Chapter Two: The Trinity
There is one God eternally existent in three distinct persons in one divine essence, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
—Church of the Lutheran Brethren Doctrinal Statement of Faith, Paragraph B.
The Arian controversy
In 318 or 319 [AD], Alexander, the bishop of Alexandria, discussed with his presbyters “The Unity of the Trinity” (elders). One of the
presbyters, Arius, an ascetic scholar and popular preacher, attacked the sermon because he believed that it failed to uphold a distinction
among the persons in the Godhead. In his desire to avoid a polytheistic conception of God, Arius took a position that did injustice to the true
deity of Christ (Cairns, 1967, p. 142).
The problem was that in his desire to preserve the independent personality of Christ and at the same time preserve monotheistic Christianity, Arius made
Christ something less than God. In so doing, he actually challenged Christ’s ability to save.
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