We turn our attention now to the early centuries of Christian history, and the tension that developed between two quite different visions of the Christian message. On the one hand, there were many who wished to find common ground between Christianity and Greek philosophy, producing a hybrid commonly called Gnosticism. Others hoped to define the Christian gospel in terms of traditional Jewish thought, continuing the Judaizing influence found in the New Testament.
The early expression of the Jewish emphasis arose generally out the the city of Antioch, which had become a center of Jewish Christianity after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 a.d. It was the Antiochan form of Christian teaching that eventually produced Arius, the man largely responsible for the crisis known as the Arian controversy, which itself led to the Council of Nicaea.
In this lesson we will be examining the earliest expression of this Jewish-oriented emphasis, and in later discussions we will see how the Antiochan influence became more refined until the church finally affirmed conclusively the doctrine of the Trinity.
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.