Adoption of the Nicene Creed (Great Events from History: The Ancient World, Prehistory-476)
Article abstract: The Nicene Creed attempted to standardize Christian doctrine and restore Christian unity; it became the only creed accepted by all major bodies of the Christian church: Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant.
Summary of Event
At the beginning of the fourth century c.e., faith in the divinity of Jesus Christ was firmly established in Christian worship, but it was not precisely defined theologically, especially in relation to the divinity of God the Father. Arius, a presbyter in the Baucalis district of Alexandria, hoped to clarify these matters and, in line with a strong trend in Hellenistic philosophy, was anxious to assert the unity and immutability of God. For Arius, God must of necessity be one, alone, and eternal. The world, the realm of change so completely foreign to the nature of God, must be created by an intermediary being, the Son, or Word. Arius was willing to countenance the worship traditionally given the Son because as Son he was a perfect creature standing in such a special relation to God that he might well be called “only begotten God.” Yet he remained a creature whose “substance,” or nature, was separate and related to the eternal Father. Unlike God the Father, the Son had a beginning, and in the words of a popular Arian slogan concerning the Son, “There was when he was not.”
Alexander, the bishop of Alexandria, totally rejected Arius’s denial of the full...
(The entire section is 1272 words.)
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