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CH101 - The Fourth Century

The Church Established, 303 - 400 A.D.

Outline:
Politics of the Roman Empire
The Church Continues to Grow
Persecution under Diocletian
Constantine comes to Power
Donatism and Arianism
The Conflict with the Donatists
Constantine and Faith
Council of Nicea - 325 AD
The Nicean Creed
Beginnings of Monasticism

-- Coming --
Anthanasius and Anthony
The Cappadocian Fathers
Council of Constantinople - 381 AD
Key People:
Emperor Diocletian
Eusebius
Lactantius
Emperor Constantine
Donatus
Arius
Athanasius of Alexandria
Saint Anthony
Basil the Great
Greggory of Nyssa

Key Documents:
How Persecutors Died
The Divine Institutes
Ecclesiastical History
Life of Antony
Life of Moses

The Nicean Creed - 325 AD
One of the most important things accomplished at the Council of Nicea was the adoption of a creedal form that would guide the Church regarding theology, Christology, and the trinity. As has been mentioned, there was great debate about the use of the term homoousias. The creed did not have 100% approval even when it was drafted. Within a short amount of time the creed came under attack, and eventually was rewritten at the Council of Constantinople in 381 AD. [Thanks to roo.bookaroo for pointing out that I had Chalcedon here...yikes!] This is the text of the original version of the creed:

The Original Creed of 325 AD
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father [the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God], Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father;

By whom all things were made [both in heaven and on earth];

Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man;

He suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven;

From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

And in the Holy Ghost.

[But those who say: 'There was a time when he was not;' and 'He was not before he was made;' and 'He was made out of nothing,' or 'He is of another substance' or 'essence,' or 'The Son of God is created,' or 'changeable,' or 'alterable'—they are condemned by the holy catholic and apostolic Church.]

At the end of the original creed was added the text above - obviously aimed at Arius.

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Fourth Century Church History
4th Century Church History
Diocles and the persecution of Diocletian
Lactantius and persecution of Christians
Christians in the Roman Army - Military
Persecution of the Roman Empire
Constantine Ruler of the Roman Empire
Constantine Comes to Power
Constantius and Constantine
Constantine and Christian Faith
Constantine and the Sun God
4th Century Church Donatus and Arius
Donatus and Donatism - Baptism of the Lapsed
Arius - Arianism the Trinity
Origenist Controversy and the Trinity
Nicea - A Council or a Treaty
The Nicean Council 325 AD
How many Bishops at the Council of Nicea
Nicean Council and Homoousias
Council of Nicea and the Trinity
Nicean Creed and the Trinity