Arian Christology

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by muhammad_isa, Feb 19, 2021.

  1. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2019
    Messages:
    2,217
    Likes Received:
    400
    I do reject it as being "what the Arians believed".

    "It is held for certain that there is one God, the Father Almighty, as also is preached in all the world. "

    That is the opening statement of what the Roman church refers to as "the Blasphemy of Sirmium".

    I assume you are aware, that wikipedia can be edited by many people with varying views.
    Each wiki page has a "talk page" discussing the various disagreements that inevitably arise.
    Nothing is perfect. It is not sancrosanct :)

    I like wikipedia .. it is a good source of knowledge, and I will continue to quote it.
    If I quote anything that you think is inaccurate, then you can say so.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2021
  2. 2ndpillar

    2ndpillar Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    6
    Wouldn't it be easier to just quote about Arianism from a different source than wikipedia? I use wikipedia, but if Thomas can't abide it, there are more sources.

    Arianism | Definition, History, & Controversy | Britannica
    https://www.britannica.com/topic/Arianism
    Beliefs. Arianism is often considered to be a form of Unitarian theology in that it stresses God’s unity at the expense of the notion of the Trinity, the doctrine that three distinct persons are united in one Godhead. Arius’s basic premise was the uniqueness of God, who is alone self-existent (not dependent for its existence on anything else) and immutable; the Son, who is not self-existent, cannot therefore be …
     
  3. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2018
    Messages:
    2,307
    Likes Received:
    1,015
    Let's start from some basics then, I'll summarize my understanding:

    Arius believed, to the best of our knowledge:
    1. God the Father to be without origin, uncreated, divine
    2. Jesus to be created, with an origin in time, also divine
    3. in one God rather than many.

    His Christology had to harmonize Jesus' divinity with monotheism. His was a different solution than that of the Nicaean council.

    Sound right?
     
    ScholarlySeeker likes this.
  4. ScholarlySeeker

    ScholarlySeeker Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2021
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    113
    OK, this to me is a great base to begin with. God, after all, can only be One, since in the problem of the One and the Many, everything else being the Many presupposes that there has to be a One, or Many cannot exist on a logical basis. Hope I am not muddying the water here. Not tryin to I promise.
     
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Messages:
    11,584
    Likes Received:
    2,040
    In the letter of Arius to Eusebius of Nicomedia (c318), we have his complaint that his bishop is teaching error, namely that:
    "... there was 'always a God, always a Son;' 'as soon as the Father, so soon the Son (existed);' 'with the Father co-exists the Son unbegotten, ever-begotten, begotten without begetting;' 'God neither precedes the Son in aspect or in a moment of time;' 'always a God, always a Son, the Son being from God himself.' "

    Whereas:

    "... what do we say and think and what have we previously taught and do we presently teach? That the Son is not unbegotten, nor a part of an unbegotten entity in any way, nor from anything in existence, but that he (the Son) is subsisting in will and intention before time and before the ages, fully God, the only-begotten, unchangeable." (emphasis mine)

    "... Before he was begotten, or created, or defined, or established, he did not exist. For he was not unbegotten. But we are persecuted because we have said the Son has a beginning but God has no beginning. We are persecuted because of that and for saying he came from non-being. But we said this since he is not a portion of God nor of anything in existence. That is why we are persecuted; you know the rest."

    What was contended then, was that "there was a time when He was not" and this became something of a mantra for the Arians.

    Eusebius replied, and we possess this fragment:
    "Since you think properly, pray that everyone will think that way. For it is clear to all that the thing which is made did not exist before it came into being; but rather what came into being has a beginning to its existence."

    Meanwhile we have a fragment of a letter from another Eusebius, this time of Caesarea to Euphration of Balanea:
    "For we do not say that the Son is coexisting with the Father, but instead that the Father existed before the Son. For if they coexisted, how could the Father be a father, and the Son be a son? Or how could one indeed be the first, and the other second? And how could one be unbegotten and the other begotten? For the two, if they are equal, likewise exist mutually and are honoured equally, one must conclude that either they are both unbegotten or both begotten, as I have said, but it is clear that neither of these is true. For they are neither both unbegotten nor both begotten. For one is indeed the first and best and leads to/precedes the second, both in order and in honour, so that he is the occasion for the second’s existing and for his existing in this particular way."

    The contrary view, which in retrospect we know see as Trinitarian, held by a number of Fathers:
    "Jesus Christ ... was with the Father before the beginning of time, and in the end was revealed" (Ignatius of Antioch Letter to the Magnesians 6 110AD).

    "God begot before all creatures a beginning, who was a certain rational power from himself and whom the Holy Spirit calls ... sometimes the Son ... sometimes Lord and Word." (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho the Jew 61, c.155AD.)

