1 Creeds and Heretics The Church Defines and Disciplines Randy Broberg
2 Early Theology More Sophisticated Than We Realize Chap 8: "He Himself took on Him the burden of our iniquities, He gave His own Son as a ransom for us, the holy One for transgressors, the blameless One for the wicked, the righteous One for the unrighteous, the incorruptible One for the corruptible, the immortal One for them that are mortal. For what other thing was capable of covering our sins than his righteousness? By what other one was it possible that we, the wicked and ungodly, could be justified, than by the only Son of God? O sweet exchange! O unsearchable operation! O benefits surpassing all expectation! that the wickedness of many should be hid in a single righteous One, and that the righteousness of One should justify many transgressors! Letter to Diognetus, 130 AD
3 Christianity and Non-Christian Learning
4 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:8 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 1 Peter 3: 15 New Testament and Philosophy
5 Justin Martyr ( ): Christians Before Christ? Opened a school of Christian philosophy in Rome Wrote apologies His views about Greek philosophy Holy Pagans: Christians before Christ
6 Separation.or..Synthesis? What has Athens to do with Jerusalem? Athens belongs to Him
7 Clement of Alexandria ( ) Two Paths Viewed philosophy as divine gift to the Greeks Philosophical basis for Christianity Emphasized knowledge/virtue Jesus turned all our sun sets into sun rise
8 Two Paths to True Knowledge? Ours is the great Teacher of all wisdom, and the whole world, including Athens and Greece, belongs to Him.
9 From Alexandria, Egypt Heavily influenced by Greek Philosophy. allegorical interpretation of Scripture. Influenced heavily by the Neo- Platonists and Philo, a Jewish Neo- Platonist of the first century. The first textual critic. He created the Hexapla, with Hebrew, a Greek transliteration, and four Greek translations. The first biblical commentaries Castrated himself Universalist No Free Will Origen (c c. 254) Synthesis of Philosophy and Theology
10 Tertullian: Rejects Philosophy (c. 155-c. 220) Lawyer from Carthage, North Africa Coined term Trinity First Latin writer of theology Condemned the attempt to use Greek philosophy to explain Christianity. The Son of God was crucified; I am not ashamed just because men feel ashamed of it. And the Son of God died; it is by all means to be believed, because it is absurd. And He was buried, and rose again; the fact is certain, because it is impossible. What has Jesus to do with Plato? What has Athens to do with Jerusalem? Know what the Scriptures teach, and stop there.
11 Jerome (c. AD ) Abandons The Books of Men When he was a young man, Jerome had a nightmare in which he found himself before God's seat of judgment. Asked by God who he was, Jerome replied, "A Christian," to which God responded: "Liar, you are a Ciceronian" [one who places literature and philosophy above faith]. So moved was he by this nightmare that Jerome, a classically trained scholar, abandoned for good "the books of men" to devote himself passionately to God's books. His dedication would in time produce a translation of the Old Testament from its original Hebrew into Latin that remains the most cited and authoritative of its kind.
12 The Trinitarian Debates
13 Controversial Bible Texts About Jesus "You shall have no other gods before me" Exodus 20:3 "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ." 1 Tim 2:5 "and [Christ] being found in appearance as a man..." Phil 2:8 "You are my beloved Son, today I have begotten you." Luke 3:22 "The Word became flesh John 1:14
14 "The Word [is] the only-begotten of the Father." John 1:14 "Destroy this temple and I will raise it up in three days" John 2:19 "Christ Jesus... being in very nature God, [was] made in human likeness and become obedient to death. Every tongue [should] confess Jesus Christ is Lord." Philippians 2:5-11 "For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him." Colossians 1:19 "I and the Father are one." John 10:30 More Tough Verses
15 Error Never shows itself in its naked reality, in order not to be discovered. On the contrary, it dresses elegantly, so that the unwary may be led to believe that it is more truthful than truth itself. Fights Against Heresies Irenaeus, Apologist
16 Ebionites: Jesus as Human Prophet or Messiah, Not Divine God is one Jesus must be understood in Old Testament categories Jesus was a specially blessed prophet
17 Adoptionists: Human Jesus Becomes Divine God "adopted" the human Jesus as his special son at birth (not conception) or baptism God gave him an extra measure of divine power (dynamis) Apotheosis theosaner
18 Docetists: Jesus Just Seemed to be Human, but He wasn t The divine Christ would never touch flesh, which is evil Jesus only seemed human Jesus only appeared to die "Christ" left "Jesus" before the Crucifixion denies incarnation, atonement and resurrection. Think of an Old Testament Theophany
19 Modalists God's names change with his roles or "modes of being" When God is the Son, he is not the Father There is no permanent distinction between the three "persons" of the Trinity
20 Arius ( AD) Jesus A Sub Divinity, Not Fully Divine Presbyter in Alexandria Arius believed that the uniqueness of God was compromised by the doctrine of the Trinity, because as God his nature could not be divided. Arius teachings grew popular and the bishop of Alexandria, Alexander, removed him from office. He composed jingles and set his doctrines to music. Arianism grew in importance for many years. It was instrumental in the "conversion" of many of the barbarian tribes. Many of the barbarian tribes remained Arian for centuries. "there was [a time] when he was not."
