Is the Holy Spirit Really God? The Trinity, As Defined by Constantinople

Sunday, May 31 is Trinity Sunday--or, more formally, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.In honor of the feast, I thought I'd chat a bit about the Trinity--what that means, and when the concept of a God Who is "Three-in-One" was officially defined. That happened when the Church was young--more than two hundred years before the books of the Bible were finalized by the Orthodox at the Second Council of Trullan in 692. (The Catholic scriptures, while generally agreed upon, were not … [Read more...]

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THINK THIS, NOT THAT #6: Monothelitism. Say THAT With Your Mouth Full!

Oh, the confusion!Last time in “Think This, Not That,” I talked about the Council of Chalcedon, at which the Church ironed out the controversy over the “Three Chapters” and Nestorianism (which wrongly claimed that Jesus had two distinct subsistences).In the seventh century, one of the biggest theological crises looming at the Council of Constantinople III (680-681 A.D.) was the spread of monothelitism.Say what? Well, that’s “mono” (as in “one”) and “thelitism” (as in theanthropic wil … [Read more...]

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THINK THIS, NOT THAT #5: Knock-Down, Drag-Out Fights Over Jesus

Whiz, bam—the early church leaders certainly knew how to put heretics and dissident theologians in their place! They’d bang their coffee cups on the table and cry, “Anathema!!”(An anathema, if you have to ask, is a ban or curse solemnly pronounced by ecclesiastical authority, and accompanied by excommunication. And anathema was one of the actions which came out of Constantinople II, the fifth ecumenical council.)The story of Constantinople II is a saga of disagreement and dissent, bitter … [Read more...]

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