Tag Archives: Modalism

#324 – A History of the Catholic Church – Divine Procurator

gregorythaumaturgus

The Synod of Alexandria finally discovers a way to solve the problem of Paul of Samosata but it will require persuading a pagan Emperor to help. Christian bishops begin taking large roles in Roman civil society with mixed results.

Links:

Image: Gregory Thaumaturgus

Patrick Hurley. “Some Thoughts on the Emperor Aurelian as “Persecutor”.” Classical World 106.1 (2012): 75-89.

Millar, Fergus. 1971. “Paul of Samosata, Zenobia and Aurelian: The Church, Local Culture and Political Allegiance in Third-century Syria”. The Journal of Roman Studies 61. Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies: 1–17.

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#324 – A History of the Catholic Church – Divine Procurator

#307 – A History of the Catholic Church – Acquiring for you a holy people

hippolytus

Having examined some of the different theologies about the relationship of the Father and the Son in the last episode, now we look at how conflicts over these theologies affected the history of the Church – particularly in the life of Hippolytus who would be known as one of the most influential Fathers of the Church and the first antipope.

In his conflict with Pope Callistus I, we see how conflict over theology touched on the very life of Christian faithful and that even saints could find themselves on opposite sides not just on the nature of God, but also on the nature of the Church.

Links:

Image: Roman sculpture, thought to be Hippolytus.

Hippolytus’ Apostolic Tradition

Hippolytus’ Refutation of All Heresies – Book IX addresses his conflict with the Bishops of Rome

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#307 – A History of the Catholic Church – Acquiring for you a holy people

#306 – A History of the Catholic Church – Jesus Christ, Our God

trinity

Trying to find the right words and theology to describe the relationship of the Father and the Son was one of the most difficult and most important theological issues of the Early Church. Was the Son the same as the Father or different? Was the Son equal to or lesser than the Father? Could one present a theology that described what the Christian Church believed about Jesus and also remained faithful to the Tradition and Scripture?

In this episode, we look at several different ways that influential figures in the Early Church presented their views of this relationship: Adoptionism, Modalism, Logos Christology and the Trinitarian theology of Tertullian to see how different theologians wrestled with these problems and how they will influence the Church’s understanding of God.

Links:

Image: the earliest known depiction of the Trinity from the Dogmatic Sarcophagus 350 AD

Handy brief guides to the heresies we have been discussing and will be discussing in the future can be found here and here.

Examples from the Early Church Fathers describing Jesus as God

Justin Martyr’s First Apology that presents his theology of the Son. Note especially sections 6, 12, 13, 46

A good article on Tertullian’s Trinitarian theology – Against Praxaes – How Far Did Tertullian Advance The Doctrine Of The Trinity?

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podcasticon#306 – A History of the Catholic Church – Jesus Christ, Our God