ALR166 – Tertullian and Christian Pacifism

Over The Years Pastor Bennett And I Have Rebutted Quite A Few Arguments Made By Anti-Gun Christians, Many Of Whom Point To The Words Of The Early Church Fathers To Conclude That, As Christians, We Should Not Own Guns For Self-Defense and Support Gun Control. Today we Begin A Series Of Episodes Dedicated To The Pacifist Writings Of The Early Church, beginning with the Most Oft-Quoted Of The Early Church Fathers, Tertullian Of Carthage.

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Tertullian (Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus) (155-240 AD) was a prolific early Christian author from Carthage in the Roman province of Africa. Of Berber origin, he was the first Christian author to produce an extensive corpus of Latin Christian literature. He also was an early Christian apologist and a polemicist against heresy, including contemporary Christian Gnosticism. Tertullian has been called “the father of Latin Christianity” and “the founder of Western theology.”

Though conservative in his worldview, Tertullian originated new theological concepts and advanced the development of early Church doctrine. He is perhaps most famous for being the first writer in Latin known to use the term trinity (Latin: trinitas). According to The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Tertullian's trinity not a triune God, but rather a triad or group of three, with God as the founding member”…Influenced by Stoic philosophy, the “substance” of Tertullian, however, was a material substance that did not refer to a single God, but to the sharing of a portion of the substance of the Father (the only being who was fully God) with the Son and, through the Son, with the Holy Spirit. He wrote his understanding of the three members of the trinity after becoming a Montanist.

Unlike many Church fathers, Tertullian was never recognized as a saint by the Eastern or Western catholic tradition churches. Several of his teachings on issues such as the clear subordination of the Son and Spirit to the Father, and his condemnation of remarriage for widows and of fleeing from persecution, contradicted the doctrines of these traditions. (source: Wikipedia)

Works of Tertullian Mentioned in this Episode

Prayer of the Week

We implore You, almighty God, merciful Father, look upon Your people that by Your great goodness they may be governed and preserved evermore in
body and soul; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

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