Ridicule’s beginning?

The argument over the nature of God between Arius and his bishop Alexander made a most serious disturbance which had invaded the peace of the Church. It extended to all the Eastern provinces and the Church’s inspired teaching was exposed to the most shameful ridicule in the very theaters of the unbelievers. How did it start?

Alexander’s musings …

He, in the fearless exercise of his functions for the instruction and government of the Church, attempted one day in the presence of the presbytery and the rest of his clergy, to explain, with perhaps too philosophical minuteness, that great theological mystery - the Unity of the Holy Trinity. A certain one of the presbyters under his jurisdiction, whose name was Arius, possessed of no inconsiderable logical acumen … from love of controversy took the opposite opinion

Alexander’s question and Arius’ thinking …

I understand, then, that the origin of the present controversy is this. When you, Alexander, demanded of the presbyters what opinion they severally maintained respecting a certain passage in the Divine law, or rather, I should say, that you asked them something connected with an unprofitable question, then you, Arius, inconsiderately insisted on what ought never to have been conceived at all, or if conceived, should have been buried in profound silence.

Arius thought too much …

Arius was the originator of these disputations. He was a presbyter of the church at Alexandria in Egypt, and was at first a zealous thinker about doctrine … He fell into absurd discourses

Arius was jealous and a tireless demagogue …

Arius, who had been enrolled in the list of the presbytery, and entrusted with the exposition of the Holy Scriptures, fell a prey to the assaults of jealousy, when he saw that the helm of the high priesthood was committed to Alexander. Stung by this passion, he sought opportunities for dispute and contention … He taught these false doctrines perseveringly, not only in the church, but also in general meetings and assemblies; and he even went from house to house, endeavouring to make men the slaves of his error.

Alexander slighted his presbyter …

a certain presbyter of Alexandria, who was called Baucalis, on account of a lump of superfluous flesh which had grown upon his back to the size of an earthen vessel, such as the Alexandrians call Baucala in their provincial dialect, having obtained the post of honour among the presbyters next to Arius himself, brought about the beginning of contention between Alexander and Arius

Despite the certainty of some ([1], [2]), we’ll never know. But then, who remembers the kindle of a mighty fire? Once substance takes over, the humanity of it drops away.

One Response to “Ridicule’s beginning?”

  1. jett Says:

    I like the ending of this post a lot. Very true. Not sure I’ve ever left a comment here before but I read this blog on a very regular basis. I love it! One of my favs. Thanks for sharing all this history.

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