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We Believe in One Lord Jesus Christ (Ancient Christian Doctrine)

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Overview

“Who do you say that I am?” This question that Jesus asked of his disciples, so central to his mission, became equally central to the fledgling church. How would it respond to the Gnostics who answered by saying Jesus was less than fully human? How would it respond to the Arians who contended he was less than fully God? It was these challenges that ultimately provoked the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325. In this volume covering the first half of the article in the Nicene Creed on God the Son, John Anthony McGuckin shows how it countered these two errant poles by equally stressing Jesus’ authentic humanity that is, his fleshliness and real embodiment in space and time and his spiritual glory or full divinity. One cottage industry among some historical theologians, he notes, has been to live in a fever of conspiracy theory where orthodox oppressors dealt heavy-handedly with poor heretics. Or the picture is painted of ancient grassroots inclusivists being suppressed by establishment elites. The reality was far from such romantic notions. It was in fact the reverse. The church who denounced these errors did so in the name of a greater inclusivity based on common sense and common education. The debate was conducted generations before Christian bishops could ever call on the assistance of secular power to enforce their views. Establishing the creeds was not a reactionary movement of censorship but rather one concerned with the deepest aspects of quality control. Ultimately, what was and is at stake is not fussy dogmatism but the central gospel message of God’s stooping “down in mercy to enter the life of his creatures and share their sorrows with them. He has lifted up the weak and the broken to himself, and he healed their pain by abolishing their alienation.”

Resource Experts
  • Title: We Believe in One Lord Jesus Christ
  • Author: John Anthony McGuckin
  • Series: Ancient Christian Doctrine
  • Volume: 2
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Print Publication Date: 2009
  • Logos Release Date: 2017
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Jesus Christ › History of doctrines--Early church, ca. 30-600; Nicene Creed
  • ISBNs: 9780830897247, 9780830825325
  • Resource ID: LLS:WEBELIEVEJESUS
  • Resource Type: Systematic Theology
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2021-10-20T20:25:55Z

John Anthony McGuckin held the Nielsen Chair in Late Antique Christian History at Union Theological Seminary and was professor of Byzantine Christian Studies at Columbia University in New York City. He is an archpriest of the Romanian Orthodox Church, and rector of the Orthodox Church in Lytham St. Annes, England. He serves on the faculty of church history at Oxford University, and is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society of the United Kingdom.

McGuckin has been awarded several honorary doctorates, and has written 25 works of historical theology, including St. Cyril of Alexandria: The Christological Controversy, St. Gregory of Nazianzus: An Intellectual Biography, The Westminster Handbook to Patristic Theology, and The Ascent of Law.

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    $39.99

    Digital list price: $49.99
    Save $10.00 (20%)