What the heck happened to Tertullian?


#1

He was one of the Church’s strongest defenders against heresies, and then he went and joined one?!? What went wrong? (I think this example also blows the idea of “OSAS” out of the water, but that is besides the point).


#2

I enjoy reading Tertullian. ‘Once Saved Always Saved’?
I don’t know. Who among us can tell where Tertullian is? In the meantime I will keep quoting him. :smiley:


#3

Just because you’ve turned heretical, doesn’t mean you’re not saved.:smiley:

In any event, my personal impression is that Tertullian became too obsessed and fanatical, and that, if alive today, he probably would have started out orthodox, and then become a sedevacantist, or something like that.


#4

Didn’t Tertullian become more Catholic than the Pope
Its a danger us more traditional Catholic’s should be careful of.
However I think of Tetullian’s Quote every time we say the “Big Amen at Mass” Out of context is something like "when we say the Big Amen the force is so great the pagan temples shake"
That’s the effect I go for.


#5

[quote=Character Zero]What went wrong?
[/quote]

Although Tertullian held for some years the ideas and practices of montanism, he was not a heretic. He was one of the most important theologians of the Early Church and his teachings are mentioned by Pope St. Pius IX (Encyclicals Qui Pluribus,1846, and Etsi Multa Luctuosa, 1873) and Pope St. Pius X (Motu proprio Sacrorum Antistitum, 1910), among many references. Particularly decisive were his teachings on the Holy Trinity.


#6

[quote=Ahimsa]In any event, my personal impression is that Tertullian became too obsessed and fanatical, and that, if alive today, he probably would have started out orthodox, and then become a sedevacantist, or something like that.
[/quote]

Right… he joined the Montanist sect. The Montanists reacted against laxity in the Church by embracing ultra-rigorous standards.They also had a strong sense of a prophetic gift among them, leading to the attractive idea that the Spirit was still at work in the Church as it had been at the time of the apostles, revealing new truths. Nonetheless, Montanists were highly-organized, and in most other ways true to Christian orthodoxy.

Tertullian’s attraction to the movement was one of strong ethic & prophetic excitement. The movement gained many adherent in North Africa, Asia Minor, and Rome. Their rejection by Catholic Christians was primarily due to:

  1. Their undermining of existing Church structure, which had become Christianity’s best defense against other heresies.

  2. The Montanist belief that they were actually adding new revelation to the deposit of faith, beyond that recieved at the time of the apostles. Again, another dangerous idea.

  3. Montanist legalism.

(The decrease in the gift of prophecy by Tertullian’s day had more to do with false prophets arising, causing suspicion of all such expressions. This was coupled with the further institutionalization of the Church to protect the deposit of faith against pagan/gnostic blends, and a sense that the apostolic revelation was final.)

  • Hugo

#7

[quote=barsapp]Although Tertullian held for some years the ideas and practices of montanism, he was not a heretic.
[/quote]

Maybe, he was not a heretic, but he was a schismatic.

Pope St. Pius IX

Pope Pius IX is not canonized yet. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II.


#8

[quote=Sarah Jane]Pope Pius IX is not canonized yet
[/quote]

Yes, thank you for the correction.


#9

Thanks for the answers so far I am finding this very educational.

Did Tertullian ever preach against the Montanists? I seem to remember reading that somewhere.


#10

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