21 The Teachings of Arianism: Jesus a Created Being The Son was the highest of the creations of God. He is not eternal or perfect like God, though he was God's agent in creating everything else Insisted on the uniqueness of God Moving toward Neo-Platonism God is perfect, immutable, utterly unlike our existence Was it pure monotheism because there was no Trinity or was it polytheism because God and Christ were both divine but separate beings?
22 Constantine summoned a general council of the church to meet at Nicaea. He also addressed the council, and participated in the debates. purpose was church unity, not purity 318 bishops + presbyters and deacons = over 2,000; 18 Arian Bishops 41 days Preceded by minor council where Arius was excommunicated 325 AD, Emperor Calls Council of Nicea Constantine on Coin
23 Athanasius ( ) If the whole world is against Athanasius, then Athanasius is against the whole world. Antagonist on the other side from Arius and the Arians. Deacon in the church of Alexandria, and a theological advisor to the bishop, Alexander. In time he himself became bishop of Alexandria. Banished as a heretic 5 times, restored as orthodox 5 times.
24 Nicaea: The iota Debate Hetro-ousis difference: Logos not coeternal, co-essential, or co-equal with Father. Son begotten, has beginning. Arius, Eusebius of Nicomedia. Homo-ousios same substance: Logos is co-eternal with Father, never to change. Heb. 13:8, 1 Cor. 1:24. Alexander of Alexandria, Hosius, and Athanasius (who was young and not allowed to speak) Athanasias The iota Homoi-ousios similar substance. Logos is of like substance with Father. Subordinate Trinity, Christ s nature not divine, eternal. Eusebius of Caesarea, Pamphili (now Eastern Church). Position of most bishops, but they moved to orthodox Homousios position.
25 Council passed creed with same substance (no iota) Arius and two others (Eusebius of Nicomedia) who did not sign were banished, their books burned Jesus is one in being (homoousios) with the Father Did not address Holy Spirit Many orthodox still had reservations, thought it was modalist and denied the distinctiveness of the Son Nicaea Result: Jesus of Same Substance as Father DATE NAME CALLED BY 325 Nicaea Constantine I ISSUES 1. Hetero-ousions different 2. Homo-ousios same 3. Homoi-ousius - similar
26 The Nicene Anathema and Creed And whosoever shall say that there was a time when the Son of God was not, or that before he was begotten he was not, or that he was made of things that were not, or that he is of a different substance or essence [from the Father] or that he is a creature, or subject to change or conversion-- all that so say, the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes them. We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten of his Father, of the substance of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father.
27 Other, Lesser Known, Rulings of the Council of Nicaea Declared that certain occupations were not suitable for Christians: magic, idolatry, eroticism and being in the games in the amphitheater Forbade lending of money at rates exceeding 12% Adopted first Christian calendar, based on the Julian Calendar Declares Easter to be on the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox Three Bishops of Rome, Antioch, and Alexandria called Metropolitans as sort of super duper archbishops over other bishops. Icon of Council of Nicaea with Bearded Constantine?
