New. St. Irenaeus may be considered the first great Christian theologian, and his Against the Heresies the most thorough defense of the faith against Gnosticism. His compelling articulation of the Incarnation as recapitulation--Christ the second Adam fulfilling in His own flesh that which Adam failed to fulfill, and Mary the second Eve likewise in her obedience undoing the tragic consequences of the first Eve's disobedience--became the rich soil in which much later Christology and soteriology were nourished. Von Balthasar's helpful abridgment highlights the central genius of Irenaeus' work, which in its entirety contains long sections of difficult and rather tedious descriptions of (to us) obscure contemporary heresies. 111 pp.
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