Peering Into Academia

Academia: Through the Eyes of a Preacher

Now, it is true that most of my writings are not designed to be academic in nature. However, that does not mean that I have veered from what has caused me to grow and understand more concerning the things of God. In my recent book Academia: Through the Eyes of a Preacher I examine a number of academic disciplines associated with Christianity. Those disciplines range from history to evangelism; from discipleship to missions and everything in between.

With that, please peer into the book and see what you can glean. The below is an additional portion of the essay “The Nicene Creed: The Trouble that Caused It.” Please remember this work is copyright protected and and all rights remain reserved. Now, let’s peer into academia again.

Despite the company Athanasius found himself in there was also grave opposition to his stand against heretical teachings. Saint Hilary of Poitiers was born in 315 with an uncertain Christian heritage.[1] Even though Hilary was appointed Bishop of Poitiers and eventually made a saint questions concerning his Christianity are brought to question in that he was seen as a pagan.[2] No matter the issue of Hilary’s Christianity his writings clearly show that he did not recognize Jesus as being coeternal with the Father rather clearly states that Jesus is a creation of God. In this vein Hilary states “He is not eternal or co-eternal, nor was He uncreated at the same time with the Father…”[3]

The calling of the synod included more than discussions on the substance of Jesus. Little is said in respect to the Holy Spirit even in the Nicene Creed but there was argument against His divinity which was part of the controversy at large. The problem was even though the Holy Spirit was associated with the Godhead there was considerable uncertainty as to His nature. The matter of His nature brought to the center of the argument supposed that He was a mere person and the Arians saw Him as being subordinate to the Son who was counted as being subordinate to the Father.[4] The confusion was so great that Basil expressed “Of the wise men among ourselves, some have conceived of him [the Holy Spirit] as an activity, some as a creature, some as God…”[5] With this lack of understanding as to who the Holy Spirit was it obviously brings into question not only His substance but also His divinity and authority.

This instability in respect to the Holy Spirit becomes more compelling when His divinity is purposely stripped away. Some Homoiousians (those subscribing like or same substance to Jesus) refused to afford the Holy Spirit His rightful place in the Godhead.[6] This denial of the divinity of the Holy Spirit was part of the heretical teachings of Arianism.[7] The Deity of the Holy Spirit was also denied by Macedonius who declared that the Holy Spirit was nothing more than a “minister and a servant”.[8]

Now, to put this segment into context you will have to read the entire essay. No to worry, there are other studies that will catch the attention of all scholars. For instance, “The World of Islam,” “Diverse Gifts,” and “Looking at the Evidence” are three of the essays included in this work. You will also find an exhaustive bibliography to aid in research. So, go ahead, get you a copy and put on your seat belts. There will be surprising academic twist and turns as you learn academia through the eyes of a preacher.

[1] The Catholic University of Puerto Rico, The Fathers of the Church: A New Translation (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1954)V

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid., 102

[4] Richard E. Rubenstein, When Jesus Became God: The Epic Fight Over Christ’s Divinity in the Last Days of Rome (New York: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1999), 205

[5] Ibid., pg 206

[6] Everett Ferguson, Church History: From Christ to Pre-Reformation (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005), 207

[7] Ioannis Karmiris, “The Second Ecumenical Council” in The Ecumenical Review 33 (July 1981):244-248

[8] Earle, E. Cairns, Christianity Through the Centuries: A History of the Christian Church (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1954), 129