Beam Down Athanasius

Today we celebrate St Athanasius, and can somebody beam him down? The place is crawling with Arians again.

The simple version is that Arius–a Bishop of Alexandria–taught that Jesus Christ was not fully divine. Nearly the whole church followed this new teaching. It made sense, after all for lots of reasons it was a bit of a stretch to say that God himself took human form. Athanasius stood up for the historic teaching and suffered great hardship and persecution until he and his side finally prevailed.

In the church today the same battle is going on. Read more.

UPDATE: For a quick summary of the Christological heresies of the 4th century go here. Go on…learn something!

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  • Gregg the Obscure

    Nice little summary of Christological heresies, but you forgot Modalism. As a protestant teenager many years ago that one seemed to make sense for a little while.

  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    I would classify modalism as a Trinitarian heresy.

  • BethJanMarie

    Thank you for this. I’ve shared the link on my blog. As a returning Catholic, I love learning things I never learned the first time around. Your blog has been such a help to me. I am grateful. God Bless!
    (looking forward to your new book, do you have a publication date yet?)

  • Bryan

    Those of us who were cursed to be raised as Jehovah’s Witnesses genuinely believed the silly story that Constantine came up with the Trinity as a way to unify his empire. Shocking to find St. A. was exiled several times and that all the cool kids were Arians at the time.

  • Nut

    “… we need to know God in order to know other people. We need to love God in order to love each other … forgiveness means that I continually am willing to forgive the other person for not being God – for not fulfilling all my needs. “ Nouwen
    God is infinite. God is Love. Ok so far.
    We can accept the reality of God’s infinite love and we can also accept our finite capacity to receive some and shield the rest with habitual denials of love.
    How, then, can we, who spend our denial time living temporally on logic – logically say both must be true:
    1.God is infinite
    2.God cannot be a man.
    Shouldn’t this one be easy? We’re on the receiving line here, aren’t we? What kind of crassness has devoured our manners where we can dream of forming such arguments?
    Today I can forgive people because they were on the short line for Alice B Toklas glasses .. and for what Nouwen said.

  • Irenist

    Father, have you taken a look at the new book “Bad Religion” by Ross Douthat? It’s a nice summary of how heresy has overtaken most Christianity in America. I’d be fascinated to read your thoughts on it.