Thinking Trinity: The Radical Homoousion

Reading some of Dale Tuggy’s recent postings reminded me of this series of articles that I wrote a year and a half ago. They are pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. Enjoy!

Eclectic Orthodoxy

When in A.D. 325 the bishops of the Council of Nicaea declared that Jesus Christ is begotten “from the substance of the Father” and “of one substance” with him, they probably did not foresee the momentous dogmatic consequences of their decision. They clearly did not believe they were implementing a theological revolution. Their choice of homoousios, though controversial, was intended primarily to exclude Arius’s ontological subordination of Christ, a subordination expressed in his slogan “There was once when the Son was not.” Such a clear and unambiguous assertion of the creaturehood of the Son was just too much. The Nicene bishops probably disagreed on the precise meaning of the term homoousios. They simply knew that it was a term to which Arius could not subscribe. The strategy worked. Arius and his supporters were exiled, the bishops returned to their episcopal sees, and the homoousion was promptly forgotten. The…

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