Posts tagged ‘Arianism’

November 17th, 2013

Ambrose of Milan

by Max Andrews

St. Ambrose of Milan (AD 339-397) is one of the four traditional Doctors of the Latin church along with St. Jerome (345-420), St. Augustine (354-430), and St. Gregory the Great (530-604). Ambrose was born into the increasingly prevalent Christian minority of the aristocracy. His father was Praetorian prefect of Gaul.  His father died not long after he was born, leaving his mother and sister to raise him.  His training was in law, and included a knowledge of Greek.  He followed his father into the imperial administration and, after practicing in Roman law courts, was appointed governor of Aemilia-Liguria, ca. 370, the seat of which was Milan.

May 19th, 2013

Was Constantine a Christian or Pagan?

by Max Andrews

From the time that Constantine’s (AD 227-337) father died (306) until Constantine challenged Maxentius at Milvian bridge (312), he was consolidating his position of power in Gaul and Britain.  Even at this early date he showed the same military and political acumen that he would later exhibit as emperor:  He strengthened his defenses against the barbarians along the Rhine, winning the gratitude of his French subjects.  He did not impose onerous taxes on the people, and entertained the bloodthirsty among them with frequent shows in the circuses  He was deft in diplomacy and military strategy. Above all, he was a patient man, not playing his hand until the time was right.

At the Battle of Milan (312) Constantine prepared for his invasion of Italy by making sure that Licinius could not take advantage of it by seizing Maxentius’s territories to the East.  To that end, he offered Licinius his half-sister Constance in marriage, and waited until Licinius was militarily engaged with Maximinus Daia before launching his own campaign.  He committed only ¼ of his troops to the battle – the rest remaining in Gaul to ward off barbarian advances. Upon winning the battle and gaining control of the western half of the empire, Constantine moved to consolidate his power, entering into an alliance with Licinius in 313 (the “Edict of Milan”). 

January 28th, 2013

Q&A 8: The Logical Coherence of the Trinity

by Max Andrews

Q&A GraphicQuestion:

Max,

Do you know of any viable philosophical-theological conceptualizations of the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity which capture the fullness of the doctrine whilst not lapsing into the heresies of either Modalism, Tritheism or, of course, any form of Unitarianism? Thank you for all you do.

– B. P. Burnett.

Answer:

Brendan,

Thanks for your question! I chose this one for this week because I happen to use the Trinity as an example in my philosophy class when teaching logic, which I’m currently teaching. So, this is rather good timing!

To give a recollection for those who may not be familiar with the Orthodox doctrine of the Trinity and important heresies I’ve provided a simple chart:

March 1st, 2012

Theology Thursday: Constantine

by Max Andrews

Theologian: Constantine (AD 227-337)

General summary of Constantine and his theology: *I’m aware that Constantine isn’t a theologian per se but does have a huge impact on early church history and theology, which is worth noting.* From the time that his father died (306) until Constantine challenged Maxentius at Milvian bridge (312), he was consolidating his position of power in Gaul and Britain.  Even at this early date he showed the same military and political acumen that he would later exhibit as emperor:  He strengthened his defenses against the barbarians along the Rhine, winning the gratitude of his French subjects.  He did not impose onerous taxes on the people, and entertained the bloodthirsty among them with frequent shows in the circuses  He was deft in diplomacy and military strategy. Above all, he was a patient man, not playing his hand until the time was right.

February 29th, 2012

Important Heresies and Orthodoxy

by Max Andrews

Important Heresies and Orthodoxy

GROUP

TIME

HUMAN NATURE

DIVINE NATURE

CHURCH COUNCIL

Docetism

1st Century

Denied—only an appearance of humanity

Affirmed

Ebionism

2nd Century

Affirmed

Denied—Jesus was natural son of Joseph and Mary

Arianism

4th Century

Affirmed

Denied—Jesus was not eternal; similar to, but not same as God Condemned by Nicea, 325

Apollinarianism

4th Century

Divine Logos replaced human spirit

Affirmed

Condemned by Constantinople, 680

Nestorianism

5th Century

Christ was two Persons

Condemned by Ephesus, 431
read more »

February 23rd, 2012

Theology Thursday: St. Ambrose of Milan

by Max Andrews

Theologian: Ambrose of Milan (AD 339-397)

General summary of Ambrose and his theology: St. Ambrose is one of the four traditional Doctors of the Latin church along with St. Jerome (345-420), St. Augustine (354-430), and St. Gregory the Great (530-604). Ambrose was born into the increasingly prevalent Christian minority of the aristocracy. His father was Praetorian prefect of Gaul.  His father died not long after he was born, leaving his mother and sister to raise him.  His training was in law, and included a knowledge of Greek.  He followed his father into the imperial administration and, after practicing in Roman law courts, was appointed governor of Aemilia-Liguria, ca. 370, the seat of which was Milan.

There was a situation in Milan in 373.  The earlier orthodox bishop had been exiled by the Arian emperor, Constantius, in 343.  An Arian bishop, Auxentius, had been installed in his place, by Gregory, the intruded bishop of Alexandria (Athanasius’s supplanter).  Now, after thirty long years of Arian rule, Auxentius was dead, and both sides wanted control of the see.  Because the possibility of civil disorder was great, Ambrose, who was by this time governor, attended the election. 

February 16th, 2012

Theology Thursday: Eusebius of Caesarea

by Max Andrews

Theologian: Eusebius of Caesarea (AD 260-340)

General summary of Eusebius and his theology: Eusebius grew up in Palestine.  There is nothing known about his parents, or how and when he became a Christian. He is also known as “Eusebius of Pamphilus.” Pamphilus had studied under Pierius, who had been a disciple of Origen.  When Pamphilus moved to Caesarea, Eusebius came under his influence.  Together they cataloged Origen’s library and wrote the multi-volume Defense of Origen.  Their collaboration came to an end following Pamphilus’s arrest (307) and execution (309) during the reign of Maximinus Daia

Eusebius’s Church History consists of ten volumes, the last three of which deal with the church in his day.  It appears that the “History” originally ended with Book VII prior to the outbreak of the Diocletian persecution in 303, with later books being added in successive editions (the last coming in 323).