FORERUNNERS OF ARIANISM (TRIADOLOGICAL DISPUTES)
The triadological disputes in the fourth century are related to the denial of the equality and unity of the Son and the Father. Many oppose the newly introduced term ὁμοούσιος, even among those who oppose Arianism. Their arguments were twofold. First, the term is not found in Scripture. Second, the term raises suspicions that it contains Savelian notes. Pavel Samosatsky used it earlier to deny the personal distinction in the Triune God, for which he was condemned. The Nicene Creed uses ὁμοούσιος as a synonym for hypostasis, which is foreign to some who are accustomed to understanding the second word as “person.” Learning about one incarnation sounds like pure Savellianism, which is why Alexandrians talk about three incarnations or faces. Things are further complicated by the fact that the word “ουσίος” itself is quite ambiguous. “Ossios” can be used to indicate the identity of the entity in numerical division. It can be said, for example, that two men are ὁμοούσιος only because they are both male. In the Nicene Creed, the word was used to indicate the identity of the essence, and in the fourth century “the hypostasis emphasizes being (existentia) and the usia (ουσία) the essence (essentia)”, understood in Aristotle’s meaning of ουσία, in meaning of “essence” and “being”. Until the complete clarification of the above, the contradictions whose roots we find in the previous epoch have not been overcome. Two things contribute to the inevitability of these contradictions: a) the contradictory Christology of Origen, b / the monarchical tendencies of the Antiochian school.
For the Church in the East and in the West, Origen is considered the most famous theologian of his time. He is generally perceived as an Orthodox theologian, although his Christology is not at all Orthodox. He is the most productive writer on Christological topics and has contributed immensely to the history of theology, developing the thesis of the eternal birth of the Son, but it is here that in relation to the divinity of the Son he interprets the “only begotten Son” in the sense that it is an instruction. only for the eternal sonship of Jesus Christ by God. For, if He is born in time, then the Son will not be different from the other creatures, from which it follows that He should not be called “the only begotten”.
On the other hand, Origen also teaches that the Son is not God in the same sense as His Father. The Father is “God,” while the Son is only “God.” The son is, according to him, “of a different nature,” “born of the will of the Father.” He calls the Son a “secondary God” in order to distinguish him from the Father (autotheis), from which it follows that the Son is subordinate, subordinate, to the Father. As Origen writes in his Commentary on John 2: 6: “Therefore, if all things are created by the Logos, then they were not created by the Logos, but by a stronger and greater than Him. And who else could this be, except Father? ” A. Spassky notes that “the Neoplatonic Trinity and the Christian, according to the views of St. Gregory the Theologian are essentially identical”, only “the boundary line separating the Neoplatonic Trinity from the Christian” for St. Gregory consisted precisely in the fact that “Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit are three separate persons. “
The presbyter of Antioch, St. Lucian, is also accused of being a forerunner of the Arian heresy. As a teacher from the Antioch school, following its realistic bias, he, while acknowledging the eternal existence of the Son of God, declared Him to be a supreme creation of God, created from non-existence, from nothing. The future leaders of Arianism, the bishops Eusebius of Nicomedia, Mary of Chalcedon, and Theognid of Nicaea, were grouped in the school of St. Lucian, and many historians included Arius himself in this group. St. Lucian was reconciled to the Church as early as 282, long before the advent of the Arian heresy, and the church authorities formally accepted his conciliatory declaration of faith of 289, and was also acquitted posthumously of accusations of Samosat heresy by the same Antioch conciliar fathers. who in 341 condemned Arius).
In the last decades of the second century, two forms of doctrine appeared, which, although fundamentally different from each other, modern historians unite under the common name of monarchy. Dynamic monarchism, more commonly called adoptionism, accepted Christ as an ordinary man on whom the Spirit of God descended. This is a Christological heresy in essence, but it is relevant to Trinitarian theological disputes. The other is modalism. Both teachings are united by an obsession with divine unity, monarchy. Even Novatian (c. 250) interpreted adoptionism and modalism as two erroneous approaches in defense of the biblical dogma that God is one.
The conclusion is that not all supporters of the Nicene Creed are Orthodox. As early as the pre-Nicene period, Orthodox triadology, i.e. the orthodox doctrine of the Holy Trinity must overcome two opposing delusions. One of them is subordinationism, which insists that the second incarnation of the Holy Trinity is lower than the first, and the third is lower than the second. The other extreme that deviates from the Orthodox understanding of the dogma of the Holy Trinity is modalism, ie the merging of the three incarnations, the denial of their independence. And while Arianism is in itself the ultimate form of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, in which the relationship between the hypostases is understood in the sense of subordination, among the defenders of the Nicene Creed there are representatives of the opposite extreme – modalism, or Savelianism. The forerunners of Arianism from the pre-Nicene period are the Origen Christology and the monarchical tendencies of the Antioch school and its notable representative St. Lucian. The teachings of Arius are mainly related to the dogmatic statements in the views of the Bishop of Antioch Paul of Samosata, the main theses of which are that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are one Person (πρόσωπον). The Son or the Logos is disembodied, being only the wisdom of God, which is in God, as the mind is in man. Before all worlds He was born as a Son (Λόγος προφορεικὸς) without a virgin; because it is without image and is not visible to humans.