Robert E. Roberts

© Epworth Press, Methodist Publishing House.  Reproduced by permission.

Title page. Frontispiece 1-8
Introduction: The literature of the subject 9-12
Chapter 1:  The place of Tertullian in the history of theology

The position of Christian doctrine----The influence of Gnosticism----Irenaeus and the Rule of Truth----The lex fidei: its threefold statement----The canon of Scripture----The services of Tertullian in relation thereto----Quotation----Relation to the Rule of Faith.   Reserve or 'Oikonomia'----Allegorical method----Changing attitude----Valentinianism----Marcion----Montanism----Monarchianism.

Chapter 2:  The career of Tertullian and its influence upon his theology

The statement of Jerome----Tertullian's father a centurion in the service of a Pro-consul----Military metaphors----Home surroundings----School days---- Legal studies and their reflection in his writings----Visits to Rome----Pagan experience----Relation to Mithraism----Conversion----Study of Scripture----. Marriage----Social standing----Voyage to the East----Growth in Christian standing----Literary activity. Montanism: reflections of its growing influence upon him----Closing days.

Chapter 3: The relation of Tertullian to earlier writers

JUSTIN MARTYR.----Indications of Tertullian's knowledge of his writings---- Reflections of thought----Theology----Attitude towards Philosophy---- Its basis in the teaching of prophets----Logos-teaching----The Holy Spirit---- Free will----Atonement----Description of Christian assemblies----Baptism---- The Eucharist----Eschatology.
ATHENAGORAS.----Indications of Tertullian's knowledge of his writings---- His theology----Attitude towards philosophy----Christian belief founded upon revelation----Foreshadowing of the Trinity----The Logos doctrine---- The Holy Spirit----The resurrection.
TATIAN.----Indications of Tertullian's knowledge of his writings-His theological teaching----Attitude towards philosophy----Christianity is revealed truth----Doctrine of God----The Logos----Creation of the world out of nothing----Nature of man is threefold.
MINUCIUS FELIX.----Dispute as to the priority of Tertullian or Minucius---- Resemblances to the Octavius in Tertullian's writings----Attitude towards philosophy----The theology of Minucius.
IRENAEUS.----Indications of dependence in Tertullian----Difference in point of view from the apologists----The theology of Irenaeus----His doctrine of God----The Logos----The Spirit----The Incarnation----The nature of man, body and soul----The resurrection----The judgement----The reign of the saints on earth.
CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA----The dependence of Tertullian confined to minor matters----Indications of his acquaintance with the writings of Clement.

Chapter 4: The attitude of Tertullian towards Greek philosophy

Apparent contradiction leading to opposite verdicts----The antagonism of Tertullian to philosophy----Christian truth is revealed----The influence of his Montanistic leanings----Basis for resolving the apparent contradiction---- The 'soul by nature Christian'----Tertullian's relation to Stoicism----The corporeity of all being----Opposition to Plato----Anthropology----Pervasion of the body by the soul----Sleep and dreams----Theory of perception---- Relation to Plato, to the Stoics, and to the Epicureans----The theology of Tertullian and Stoicism----God----The Logos----Ethics.

Chapter 5: Traces of development in Tertullian's theology

i.          The Order and Date of the Writings.
ii.         The Theological Contents of the Writings in this Order.
iii.       The Lines of Development in Tertullian's Thought.

Chapter 6: The doctrine of God

The Existence of God----The argument from Creation and Providence. The argument from the 'soul by nature Christian' ----The argument from Scripture----The unity of God----The first article of the' Rule of Faith ----Against heathen polytheism, against Marcion, against Hermogenes.
The Comprehensibility of God: A fundamental assumption of Tertullian---- The visible and the invisible.
The Corporeity of God----The idea Stoic, but also found in Melito.
Moral attributes of God----Goodness----Evidenced in Creation; in communication of His nature; in the law. Justice----coeval with goodness----No realization of the love of God----The Trinity----Doctrine stated in Apologeticus and Adversus Praxean----The oi0konomi/a of God----The Son----The Holy Spirit.

Chapter 7: The doctrine of creation and providence

Tertullian's belief in creation ex nihilo----Exposition of the same in opposition to Hermogenes----Scriptural basis----Five points----The purpose of creation---- Man the crown of creation----Angels and demons----The purpose of the divine providence and its problems.

