Theist – believes in God Atheist – denies God exists Agnostic – Doesn’t know
Easy to understand who was leading while Jesus was on earth What about after he ascended? Immediate leadership fell to the apostles Peter being the leader of them as the first Pope Belief and information passed down from them to the next generation, to the next How it has come down to us The Church has lasted almost 2000 years
Asked by early Christians Were not really sure what Jesus' relationship to God really was St. Justin Martyr is the first to develop an idea of the Trinity (in the 2 nd century)
God: The Father The Son The Holy Spirit Compares the relationship to a flame Just like a second flame can be lit from the first; so Jesus (the Son) was begotten by the Father The first flame is not changed or dimmed; both shine as brightly as the other The third flame formed from the first two; it is just as bright as the first two flames Three individual flames; but they are the same substance; all three are fire.
The mainstream beliefs of Christianity were not the only ones to exist in the early Church Eventually loose out to mainstream orthodoxy “Orthodoxy” – from the Greek orthodoxia literally translates to right belief/opinion/thought “Heresy” – any belief at odds with orthodox opinion or belief heretic – anyone holding those heretical beliefs
Gnostic means: learned or special knowledge secret knowledge or truth or God given to a select group of people Predates Christianity Saw material world as inferior to the spiritual (Plato) Material is evil; corruption of spirit – world is corrupt Spirit is good Believed there were 2 gods
1) the Creator – Yahweh - seen as lesser, as he works with materials 2) Godhead – Jesus - spiritual Denied humanity of Jesus if human he would be material and inferior Jesus’ body was only an apparition; he never died, only appeared to
Humanity split into two groups 1)Those understanding the struggle b/w material and spiritual 2) Those tied to the material world Only certain people can be saved; those with the secret knowledge Only these people can partake in special rituals
1 God Material is not evil or lesser material and spiritual coexist together in one body Jesus died and rose from the dead Salvation if for anyone who believes All people can partake of sacraments
Made up from the statements of a number of Church Fathers Chiefly: St. Irenaeus, Tertullian, St. Hippolytus Wrote it to settle the Gnostic controversy – guard against Gnostic teachings Creed was a concrete profession of belief Made clear the beliefs that mainstream Christianity would hold
I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
Survival possible as result of councils When there is a crisis that is faith or belief based, the church meets All the bishops come together Come up with a solution that all can agree on Those who held beliefs that were denied by councils become known as heretics
In the textbook, read about other non- mainstream Christian beliefs that come to be known as heresies, found in the early church Pg. 134-136