Did Most Early Christians Believe The Divinity of Christ?

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by RJM Corbet, Mar 16, 2021.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    HOW ONE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN SEES IT – THIS DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A PROOF, JUST A PERSPECTIVE.

    For the Trinitarian, the World is Trinity-shaped. It was from its very foundation. It exists in three physical dimensions. The mystique of the number three is because of the Trinity, not the other way round; the triunes in the speculative thinking across cultures is a grasping towards that ontological metaphysical truth: that before ought else, there was God, and God is One, and God is Three.

    In the Hebrew Scriptures we have the opening verses of the Book of Genesis, or the angels at Mambre:
    "And the Lord appeared to him in the vale of Mambre as he was sitting at the door of his tent, in the very heat of the day. And when he had lifted up his eyes, there appeared to him three men standing near him: and as soon as he saw them he ran to meet them from the door of his tent, and adored down to the ground. And he said: Lord, if I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away from thy servant." (Genesis 18:1-3)

    Christians like to point this text out, but these texts do not constitute a proof or even a revelation of the Blessed Trinity – it is just that we see it as something Trinity-shaped, Trinity-informed – we see a correlation.

    Likewise in the Moslem tradition, there is the Hadith of the Hidden Treasure, the first part of which concerns us here:
    "I was a hidden treasure; I wanted to be known..."

    The 'I' refers to God, and in this we can see God reflecting upon His own nature as something other than Himself, something known to Himself as a 'hidden treasure', and God's desire for it – for Himself – to be known.

    For us, the Trinity is an answer to the question, 'why is there anything at all?

    Moreover, to the Trinitarian, if there is God and there is 'other-than-God', then the principle of 'otherness' must be in the Divine before it can be. The idea of multiplicity must be in the One before it can be in the many.

    To the Trinitarian, this bears the imprint of the Trinity, expressed in psychological analogy, as Augustine was to deploy to offer an analogy of the Trinity: God's Being, God's Knowing, God's Willing.

    God is love (cf John 3:16, 1 John 4:7), and again that principle must exist in God before creation; For 'love' to be there must be subject and object, so again a Trinity, Lover, Beloved, and the Love in common. God is One, and God is Three.

    In one sense, Being necessarily proceeds God's Knowing, and Willing proceeds from Being and Knowing, but God is One, immutable, eternal, God does not exist within any order of temporal or a spatial framework, so God's Being is God's Knowing is God's Willing, they are Three and they are One, distinct yet without separation (in space), without priority (in time):
    God's Being is wholly and entirely His Knowing and Willing; and
    God's Knowing is wholly and entirely His Being and Willing; and
    God's Willing is wholly and Entirely His Being and Knowing.

    All three permeate each other in an eternal flow, a 'motionless dynamic' which later theologians termed perichoreisis (Gk) or circumincession (Lt).
     
  2. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    Yes, thankyou for the post.
    As I'm sure you have noticed, I consider theology as a branch of philosophy that depends on logic.
    Logic applying to ALL aspects of our existence, including science, humanities, scriptures etc. .. and basic common sense.
    ..rather than philosophising about whether God could be connected with some number other than one for some reason.

    I believe Augustine's approach, was one of making sense of what writings he had in his possession.
    The Catholic Bible canon was set at the Council of Rome (382) and Augustine of Hippo lived from 354 – 430 AD
     
  3. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Ok Muhammad
     
  4. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Indeed, but Revelation itself does not depend on human logic. Theology is the logical reasoning of an accepted revelation.

    Logic is a means of reasoning according to an a priori set of principles, logic does not determine those principles, rather it argues them after the fact.

    Logic cannot prove Moses was 'the father of the Prophets' or that Jesus was the Son of God or that Muhammad is the Seal of the Prophets – these are articles of faith, not logic. Each religion builds a theology based on what it accepts as Revelation.
     
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Just to correct that.

    The point is the articles have been shown to draw erroneous conclusions – not intentionally, necessarily, but we now know, in light of evidence that I have to say was available at the time, that the assertions are substantially wrong.

    Were they in print, they would simply cease to be printed, in the same way that a scientific thesis, once shown to be false or flawed, ceases to be promulgated. Because they're on the web, this throws up a whole new dimension: is it censorship to take down material that is known to be false, inaccurate, erroneous? I do not have an answer – but where error abounds, it should be corrected wherever possible.
     
