|I am a fan of Irenaeus. I read his Against Heresies a couple of years ago. The first couple of books were really hard. I had to find a legend on the internet to track the system of the Gnostic gods he was refuting. The last couple of books were great insights to the kingdom and Antichrist, end times, etc. His hermeneutical method was fascinating and enlightening, Midrashic it seems to me. For example, how he compares Mary to Eve in that they were both virgins when they did their respective acts. Eve sinned as a virgin, Mary obeyed as a virgin. Or how he displays that Adam was taken from virginal soil, that is, before any seed was sown in the ground as Gen 2:5,6 says; and comparing that again to Jesus' mother who also had no seed put in her by man so that Jesus could also be born from "virginal soil," so as to recapitulate Adam and his race by a similarity of origins.|
I recommend Christians familiarize themselves with the ancient writers such as Irenaeus or Justin Martyr to see how the faith sounded in their mouths, who were so fresh from the apostolic age. We'll be humbled by their practically encyclopedic knowledge of Scripture and how they were able to both present the faith for the edification of the believers as well as how they refuted the philosophies of their day.