The Doctrine of the Trinity in History – Doctrine 101


This week’s lesson is a little different. Rather than reading a book and filling out a worksheet, we are asked to:

  1. Listen to the audio file The Doctrine of the Trinity in History, taking notes.
  2. Produce an outline summary of the presentation.
  3. Submit your summary to your mentor.

Thank God for the newly free A/V Controls in QuickTime player, which make it easy to skim through and take notes (don’t worry, I already listened to the whole thing while working out :-).

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Love the truth, paid a huge price
Fishing/sinning story (peche)
Being picky: fight for a tiny little detail

4th Century relevant to War of Terrorism today

Time of controversy in Constantine’s newly Christianized empire, newly public church
Arius in Alexandria

Bishop Alexander kicked him out
Bishop Eusebius took him in
Arius debating with pagan polytheists, emphasizing one God
Asserted that Christ was first creation of God, a sub-god

“Son has a beginning; there was when he was not.”
“Begotten implies a beginning”
“Firstborn of all creation” – heir, not prior birth
genos — means genetic identity, “kind”, not necessarily birth
If Jesus changed to exist, then could change in other ways…

First Council — all the (formerly persecuted) bishops

Eusebius presented Arius’ case
Alexander presented Athanasius argument
Only two agreed with Arius
Emperor pressured them into signing a creed (+anathemas)
“Begotten, not made”

Athanasius was persecuted, exiled multiple times

“One substance” homoousious vs. homoiousious “Like substance”
where Athanasius was losing is where Islam rules now

Today: clash between Islam and Christianty or false vs. true church

Truth, not just Spirituality
Jesus is God, not just teacher or role model we can actually become
Bridge supported on both ends (Jesus as human and God)


Only God has authority to define good and bad
If Jesus human, his finite mind cannot comprehend/represent all of God
Messenger, not The Message
If Jesus a creature, he’s also separated from God, cannot provide for us
Our salvation requires infinite work of an infinite being

God’s gift vs. our earning

“Propitiation” – obtain a favorable attitude from God;
God doing his best for Man, vs. Man doing his best for God
God has not come to us, shared our pain

We do not have the righteousness of God
Christ is not truly the source of life, cannot give us all that

Jesus is worthy of worship

Only valid if he’s God, not a creature
Is our desire to worship him good or bad?

If you know me, you know the father

Are we prepared to pay the price that Athanasius payed?

Imam in Mecca; meets Jesus as bus driver
What Islam needs to know is not Jesus the prophet, but God in Jesus

We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten of the Father, that is, of the substance [ek tes ousias] of the Father, God of God, light of light, true God of true God, begotten not made, of the same substance with the Father [homoousion to patri], through whom all things were made both in heaven and on earth; who for us men and our salvation descended, was incarnate, and was made man, suffered and rose again the third day, ascended into heaven and cometh to judge the living and the dead. And in the Holy Ghost.

Those who say: There was a time when He was not, and He was not before He was begotten; and that He was made our of nothing (ex ouk onton); or who maintain that He is of another hypostasis or another substance [than the Father], or that the Son of God is created, or mutable, or subject to change, [them] the Catholic Church anathematizes.

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