THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE

History is written by the victors.

Trinitarian Proof-text Proof

´In fact, if we concentrate on the entire body of Christian literature rather than on the apologetic corpus, it becomes evident that the basis for the fullest statement of the Christian doctrine of the divine in Christ as Logos was provided not by its obvious documentation in John 1: 1-14 but by 1Proverbs 8:22-31 (LXX) ² which may, for that 8:22matter, have been more prominent in the background of the Johanine prologue than theologians have recognized.µ Pelikan The Christian Tradition P 186

The Pre-existent Son Pre

It has become part of the conventional scholarly wisdom that in the New Testament ´Son of Godµ had referred to the historical person of Jesus, not to a preexistent being. Therefore ´the transfer of the concept ¶Son· to the preexistent Christ is the most significant factor in the pluralistic distortion of the Christian doctrine of God .. and the monstrosities of the Monophysitic Christology.µ Pelikan The Christian Tradition

Homoousios 

This came to describe the nature of the Three Persons in one. 

coined by Gnostic heretics, dictated by an unbaptized emperor, jeopardized by naïve defenders, but eventually vindicated by its orthodox opponents. P 210

Interpenetration/Circumincession 

In other words, the nature of each is fully contained in the others and each participates fully in the work of the others, yet each remains distinct.

Unbiblical Titles  

The bible does not speak of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. It speaks of God the Father, the Son of God Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

The Name of God cont·d 

´Following the instructions of Holy Scripture, we have been taught that [the nature of God] is beyond names or human speech. We say that every [divine] name, be it invented by human custom or handed on to us by the tradition of the Scriptures, represents our conceptions of the divine nature, but does not convey the meaning of that nature in itself.µ And the specific ´nameµ to which he was applying this stricture was ´Godhead [qeovthV]µ itself, the very title he [qeovthV]µ used in his accommodation to Greek theism. Pelikan The Christian Tradition P 222

God is not God!!?? 

In a derivative or a metaphorical sense ² as passages like Psalm 82:6, interpreted through John 10:34, showed ² the term ´godµ could be applied to creatures. But when the church applied it to Christ, it was contendingµ not for the name ¶God,· for its sound or its written form, but for the substances to which the name belongs.µ Pelikan The Christian Tradition Vol 1

God is not God!!?? cont·d  

Just as Oneness believers attest that the bible speaks of the man Christ Jesus from both a divine and human perspective, Trinitarians attest that the term God in scripture sometimes means person of God and at other times means nature of God. However, the latter cannot be proven.

God is not God!!?? cont·d 

There is only one person that has His nature, not three. 

´Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; (Hebrews 1:3 )µ

Impassible 

Although he was said to suffer in the flesh, impassibility continued to be characteristic of him insofar as he was God. He was incapable of suffering of his flesh could be said to be his own. But then the question was : ´In what sense does not [the impassible Logos] himself suffer?µ Pelikan The Christian Tradition p231

Impassible cont·d 

To the early anti-modalistic trinitarians, it antiis acceptable that the God the Son was incarnate in flesh and did not suffer but, if you say that God the Father was incarnate in flesh you are a patripassionist. If divinity can·t suffer how does the label patripassionist warrant any merit. It is misinformed rhetoric.

1 to 3 to 1?  

There IS definitely a scriptural distinction between the God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. This distinction is one of manifestation and not persons. Orthodoxy can misinterpret scripture to create an illusion of three persons, but this doctrine by itself is tritheism.

1 to 3 to 1?  

Their claim to monotheism is the portion of the doctrine that claims that three share the same substance. This cannot be found in scripture anywhere. In other words they can expand Him into three, but they can·t put Him back together again. When the bible says God is one it is not talking just in nature but in person. Not one in unity, but singular, numerical oneness.

The Cop Out 

Gregory of Nyssa was willing to look for rational supports in his reflection on the One and the Three; but if none were forthcoming, it was most important to ´guard the tradition we have received from the fathers, as ever sure and immovable, and seek from the Lord a means of defending our faith.µ P 223

Source 

´Ancient Champions of Oneness: An Investigation of the Doctrine of God in Church Historyµ by William B. Chalfant (Pentecostal Publishing House)

Monarchianism  

monarchian from Greek words meaning ´one rule,µ referring to the one, sovereign God who rules the universe. Two types that are often mistaken as the same: 


Dynamic Monarchianism Modalistic Monarchianism (modalism)

Dynamic Monarchianism 

Adoptionism 

The belief that Jesus was not Christ until He was baptized and the Holy Spirit descended upon him. 

