They fixed these poor contents in new books and in the idea of a prophetic succession, which of course is self-contradictory because succession is an organizational principle and prophecy is an anti-organizational principle, and the attempt to bring them together was unsuccessful and always will be unsuccessful.

Now the Christian Church excluded Montanism; it conquered it. But such victories are always losses. Let’s see the four ways in which this loss is visible: 1) The canon was victorious against the possibility of new revelations. – The solution of the Fourth Gospel that there are new insights, which of course are under the criticism of the Christ, was at least reduced in meaning and power.

2) The traditional hierarchy was confirmed against the prophetic spirit. – This was a very serious thing because since that time the prophetic spirit was more or less excluded from the Church and always had to f lee in sectarian movements. Most of the so-called sectarian movements, ever since the defeat of Montanism; are movements into which the prophetic spirit f led because it couldn’t find a place in the Church.

3) Eschatology became less interesting than it was in the Apostolic age. – Establishment was much more important, and the expectation of the end was reduced to an appeal to every individual that his end can come at any moment – which is how you usually handle it in your preaching. But the idea of an end of history was not important any more since that time.

4) The disciplinary strictness of the Montanists was lost, and a growing laxity took place in the Church. – Here again something happened which has happened all through Church history again and again, that new, small groups with disciplinary strictness arose, were regarded with great suspicion by the church, and developed themselves into larger churches only to lose the disciplinary power in themselves.