28 Nicaea Doesn t End Arianism Emperor Constantine later changed his mind and unbanished Arians, made the Arian Eusebius of Nicomedia his personal bishop and was baptized on his death bed by him. Constantine s sons were all Arians who reversed Nicaea s decisions! Orthodox, Nicaean Christians crushed in the West
29 Subsequent Arian Victories 341: Council in Antioch (in the East) victory for Arians Omitted the homoousion reference 360 Arian Council of Constantinople Later moderated to Jesus is like God in the way that a son is like his father. References to substance were omitted Rejected Nicene Creed! Hence, the official orthodox position at this time was Arian! Athanasias banished Five separate times! Orthodox are outlaws. Cyril of Alexandria and Athanasias
30 Council of Constantinople 381 Called by Emperor Theodosius I 150 Bishops present affirmed one God in three persons A reassertion of the original Nicene Creed. Adds third article to creed: Holy Spirit DATE NAME CALLED BY 381 Constantinople I Theodosius I ISSUES 1. Arian denied deity 2. Apollanarianism no human nature 3. Orthodox (Cappadoccian) two natures
31 Location of Iota controversy Location of Later filoque controversy
32 Other Important Aspects of the Council of Constantinople only called the eastern bishops, ignoring the bishop of Rome the bishop of Constantinople presided, as the bishop of the New Rome. Later the bishop of Rome called his own synod of western bishops and claimed to be the successor of Peter and Upon this rock I will build my church, first time this verse was used to support the papacy.
33 5 MINUTE BREAK
34 The Forgotten Council of Carthage New-born children must be baptized on account of original sin. 2. Justifying grace not only avails for the forgiveness of past sins, but also gives assistance for the avoidance of future sins. 3. Children dying without baptism do not go to a "middle place" (medius locus), since the non-reception of baptism excludes both from the "kingdom of heaven" and from "eternal life.
35 Nestorians Jesus has two natures and also two persons The divine Christ and the human Christ lived together in Jesus, whose body is like a Temple in which the Spirit of God dwells Mary the mother of Christ (Christotokos) but not God (theotokos) Armenian Priests in Jerusalem
36 Ephesus 431 under Theodosius II 200 bishops present condemned Nestorius decreed unity of Christ divine and human nature declared Mary Theotokos affirmed Nicene creed Western bishops largely absent. Leo of Rome calls it the Robber Council! Ephesus dedicates first church to honor the Blessed Virgin DATE NAME CALLED BY 431 Ephesus sham council Theodosius II ISSUES 1. Theotokos Mary bore God 2. Anthropotokos Mary bore Man 3. Christotokos Christ two natures (Nestorius) Won by default
37 Bishop Nestorius Banished By Council of Ephesus, Flees East Bishops of Council of Ephesus Emperor Theodosius II Nestorius
38 The Nestorians, after being declared heretics at Ephesus (and Chalcedon) fled east and formed the Nestorian Church, which grew greatly in Persia and India and even sent missions to Tibet and China. Nestorius wrote an autobiography in which he said he d been misunderstood. His point against Mary being the God bearer was more about Mary than about Jesus.
39 Apollinarians Jesus = one person with one nature divine mind and will in Jesus' human flesh no human mind or spirit divinity controlled or sanctified Jesus humanity
40 Monophysites Jesus cannot have two natures Ancestors of Today s Syrian and Egyptian Coptic Churches His divinity swallows up his humanity like a drop of wine in the sea. Eutyches Egyptian Coptic Monks
41 Chalcedon 451: Hypostatic Union Leo I, a bishop of unprecedented ability, was highly influential in settling issue of Christ s nature 650 bishops present condemned Monophysites Person = unity Nature = duality (human and divine) Jesus is one person in two natures The key point: Jesus is fully human and fully divine -- DATE NAME CALLED BY 451 Chalcedon Leo I ISSUES 1. Monophysite one nature 2. Nestorian Party two natures, confused 3. Leo s middle position two natures, not confused Chosen by vast majority of council
42 The Chalcedon Creed Two Natures One Person Without Confusion
43 Crafting Creeds by Compromise? Both parties were fanatical and calling for others destruction After four sessions, Leo presented his middle position in an epistle. This position was overwhelmingly accepted as orthodox Emperor was present, enforced decision as law Eutychian bishops banished, books burned. Egyptian and Syrian Churches split off from Orthodox Chalcedon church, create Coptic Churches
44 It helped the split that These regions soon fell outside the Control of the Roman Empire The Monophysites, after being declared heretics at Chalcedon, broke away from the Orthodox Church and formed the Syrian and Egyptian Coptic Churches, churches which remain monophysite to this day
45 Geographic Distribution of Christian Groups in 5 th Century Donatists Mixed Arians And Orthodox Catholics Orthodox/Catholics Chalcedonian/Nicene Orthodox/Catholics Armenian Monophysites Nestorians Syrian Monophysites Nicaea X d Arians Ephesus X d Nestorians Chalcedon X d Copts/Monophysites Egyptian Copts Ethiopian Copts
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