Theodotus of Byzantium was disfellowshipped by Victor of Rome because it did not believe Christ was God at His incarnation.

Modalistic Monarchiansim 

Also known as Asiatic modalism. modalism. 

Asiatic because the belief is that it originated and exclusively resided in Asia Minor.

The Patripassionist Label   

As with all debates, there was rhetoric involved. The term patripassionist (literally, the Father suffered) suffered) is a term that the trinitarians used against the monarchians. In this they put words in the mouths of the monarchians saying that they claim the Father suffered. What monarchians did say,however, is that the Son suffered and the Father was in the Son. According to Monarchian doctrine, the only way the Father suffered was sympathetically.

The Patripassionist Label cont·d 

From the Trinitarian standpoint of interpenetration and circumincession: 

If their ´God the Sonµ died and God the Father takes part in all that the God the Son does, doesn·t that mean that the Father also died with the Son?

Teachers of Modalism 
    

Praxeas Noetus Zephyrinus Callistus Sabellius Victor

The First Churches 
 

Asia Minor Antioch Rome

Asia Minor 

In the New Testament 
      



Smyrna Laodicea Ephesus Sardis Thyatira Pergamos Philadelphia

Troas (?) Colossae

Asia Minor 
 

Magnesia Tralles Hierapolis

Roman Apostolic Succession 
      

Peter 42-67 AD 42Linus, 67-79 67Anacletus, 79-90 79Clement 90-99 90Evaristus, 99-107 99Alexander, 107-16 107Sixtus, 116-25 116Telesphorus, 125 ² 36 

      

Hyginus, 136-40 136Pius, 140-54 140Anicetus, 154-65 154Soter, 165-74 165Eleutherus, 174-89 174Victor, 189-98 189Zephyrinus, 198-217 198Callistus, 217-22 217-

Noetus 


From Smyrna in Asia Minor Greatest Opponent: Hippolytus 

Fought against Trinitarianism in Asia minor and then moved to Rome.

Victor 


Bishop of Rome Greatest opponent: Tertullian

Praxeas  

 

From Asia Minor, moved to Rome and then to Carthage Greatest opponent: Tertullian His name is not Praxeas but Tertullian calls him this in his Against Praxeas Praxeas means busybody

Praxeas cont·d  

Tertullian had made a strong case to Victor for Montanists being received in fellowship by the church at Rome. Praxeas became ´busybodyµ to Tertullian when he persuaded Victor to rescind his letter of fellowship.

Tertullian Fights Back 

For after the Bishop of Rome had acknowledged the prophetic gifts of Montanus, Prisca, and Maximilla, and, in consequence of the acknowledgment, had bestowed his peace on the churches of Asia and Phrygia, he, by he, importunately urging false accusations against the prophets themselves and their churches, and insisting on the authority of the bishop·s predecessors in the see, compelled him to recall the pacific letter which he had issued, as well as to desist from his purpose of acknowledging the said gifts. By this Praxeas did a twofold service for the devil at Rome: he drove away prophecy, and he brought in heresy; he put to flight the Paraclete, and he crucified the Father. Against Praxeas

Tertullian Against Praxeas 

But after all these, again, one Praxeas introduced a heresy which Victorinus was careful to corroborate. He asserts that Jesus Christ is God the Father Almighty. Him he contends to have been crucified, and suffered, and died; beside which, with a profane and sacrilegious temerity, he maintains the proposition that He is Himself sitting at His own right hand.

Zephyrinus 

Bishop of Rome 

Seceded Victor ´I know one God, Christ Jesus, and besides him no other born and suffering,µ which he announced with the limiting clause, ´the Father did not die, but the Son,µ Harnack, The History of Dogma 

Goes on record as saying: 

Callistus 

Bishop of Rome 

Was deacon to Zephyrinus and seceded him as bishop Hippolytus led a schismatic church against him. He eventually was exiled to the Sardinian mines and died shortly after his release. 

