In response to my recommendation of Richard E. Rubenstein's book, When Jesus
Became God, George said:
What Nicea did was to formalize the realization that Christian thought had
come to over three centuries, that one couldn't make the fundamental
affirmations that Christ is Lord and Savior in the fullest senses if one
stopped short of saying in one way or another that he is "one in being with
Perhaps you're correct that the Athanasian doctrine re Jesus' divinity won
the day because it functioned to warrant other highly valued doctrines.
That, by itself, sheds no light on either its truth or falsehood.
Of course there were various political factors involved at Nicea and its
aftermath - on both sides, it should be noted. Only the most naive about
the church will be surprised by that, and only those who don't believe that
God can act through the less attractive features of human nature will think
that this disqualifies the council's decision.
One would have to be equally naive to propose that all major ecclesiastical
council decisions should be considered to be, in effect, "acts of God" or
human acts that reflect only God's leading.
I continue to suggest that Rubenstein's book deserves a reading. Christians
would be illumined by knowing more of Christian ecclesiastical history.
Howard Van Till
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