Research Paper Christology

A major fourth century heresy was Arianism, named after a priest of Alexandria, Arius (256-336 A.

D.) who was taught and mentored by Lucian of Antioch.

Arianism in summary, denied the divinity of Jesus Christ.

In 318 Arius wrote: “the Son is only a creature, made out of nothing, like all other created beings.

” Peter was able to answer categorically to Him: “You are the Christ.” Yet, when Christ asked, “Who do men say that I am?

” his disciples answered: “John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets” (Mark , 28).They were forced to articulate their experiences out of necessity and not for want of philosophical interest.They had to explicitly find the words to document what they believed based on a tangible experience of Christ, as opposed to what they did not believe or which deviated from Christ’s own teachings and those of the Apostles.Christology is the meeting point between the human nature of Christ (the Son of Man), and the divine nature of Christ (the Son of God, the Word of God, the Divine Logos) represented together in the one person (Gk prosopon, πρόσωπον) without mixture.Departing from the truth of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church is not only dangerous but destructive because it disrupts the transformative process of theosis that can be attained, since Christ died for our sins on the cross, for one truth not several relative truths.Thus, the Apostles communicated their eyewitness experience to their disciples through oral transmission, who then communicated it down the continuum of the Church generation after generation, which we now know as Holy Tradition.But gradually, the Church had to use written formulations based on the original preaching of the Gospel to dispel certain points of view that were deemed to be inconsistent with the deposit of faith (Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition).Diluting the truth or changing it in any way, has detrimental ripple effects for the at large but also for the impact it would have on believers as their faith would be based on a moving target.I hope to prove that heresy predominantly took the form of either denying Christ’s divinity (in extreme forms of anthropological maximalism), or denying Christ’s humanity (in extreme forms of anthropological minimalism), consequentially imbalancing the doctrine of the Holy Trinity formed by the consensus of the Early Church Fathers.Of course, unrelated to heresy, there were also those Early Church Fathers who emphasised the divine nature over and above the human nature of Christ (anthropological minimalism, e.g.the Alexandrian school of thought that emphasised the ) (Rausch, 2003: 153).

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