Chapter 8: The doctrine of man and sin

The importance of Tertullian's work----The dichotomic view of human nature---- The relation of body and soul----Nature of the soul----The corporeity of the soul----Simple nature of the soul----Relation of soul and mind----Elements of the soul: rational, irascible, concupiscible----Origin of the soul----Pre-existence----Introduction of the soul at birth----Transmigration of souls----Metensomatosis----Traducianism----Freewill and the fall----Unity of the race and variety of characteristics. ----Original sin, and grace.

Chapter 9: Christology

Scope of the Subject----The Son is of the substance of the Father----The Logos: Reason, Wisdom, and Word----Is the Son co-eternal with the Father ?----The Son as the Agent of the Father in creation and in revelation----The humanity of Christ----Tertullian's treatment facilitated by his anthropology----The need of defending this aspect of the Person of Christ against the heretics---- Two points to be established: (1) That nativity was possible to God; (2) That it was becoming to Him----The preparation of Christ for the experience of the incarnation----The marks in the flesh of Christ of its origin----Christ took, not only human flesh, but a human soul----The argument from prophecy----The sinlessness of Christ----The death of Christ ----Its reality closely related to the reality of His humanity----Prophecies of the death of Christ in the Old Testament----The resurrection of Christ an article of the Rule of Faith----The relation between the resurrection of Christ and that of believers----The purpose of the life and death of Christ----Was it revelation ?----Was it redemption ?----The absence of a forensic statement of the Atonement in Tertullian----Such a view incompatible with his view of man's agency in salvation----The curse that rested upon Christ was that of the Jews, not of God----The purpose of the resurrection of Christ----His exaltation and session at the right hand of God.

Chapter 10: The church, the ministry, and the sacraments

The necessity of distinguishing between pre-Montanistic and Montanistic views----The Church as the repository of true doctrine----The Church from the standpoint of discipline.
The Ministry----The threefold ministerial office----The later view----The Bishop of Rome----Lectors and widows.
The Sacraments----Baptism----Full and explicit treatment----Simplicity of the rite----The water of baptism----Reception of the Holy Spirit----The effects of baptism----Objections to baptism discussed----Second baptism----The administration of baptism----Preparation and subsequent conduct.
The Eucharist----No set treatment----Exposition of the Parable of the Prodigal Son----' Our daily bread '----Meaning of repraesentat----The bearing of Tertullian's philosophy upon the subject.

Chapter 11: Eschatology

Death----its universality----It is the separation of the soul from the body. The intermediate state----The body: what becomes of it----The soul passes to the 'lower world'----The 'lower world' and Abraham's bosom----The state of the soul in the 'lower world '----Paradise----The immediate entrance of the martyrs to Paradise.
The advent of Christ----Apparent contradiction----Immediate or delayed ?---- The second coming to be preceded by the events predicted by Christ.
The resurrection----The relation between the resurrection of Christ and that of men----The distinction between the resurrection of the flesh and the immortality of the soul----The dignity of the flesh----The possibility of restoring the flesh to the soul----The necessity of restoring the flesh to the soul in order to the judgement.
Scripture teaching on the subject--------Resurrectio mortuorum----Prophecy---- Teaching of Christ----The apostles and Paul----The exaltation of Christ is the climax of the proof.
The body which is to be raised is the actual body of this present life---- Resemblance of the risen to the angels.
The fate of the wicked.

Chapter 12: Ethical teaching

The sources of Tertullian's ethics: (a) His theological views; (b) His eschatological outlook; (c) His Stoicism; (d) His interpretation of Scripture; (e) His character----'Nature' the fundamental ground----Reason---- Tradition----Scripture----The Paraclete----The relation of these grounds to one another----The legal nature of this view----Faith and obedience---- Two wills in God----The doctrine of merit----The development of that doctrine in the West----Freedom of the will----Virtues and Vices----Patience----Charity----Modesty----Asceticism----Idolatry----The pronounced asceticism of his later days.

Chapter 13: Conclusion

The character of Tertullian's work----Ancient opinions----Modem views---- Contradictions in his writings----The extent to which he dealt in a systematic manner with Christian truth----The limitations of his endeavours: (1) The Rule of Faith; (2) Controversy; (3) Legal training----The merits of his endeavours: (1) Exclusion of Gnosticism; (2) Aid in defining the views of the Church; (3) The laying of the foundation for later teachers---- Doctrines to which Tertullian made a definite contribution: (1) The Trinity; (2) The Person of Christ; (3) The nature of Man----Conclusion.

Appendix I.: Tertullian's literary activity 253-65
Appendix II.: Tertullian as apologist 266-71
A list of modern works dealing with Tertullian 272-73
Index 274-79

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