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  6. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    That's correct.
    ..which is why I asked who put the gospel of John in the Bible?
    I doubt very much if it was the idea of Arius or Eusebius of Nicomedia (died 341) :)

    ..in case you missed it..

    ..logic shows us that God cannot be created as He is eternal.
    Therefore, suggesting that a large number of people would believe that Jesus is God
    and also be created [ there is a time when the Son was not ], is suggesting that a large number of people are stupid.
    I don't think that they are.

    ..and blaming it on such a concept as "before the ages" is just another diversion, isn't it?
     
  7. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    True..

    Err .. no. The Bible is still in print isn't it? ;)
    No, seriously, there are many books still in print that are of a dubious nature.
     
  8. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    There from the get-go ...

    LOL, You might want to check your sources ... :rolleyes:

    Er, I think you definitely, really ought to check your sources ...
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2021
  9. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep, fair point.

    And there are no doubt many really good books, of a quite profound nature, that are out of print. I can think of a few ...
     
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  10. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    Do we really need to dredge through all of that again? :)

    https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/arian-christian-bible-st-matthew-mark-and-luke/1102019356

    ..just an example that I'm not the only one to think so.
    I am fully aware that Arians did not have that paperback book in their churches :D

    My sources are my grey matter :)

    NB I haven't been diagnosed as clinically insane
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2021
  11. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    I am at peace with God.
    I am at peace with myself.
    I am at peace with Christians [ of any sect ].
    I am at peace with atheists.
    etc.
    The only time I am not at peace with anybody, is when they are aggressive or oppressive.

    Only God knows what is in a person's heart. I do not believe in an unfair judgement by God.
    Whether we are called Arians or Wahabis or Trinitarians , is really beside the point.
    We have to "look" deep down into our souls .. what do we see?
     
  12. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    ..so John tells us that we have an eternal Logos [ John 1:1 In the beginning there was a Logos.. ]
    John also tells us in John 1:14 "And the Logos was made flesh, and dwelt among us.."
    i.e. the Logos is actually the Son

    If the Arians believed "There is a time when the Son was not", then how could they have believed in the gospel of John?
    Logic shows us that the Arians are saying that the Son [ or John's Logos ] is NOT from "the beginning", surely?

    ..so @Thomas , what sources do you suggest I check?

    Personally, I don't blame anybody for being misled. We all get misled from time to time.
    I think it's only when we delve deep down into a subject that we may realise.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2021
  13. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Nope. It's listed in the earliest sources, that's all.

    LOL, for a minute there, I thought you were serious!

    You do know the Arians cite John as the basic premise of their argument, right?
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2021
  14. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    No, I don't. Do you?
    ..or is that what we are supposed to believe :(
     
  15. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Seriously?

    Can I just check – what do you think the Arians based their beliefs on?
     
  16. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    You can "check" .. but how's about responding to post #92 first .. please?
     
  17. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Well if you actually read Arius ... but as you won't allow him to speak for himself, how can you know what they thought or believed?
     
  18. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    I've agreed with you already about that.
    Do you not follow my logical reasoning in post #92 ?

    What is wrong with it?
    How can Arius logically believe that the Logos/Son is eternal, but still claim that "There is a time when the Son was not" ?
    They couldn't have. It therefore follows that they reject the gospel of John.

    I don't HAVE to depend on second-hand accounts of what Arius is reported to have said.
    Logical reasoning takes precedence.

    I have already said that historians unanimously agree that Arians believed that
    "There is a time when the Son was not" .. we are all agreed on that.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2021
  19. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Arius reasoned that the Son was begotten before time began, and was responsible, with the Father, for creating time.
    https://www.interfaith.org/community/threads/19662/page-8 #150
    Doubtful speculation that Arius a Christian Bishop rejected the Johannine parts of the NT.
    It would be more logical to accept the evidence letters of Arius himself, than to reason that a Bishop rejected the Gospel of John 1700 years ago because you logically deduce it?
    There was no time before time. Spirit is not subject to time.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2021
  20. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, but as they depend of stuff you skeptically dismiss, obviously your logic takes precedence.
     

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