    "(The Gnostics) transfer the generation of the uttered word of men to the eternal Word of God, attributing to him a beginning of utterance and a coming into being ... In what manner, then, would the word of God – indeed, the great God himself, since he is the Word – differ from the word of men?” (Irenaeus Against Heresies 2:13:8 c.185AD).

    "God says, 'Let there be light' (Gen. 1:3), this is the perfect nativity of the Word, while he is proceeding from God... Thus, the Father makes him equal to himself, and the Son, by proceeding from him, was made the first-begotten, since he was begotten before all things, and the only-begotten, because he alone was begotten of God, in a manner peculiar to himself, from the womb of his own heart, to which even the Father himself gives witness: 'My heart has poured forth my finest Word' [Ps. 45:1-2]” (Tertullian Against Praxeas 7:1 c.220AD).

    "Therefore, this sole and universal God, by reflecting, first brought forth the Word – not a word as in speech, but as a mental word, the reason for everything... The Word was the cause of those things which came into existence, carrying out in himself the will of him by whom he was begotten... Only (God’s) Word is from himself and is therefore also God, becoming the substance of God" (Hippolytus Philosophoumena or Refutation of All Heresies 10:33 c.225AD).

    "So also Wisdom, since he proceeds from God, is generated from the very substance of God" (Origen Commentaries on Hebrews c.240).

    "There is one God, the Father of the living Word, who is his subsistent wisdom and power and eternal image: perfect begetter of the perfect begotten, Father of the only-begotten Son. There is one Lord, only of the only, God of God, image and likeness of deity, efficient Word, wisdom comprehensive of the constitution of all things, and power formative of the whole creation, true Son of true Father" (Gregory the Wonderworker Declaration of Faith 265AD).

    "When we speak of God the Father and God the Son, we do not speak of them as different, nor do we separate them, because the Father cannot exist without the Son, nor can the Son be separated from the Father, since the name of ‘Father’ cannot be given without the Son, nor can the Son be begotten without the Father... They both have one mind, one spirit, one substance" (Lactantius Divine Institutes 4:28–29 307AD).

    In the above, we can see the general idea of the Son as eternal, co-existing and consubstantial with the Father, although not yet expressed in firm definitions. These definitions, which become dogmas, are necessary in the face of error. On the whole the Church is loathe to 'define' more than it need.

    That God transcends the temporal order is a given. When asked what God was doing before he created the world, Origen argues that 'time' and 'the world' are coeval (On First Principles 3.5.3).

    This is a key to Origen's thinking. The Son, the Logos, is the wisdom and power of the Father (1 Corinthians 1.24) and that the world was created through him (Hebrews 1.2). The Logos/Son is He whom "the Lord possessed me at the beginning of his ways" (Proverbs 8:22) and in Wisdom 7.26 is "the brightness of eternal light and the mirror of God's unspotted majesty and the image of His goodness."

    To Origen, these texts clearly cannot imply that the Son has a temporal beginning. It is inconceivable that the Father could ever have lacked wisdom, and equally inconceivable to Origen that this wisdom could ever have taken a different form from the one that it now possesses as the second person or hypostasis of the Trinity (Princ. 1.2.2). He is the first theologian to state unequivocally that the “three hypostases” which constitute the Trinity are eternal not only in nature, but in their hypostatic character; there was never a time when wisdom was the latent thought of the Father and had not yet come forth as speech.

    If the Father begets not in time – as Arius asserts – it is a mistake to think of a time-before-time, as it is clear that time is dependent first of all on movement, and God is the Motionless Mover, He does not move, in the sense that He is not determined , defined, described or delineated in time. If God begets before time, then God begets in eternity, and God begets eternally.

    Origen rejects Arius's "There was a time when He was not" because there is no such time.

    Origen’s proposal was simple: If God is the Father, then He is always, eternally, unchangingly, Father. It cannot be that there was a time when the Father was not Father, any more than there could be a time when God was not God. Rather He is the Father and He begets the Son, eternally. God's Son is God's own self-knowledge. The begetting is not a one-time event, it’s a dynamic, a continuum. If God is Creator then it is in His nature to be so.

    Arius cannot escape ascribing contingency and finitude to the Father.
     
    A Cup Of Tea and RJM Corbet like this.
  6. ScholarlySeeker

    ScholarlySeeker Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2021
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    113
    All the wrangling and bother... sigh... and so much time was lost and is lost continuing the wrangling that still is utterly irrelevant to spirituality, at least so far as I can see. But then again, it is the way of orthodox organized religion eh? GRIN! They gotta have some reason to exist, I suppose. To me it is all so wearying... usually seldom uplifting. Jesus was right, Love your neighbor as yourself, all else is secondary, including whatever about God you wish to propose.

