"The development of the orthodox Mariology and Mariolatry originated as early as the second century in an allegorical interpretation of the history of the fall, and in the assumption of an antithetic relation of Eve and Mary, according to which the mother of Christ occupies the same position in the history of redemption as the wife of Adam in the history of sin and death [Rom 5:12 ff., 1 Cor 15:22] . . . Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and Tertullian, are the first who present Mary as the counterpart of Eve, as a "mother of all living" in the higher, spiritual sense, and teach that she became through her obedience the mediate or instrumental cause of the blessings of redemption to the human race, as Eve by her disobedience was the fountain of sin and death.[Footnote: "Even St. Augustine carries this parallel between the first and second Eve as far as any of the fathers . . . "]" - Philip Schaff (History of the Christian Church, Vol. III: Nicene and Post-Nicene Christianity: A.D. 311-600)
Now Philip Schaff is one of the most reverenced Ecclesiastical Historians around (in the Protestant Tradition) but I have to say that I laughed out loud when reading this on Dave Armstrong's blog.
I mean if the early church (2nd century = REALLY early Church) fell into the 'heresy' of 'mariolatry' then just give up. Burn your bibles, throw out your crosses, sell your churches, because if God in all his sovereignty couldn't preserve the church before the new testament was even assembled, then he's the weakest god in history, or the strangest God. I could never tell a Mormon he wasn't a Christian if I agreed with Schaff, both agree (the mormon, and in this statement Schaff) to the ridiculous idea of 'the great apostasy'.
Chesterton writes on the early church that, it's strange how those who were motivated only by love for him (Jesus) would rush off and immediately do all those things he hated.
I know it's just one statement, and that Schaff is pretty solid, and I'm not trying to rub salt in the wound, but even the Anabaptists give the church till Constantine sanction, and let it not be said now or ever that the Lutherans stray further from the Christian history than the Anabaptists.
There you have it the "heresy" of Mariolatry taught by such degenerates as Justin Martyr, St. Irenaeus, Tertullian, St. Augustine and the other so-called "Early Church Fathers".