for the Rise of SJWs... Defaulting to Intolerance... “Moral Giants”... Not the “Real” Catholic Church