Excommunicated Hippolytus 

Sabellius 
  

Born in Ptolemais in Libya Educated in monarchianism in Rome Was the last prominent defender of monarchiansim, but the movement carried on for hundreds of years after he left. Moved to North Africa and preached in Carthage and Alexandria and spread the Oneness doctrine all over.

Sabellius  

In Rome Monarchians were known as Patripassionists In North Africa they were known as Sabellianists.

Others 

Epigonus 

Deacon to Noetus Deacon to Epigonus Was a teacher at the school at Rome. 

Cleomones 


Cleomenes 

Cleomenes and his party maintain that ´he who was nailed to the cross, who committed his spirit to himself, who died and did not die, who raised himself on the third day and rested in the grave, who was pierced with the lance and fastened with nails, was the God and Father of all.µ Harnack History of Dogma

Catholic Contradictions 

Victor, Zephyrinus, and Callistus are still recognized as popes.

Violence in Rome  

´« as the schools now attacked each other more violently, and an agreement was past hoping for, the Bishop determined to excommunicate both Sabellius and Hippolytus, the two heads of the contending factions.µ Harnack History of Dogma Callistus was murdered by trinitarian supporters.

Violence in Rome cont·d  

Apparently the sword was settled the dispute between Oneness and Trinitarianism. The next bishop elected was arguably the first Trinitarian bishop of Rome.

6Th Century Synod of Braga 

It decreed: ´If anyone does not confess that the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are three persons of one essence and virtue and power, as the catholic and apostolic church teaches, but says that [they are] a single and solitary person, in such a way that the Father is the same as the Son and this One is also the Paraclete Spirit, as Sabellius and Priscillian have said, let him be anathema [cursed].µ [cursed].µ

Scriptures that Contradict Tripersonality 

´And the use of ´Lordµ for the Spirit in 2 Corinthians 3:17 continued to require explanation even after the Trinitarian issues appeared settled.µ History of the Christian Tradition (Pelikan) (Pelikan)

Scriptures that Contradict Tripersonality cont·d  

´Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? (John 14:8-9)µ 14:8´Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very me: works' sake. (John 14:11)µ

Who Resurrected Christ? 

Tertullian argued that «. ´he who raised up Christ and is also to raise up our mortal bodies will be as it were another raiserraiser-up than the Father who died and the Father who was raised up, if it is the case that Christ who died is the Father«. Let this blasphemy be silent«µ

However, The Bible Says   

´Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up«. he spake of the temple of his body. (John 2:19 )µ ´Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;) (Galatians 1:1)µ ´But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (Ro 8:11)µ

´I Go to the Fatherµ  

´« I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; (John 16:10 )µ ´A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father. (John 16:16)µ

God·s Word Is Not Void 

This a general statement for God·s word not a prophecy 

´So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)µ

A Need for Vindication? 

Will the differences between Trinitarian and Oneness Believers ever be resolved?  

In my opinion no. Neither is it necessary for it to be. Even the first apostolic church weren·t the only ones claiming to have the truth.

The Creation 

Jesus is the Word (John 1:1, 14) of God and the world was made by the Word (Genesis 1) of God. 

Therefore when Col 1:15-16 says that Jesus 1:15made the world

When Did He Empty Himself? 
 

The Carmen Christi is believed to be a portion of an ancient Hymn. ´Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Philippians (2:6-8)µ (2:6´Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. (John 5:18)µ

The Right Hand of God  

´So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. (Mark 16:19)µ The ´right handµ is a Hebrew idiom that referred to the fulness of God·s power.

Fullness of Diety  

While the KJV says that ´all the fullness of the Godheadµ dwells in Christ, the NIV declares that ´all the fullness of deityµ dwells in Christ. They leave off the definite article (tes, or the) for a ´betterµ reading. This is significant. The tes, fullness of deity can be interpreted as ´the fullness of qualities of a deity.µ This would claim that Christ is Divine. There is nothing wrong with this translation, but the text also reveals even more than this. It literally says He is the ´fullness of the deity.µ This lifts Christ from being Divine (but in Person not solely Divine) to being the one and only Deity. ´For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. (Colossians 2:9)µ

The Glory He Shared 

The Word of God shares the glory of God. 

´And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. (John 17:5)µ

A Need for Vindication? cont·d
The Apostolic Church was always fighting false docrine.  This is why we must: 

´Earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered unto us. (Jude 1:3)µ