We have introduced the beginnings of Antiochan Christianity, with its highly Jewish outlook, and now turn to the form of Christian understanding connected with the city of Alexandria. Just as Antioch emphasized the humanity of Christ, so Alexandria emphasized the divinity of Christ. Both views were correct in some measure, but both failed to fully embrace the view that would eventually define the orthodox approach to the nature of God, and the person of Christ.
This lesson deals with Paul of Samosata, an Antiochan thinker, and Sabellius, a major influence in Alexandria. As you cover this material, keep thinking about the contrast between them, and also consider how both of these distorted views of Christ continue to play a role in the broader world of the Christian religion, right up to the present day.
The issues under discussion here provoked a crisis in the early centuries of the Church, which itself led to the first great ecumenical council, the Council of Nicaea in 325. An understanding of the Nicene Creed requires an appreciation of the underlying themes that form the basis for these discussions.
This wide ranging course starts with the pre-Socratic philosophers of the ancient world, and traces the history of philosophical speculation across the ages up to the present. Included along the way is special attention to the greatest Christian thinkers in history, including Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin and many others.