Trinity Theology

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Trinity Theology

Trinity Theology


The doctrines of the Christian priest of Alexandria, probably of Libyan origin, gave rise to Arianism. His doctrine, considered unorthodox by the Church, denied the divinity of Jesus Christ, as God the Father existed before him, and his creation out of nothing. Arius was a priest ordained in the year 311, developed from the doctrine of Paul of Samosata, bishop of Antioch. His preaching led him to be excommunicated by Patriarch Alexander in 319.

However, the increase of his followers led Emperor Constantine to convene an ecumenical council at Nicaea, which, under the influence of St. Athanasius (new Patriarch of Alexandria), proclaimed the Catholic dogma of the consubstantiality of Father and Son in one God. Constantine sent Arius into exile, and allowed him to return three years later, perhaps under the influence of some characters of the Arians of the court. Thereafter, Arianism enjoyed some official protection, allowing even to oust St. Anastasius, the Patriarchate of Alexandria and sent into exile, while initiating the prosecution of the defenders of the doctrine of Nicaea (Witherington 2005, pp. 129-194).

Arius's death, the following year, did not stop the spread of his doctrine. There was a new eastern emperor, Constantius II (337-61), who openly declared himself an Arian. At the same time, his brother Constans, emperor of the West, defended Catholicism. After the death of Constant in 350, Constantius became the sole emperor, with determination to promote Arianism and persecute the Catholic faith.

The Arian heresy then began to disintegrate into several different trends of Christological doctrines more or less radical. His influence began to decline with the work of St. Athanasius and St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan, and died with access to the imperial throne of Theodosius (379). It gave an edict in, which he called the Arian heretics and of "reckless extravagant".

Finally, the Council of Constantinople of 381 condemned the Arianism, which virtually eliminated him in the Empire, and remained strong among the Germanic peoples who invaded the empire. They slowly abandoned Arianism to convert to the Catholic faith, so that they could have the support of the Church. Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Vandals, Burgundians, and Lombards were Arians at some point, the latter until the seventh century (Hebblethwaite 1980, pp. 157-164).


A Problem for Theology

The nature of Jesus was the more complex problem of the early centuries of Christianity as revealed in theological discussions. In the first centuries of Christianity, there was the problem of the relationship of the Son and God. These are the Christological disputes.

Originally, as a messiah, people thought Christ as a mere mortal, which God chose for his designs; to this doctrine was called Adoptionism. However, the Church was growing in importance pertaining to the dogma that Christ was always the Son of God, who descended to the earth to redeem human beings. This new doctrine was called Incarnation. This new conception of the nature of Christ brought with it a number of theological problems, as discussed whether Christ was a divine or human, or ...
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