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How to Understand the Trinity

Arianism

Postby Bulging Knee » Sun Dec 31, 2017 4:47 pm

`Do you ever ponder, whether Arianism (Christianity without the trinity) was right? I recently learned that Arianism (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arianism) used to be a genuine christian teaching. Given the fact that Trinity is a concept that is kind of hard to explain, I was wondering why not more congregations/denominations have adopted a similar view, as Arianism did in the early history of christianity. What is your personal view?
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Re: Arianism

Postby jimwalton » Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:35 pm

Dr. Joe Boot explains why the Trinity is necessary, and therefore why Arianism is impossible: "If God is not the triune Lord revealed in Jesus Christ, then the doctrine of creation is rendered impossible, and man is part of a cosmic chain of being. This is because a monadic conception of God as some kind of singularity leaves us with the emptiness and void of non-personality as ultimate. If there is no plurality within God’s being, then there is no subject-object relationship, no particularity, only a blank unity. In such a view of God there can be no foundation for knowledge, love, morality, or ethics. Indeed, without an absolute personality, there is no diversity or distinction basic to reality at all; ultimate reality is a bare unity about which nothing may be said. This is why the Trinity is so important in tackling the philosophical problem of the one and the many. Moreover, because a denial of the Trinity leads to a denial of an absolute personality, we cannot speak coherently of the will of God. Only persons have a will. But if God has no will, then creation is not the free act of an absolute, personal God. Rather, the universe is the emanation of divine being, and what we call the universe is merely the extension of god, or, as some pagans would say, it is the body of god."

Arius may have had good intentions (to help Christianity avoid drifting into polytheism), but his conclusions were untenable, and the early church knew it. Arianism may have been accepted by certain groups of people, but was soundly rejected as heresy by many of the early Christian leaders: The Council of Nicea (several hundred bishops, where Arius was almost unanimously disavowed), Athanasius, Hosius, Basil, Gregory, Ambrose, Augustine, and the Council of Constantinople. The position of the Church Fathers was that the full deity of Christ was essential for salvation. If Christ is not both fully man and fully God, He is incapable of bringing man to God.


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