February 12, 2012

Arianism. Also called "dumbing down"

Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Arianism Today:

...Arianism, simply defined, is the belief that Jesus Christ was not equal with God the Father, but was a created being. In the fourth century the Cappadocian fathers, St Basil and St Gregory of Nazianzus (along with Basil's brother Gregory of Nyssa and John Chrysostom), fought against Arianism.

Because we celebrate the memorial of Basil and Gregory Nazianzen today it is worth examining the heresy of Arianism today. Heresies are like weeds. They keep coming back. The thing is, they come back in different guises. In the fourth century Arianism was part of the great debate over the divinity of Christ and therefore the definition of the Holy Trinity.

Today Arianism takes a different form, and comes to us in the guise of humanism. By 'humanism' I mean that belief system that takes man as the measure of all things. This humanism is a conglomeration of different modernistic beliefs, but the summary of it all is materialism-- that this physical world is all there is, human history is all that matters and the advancement of the human race in this physical realm is the only thing fighting for.

Arianism today is an interpretation of Christianity according to this whole materialistic, humanistic philosophy. Clearly, Jesus Christ as the Divine Son of God and the co-eternal second person of the Holy Trinity doesn't really fit. Instead Jesus is a good teacher, a wise rabbi, a beautiful example, a martyr for a noble cause. At most he is a human being who is "so fulfilled and self actualized that he has 'become divine'." To put it another way, "Jesus is so complete a human being that he reveals to us the divine image in which we were all created--and therefore shows us what God is like." There is a sense in which this "divinization" happened to Jesus as a result of the graces he received from God, the life he led and the sufferings he endured....

Christ in Majesty, National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington DC

Posted by John Weidner at February 12, 2012 9:31 AM

More Advaitist than Arian, I would say.
In Advaita, I am God, only I do not realize it.
Jesus was a self-realized Godman, exactly as other Advaita icons such as Ramakrishna Paramhansa of 19C.

The Advaitist freely acknowledge Godman-ship of Jesus among others.

Posted by: Gian at February 13, 2012 9:49 PM

There's a lot of that around. New Agers think that way. Mormons believe that they will all eventually be gods.

At last they are clearly saying that they do not accept the Trinitarian picture. So there's something you can argue with. Too many of our present-day Arians are like the Anglican bishop who said, "Of course we believe in the Creeds. The question is, in what sense are we to believe them?"

Posted by: John Weidner at February 14, 2012 12:23 PM
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