For modern Christians the concept of the Trinity distinguishes their faith from other monotheistic religions like Judaism and Islam, and sets out a blueprint for the way that God has made Himself known to the world. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are perceived as co-eternal and equal, separate but undivided, making it quite clear that there is no hierarchy between the three so-called “persons” of the Trinity. This definitive position is not negotiable in modern Christianity, and effectively dismisses the any notion that the Son is subordinate to the Father and people often forget that it was reached by long negotiation in the fourth and fifth centuries. It is nevertheless important to understand the issues surrounding this controversy, partly to ensure that modern theologians guard against similar errors in their teachings, and partly to help us understand how the Christian faith acquired its definitive beliefs and rules so that we can continue this long tradition faithfully into the future.
In order to understand where the views of Arius came from, and why they originated, it is necessary to look back to the very beginnings of Christianity. ...Show more