First Council of Nicaea

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    distinguishing whether Jesus was truly God and whether he had both a human or divine nature. The recurring issue would, later be identified as the Trinity. The controversy concerning the Trinity was first referenced in 325A.D., at the first ecumenical council of Nicaea. The council of Nicaea set out to assemble a universal Christian doctrine, which resulted in the Nicene Creed [cite]. Both the Greek (Eastern) and the Latin (Western) church expressed the Nicene Creed, agreeing on commonalities and combat the Arian point of view [cite]. The Arian belief considered Jesus as the Son of God who was created by God. This theological outlook stressed that God as the Son is unable to have direct knowledge of the Father because the Son is finite. Beginning with the Arian controversy,the Councils of Constantinople in 381A.D. distributed a document of the faith called the Creed of Nicaea that confirmed that the Son was of one substance with the Father. Later, in the Fourth Ecumenical Councils in 451 A.D. discuss Jesus, “…of the same substance with his Father according to his Divinity, and of the same substance with us according to his humanity; for there became a union of two natures. Wherefore we confess one Christ, one Son, one Lord. [p. 6, Council of Chalcedon].” By defining the union of two natures, the council resulted in separating the church due to Christological debates. Similar to the Arian controversy, the East and West believed in the trinity and that there is one God…

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    were addressed based on the Christological view and deity of Christ. The early western church fathers played a significant role in this era. The bishops of the church would meet together to discuss and debate their views and attempt to resolve the issues involving church doctrine. The texts of “Reading in Christian Thought” by Hugh Kerr, “Pocket History of the Church” by D. Jeffrey Bingham and “A Concise History of Christian Thought” by Tony Lane, all cover the history of Christian studies. Out…

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    Throughout Christian history there has been controversy about is Jesus really God, is the Holy Spirit a part of God, and is Jesus really full man and God.The first controversy was in 324 A.D. when Arius gives his position of God being the only eternal being and that Jesus the son is only a creature.Alexander (Bishop of Alexandria) response in disagreement was that Jesus is indeed a eternal being equal to God.This ultimately leads to Constantine calling the First Ecumenical Council in…

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    Once again there were opposing views but a formula of union was established between Cyril and John of Antioch. The Formula of Union is an important step in the Chalcedonian Decree. Cyril continued to announced that he holds fast to his teaching of Athanasius and of the fathers of Nicaea and sends John a correct copy of Athanasius’ Letter to Epictetus since corrupt versions were circulating (Hardy pg358). In 433, an agreement between Antioch and Alexandria was reached. The division increased…

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    The growing Christian faith staggered under infighting. As the Orthodox Church gained power after the First Council, they declared Arianism as heretical and not recognized by the church. Constantine the Great was baptized by an outspoken Arian who refused to recognize the Orthodox Church. There are no written records to attest if Constantine was baptized in accordance with Orthodox requirements by the Arian priest. To have the first Roman Emperor baptized as an Arian Christian would be…

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    The development of Christology in the patristic period of Christianity was formed out of two main arguments, the logos’ relation with God and the logos’ relation with the human Jesus. It was of agreement that Jesus the Christ was on earth and that he was the logos, i.e. “Word of God” or “Son of God”. Two orators in particular drew the proverbial line in the sand between homoousios and homoiousios, of the same and of similar substance as the Father. This division was later coined the Arian…

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    The most famous being the Arian controversy. In 318, Arius, a presbyter in charge of a local Church in Alexandria formulated a theory that challenged the views of his Bishop, Alexander of Alexandria and the ‘orthodox’ Christology (Hanson, 1998, pp3). Arius began teaching that Jesus is not one of the essential Godheads. Arius furthered this by teaching; Jesus is nothing more than a mere creation of the Father, a creation which is not in any position to save humanity (Wiles, 1996, pp5-8). Although…

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    The Arian Heresy

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    The first great heresy for the Christian religion is considered to be the Arian heresy-- with the name deriving from its most influential preacher, a parish priest named Arius from Antioch. The Arian heresy arose, in the year 318, from the fact that it was difficult to explain the difference between “the One and the Many, between the ultimate unity that lay behind the visible universe and the incapable variety that exists in the world as we know it”. Arius resolved this problem by preaching…

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    Schism In Christianity

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    The move into the Christian-Roman period, or the early Medieval/Dark Ages marked an important point in Catholic Christianity’s history, and allowed controversies over the teaching and practice of religious doctrines throughout Christianity to present themselves. Leaders within the churches convened in order to form unanimous and unwavering principles as answers to the essential questions of teaching orthodox faith. These debates would be called Ecumenical Councils, settling disputes regarding…

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    The Effects of the Third Ecumenical Council on the Representation of Marian Doctrine in the Fifth-Century Church According to Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia (2014), an ecumenical council was “assembly convened to deliberate and decide on ecclesiastical doctrine and on other matters affecting the interests of the Christian church.” In the Early church, ecumenical councils were called to discuss and expound upon the doctrine being formed within the church. They centered around heresy and…

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