History of the Church
Background Chapter: The Roman Empire
Chapter 1: Jesus and the Founding of the Church
Chapter 2: The Early Christians
Chapter 3: Persecution of "The Way"
Chapter 4: The Church Fathers and Heresies
Material Heresy: This type of heresy is brought through ignorance and is not caused by the will of the subject and is therefore not considered a sin.
Formal Heresy: This type of heresy comes by freely choosing to believe something contradictory to Church teaching, therefore is considered to be a sin.
The first heresies that struck the Church were very dangerous because they had to do with the center of Christian Faith: the figure of Christ. One example of an early heresy is Gnosticism, which says that salvation can be achieved through knowledge.