    God is love, spread Him. That to me is the far superior issue than anything through the centuries that has been argued and fought over. If we focus on that, it's a win-win.
     
    Thomas likes this.
  7. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    5,725
    Likes Received:
    1,129
    Part of it may be literal human use and understanding of the words Father and Son, to express the God/Christ relationship? God extends far beyond the human conception of Father, as does Christ beyond the human conception of Son.

    Perhaps it is more like a way of trying verbally to express the never ending movement between the eternal unbegotten vertical (non)polarity of Spirit as it weaves and begets the time-bound horizontal polarity of nature?

    Trying to explain quantum mechanics, using grade school arithmetic, kinda stuff ... ?
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2021
    ScholarlySeeker likes this.
  8. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Messages:
    11,584
    Likes Received:
    2,040
    Actually, it's utterly relevant to Christian spirituality! :D

    The goal of Christian spirituality is theosis, deification or divinisation, a union of participation in the Divine, the archetype and principle of which is the Incarnation. Athanasius of Alexandria wrote, "He, indeed, assumed humanity that we might become God." (On the Incarnation, 8, 54). If Arius is right, and Athanasius wrong, then that spiritual path is severely curtailed to a much closer horizon.

    Well, as I said before, show me a 'disorganised/unorganised religion' and I'll show you nothing made good.

    They – and I mean both sides of the debate – saw the transmission of truth as important.

    Without it ...
    How would we know?

    Why?

    How would we know?
     
  9. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2019
    Messages:
    2,217
    Likes Received:
    400
    God knows best why somebody would post a long essay in this thread, and ignore the OP ;)
     
  10. ScholarlySeeker

    ScholarlySeeker Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2021
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    113
    I suspect so, truly.
     
    RJM Corbet likes this.
  11. ScholarlySeeker

    ScholarlySeeker Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2021
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    113
    Only because then it appears it needs to make opposition out of all things instead of assimilation into all things. Organized religion usually has no choice but to make it an us/vs them, as Richard Rohr has shown. The only difference we have to overcome is between God and us, not an us and them on this plane. This is the stuff of wars, not peace. At least that is how it appears to me to be.
     
  12. ScholarlySeeker

    ScholarlySeeker Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2021
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    113
    Because of a direct connection and His word to you personally. If you don't have that you ain't got nuthin.....GRIN!
     
  13. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    5,725
    Likes Received:
    1,129
    Fully God and fully man, suspended between the. horizontal axis of nature and the vertical axis of spirit.

    The whole difference between the Christ and other so-called messengers -- by his own life demonstrating and fulfilling the mysteries of the Father, from Adam, to the final redeeming sacrifice.

    All the pain of humanity, all the resurrection and redemption of humanity -- in Christ by his own life all things expressed and fulfilled and explained.

    Imo ...
     
    Thomas likes this.
  14. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2019
    Messages:
    2,217
    Likes Received:
    400
    What has that got to do with Arian Christology?
     
    RJM Corbet likes this.
  15. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    5,725
    Likes Received:
    1,129
    The life and crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, you mean?
     
  16. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    5,725
    Likes Received:
    1,129
    Perhaps you think Arianism somehow disputes the life of Christ? You seem to think that Arianism somehow demonstrates that Trinitarian Christianity was falsely created by Constantine, in order to promote the concept of a divine Jesus as Sol Invitus, for his own purposes of conquest?

    In other words you seem to think that by 'proving' Arianism, the whole rest of Christianity has to fall apart -- the crucifixion and the resurrection and the divinity of Christ?

    But that's entirely not the case. Arianism was an 'inhouse' discussion, not about the divinity or the validity or the life of Christ, and not about the crucifixion or the Resurrection -- but of an ancient knife-edge philosophical discussion between Fathers of the church, about the nature of Christ, when it was of real interest that these these things were being debated.
     
  17. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2019
    Messages:
    2,217
    Likes Received:
    400
    Not at all .. I'm saying that they were Unitarians.
    Do you consider Unitarians as non-Christians?
     
  18. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    5,725
    Likes Received:
    1,129
    No. Why should it matter?
     
  19. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    5,725
    Likes Received:
    1,129
    It's weird you think I worry about who 'is a Christian'
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  20. Tone Bristow-Stagg

    Tone Bristow-Stagg Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2021
    Messages:
    350
    Likes Received:
    95
    Why do you think the Bible talks about a New Jerusalem and that Christ would come with a new Name?

    Regards Tony
     

Share This Page