I. The Setting of the Controversy “The deity of Christ is professed in the oldest surviving Christian sermon, in the oldest surviving report of the death of a Christian martyr, in the oldest pagan report of a church service, and in the oldest surviving liturgical prayer.” Jaroslav Pelikan, The Christian Tradition 1:194 “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.”
II. The Controversy Stated Arius “If the Father begot the Son, then he who was begotten had a beginning in existence, and thus it follows there was a time when he was not” “a third thing” tertium quid The Arian Christ was “an incarnation of what is not God in what is not man” J. C. Wan
“Arius of Alexandria, I’m the talk of all the town, friend of saints, elect of heaven, filled with learning and renown; If you want the Logos-doctrine, I can serve it steaming hot: God begat him and before he was begotten he was not.” 320: Council of Bishops Why was Arius’ views well received? Influence of Origin Limited theological discernment Constantine inherited a mess!
“And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father, only begotten, that is, from the substance of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, very God from very God, begotten not made, of the same substance as the Father….” homoousios “The begetting of God must be honored by silence. It is a great thing for you to learn that He was begotten. But the manner of His generation we will not admit that even angels can conceive, much less you” Gregory of Naziansas
Athanasius 1.Closing of the canon 2.Promotion of monasticism 3.The doctrine of the full deity of Christ