Week 5: Orthodoxy and Heresy Flashcards Preview

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1
Q

what is a good example of the development of increased rigorous in the boundaries of christian faith?

A

the doctrine of creation. christians should interpret creation as the calling of all things from nothing rather than the jewish idea of creation- imposition of order on pre existing matter, or the defeat of chaotic forces

2
Q

what did the challenges of Gnosticism and Platonism set for Christianity?

A

intellectual conceptual expansion and exploration

3
Q

what crystallised the process of exploring conceptual expansion?

A

creeds

4
Q

what are/ were creeds and how did they transform christianity?

A

public communally authorised statements of faith, made the barriers of faith public rather than private and individualistic

5
Q

why was it important that there was no divisions within the church during Constantine’s reign?

A

because it was meant to be a unifying religion of the Roman Empire

6
Q

why was christianity different from classical roman religions?

A

because it wasn’t just about practices, rituals or ceremony, it was also about ideas and ways of thinking about the world

7
Q

why was christianity harder to sustain than classical roman religions?

A

had to be maintained through debates about faithfulness and ideas, not just practice

8
Q

why was it a struggle to create continuity between the historical community and the apostolic tradition?

A

because it wasn’t until the fourth century until formal consolidations between christian leaders could be legally carried out.

9
Q

what did Irenaeus of Lyons want?

A

maintain continuity with the ideas and values of the apostolic tradition to ensure the teachings of the formative period were accepted by his own age

10
Q

why was important for churches to base their teachings on certain texts?

A

because the gap between the historical context of christianity and the apostles was increasing

11
Q

which texted became authoritative by most christians?

A

the four gospels and the letters of Paul

12
Q

what was the The Muratorian Canon?

A
reflects practices of the roman churches in the late second century. identifies 
-gospels
-acts
-pauline epistles 
-three other epistles 1john, 2John, Jude
as accepted across the churches
13
Q

when did something close to the New Testament canon become accepted by most churches?

A

by the beginning of the third century

14
Q

when was agreement reached on the New Testament canon, without international council?

A

by the middle of the fourth century

15
Q

how was the New Testament canon formed?

A

Based on the habits of Christian communities, not decisions of christian bishops

16
Q

what things became settled during christianity had become the imperial religion of the Roman Empire?

A

matters of fixing the canon, ideas of the trinity and the nature of Jesus Christ

17
Q

which texts were excluded from the canon and why?

A

Gospel of Thomas and Judas because of their unorthodox views on Jesus Christ

18
Q

what became central to the understanding of the significance of Jesus Christ?

A

the incarnation

19
Q

what caused many philosophical difficulties for hellenistic philosophers?

A

the idea that God entered into history and took on human nature in Jesus

20
Q

what questions did hellenistic philosophers ask about the nature of Jesus’ divinity?

A

how could an immutable God enter into history, surely this implies that God underwent change? lead them to draw upon. the unchanging heavenly realm vs the changeable created order. these issues became a significant barrier for pagans attempting to embrace christianity

21
Q

what was Arius’ most fundamental belief?

A

that Jesus was in no way divine

22
Q

what was ‘subordinationism’ and who followed it?

A
Arian, Put the Trinity in a hierarchy
- God
-Jesus 
- Holy Spirit
upheld that Jesus was inferior to God as he was merely a creature. Only the father unbegotten, but Jesus originates from a source of being
23
Q

what was heretical to Arius?

A

the belief that God could become changeable

24
Q

who was Arius’ biggest critic?

A

Athenasius of Alexandria (c.293-373)

25
Q

What had Arius done according to Athanasius?

A

destroyed the coherence of the christian faith, rupturing close connections between christian belief and worship

26
Q

what did Athanasius believe?

A

that God is the only one who can save and only one capable of breaking sinned bringing humanity into eternal life.

27
Q

What did Athanasius say about human nature?

A

human nature needs to be redeemed but no creature can save another creature only the creator of a creature can do this, if Jesus is a creature, he cannot reward redemption

28
Q

if God can be the only one who can save, how can Jesus Christ be a saviour according to Athanasius?

A

Jesus is God’s incarnate

29
Q

according to Arius, can Jesus be a saviour?

A

no, because he is a creature and no creature can redeem another creature, only God can do this

30
Q

Was Athanasius’ point that Aius had denied the idea that Jesus was a saviour?

A

no, simply that he had rendered it incoherent.

31
Q

what is Athanasius’ point about prayer and Jesus’ divinity?

A

if christians are praying about/ to Jesus and he is merely a creature, christians are guilty of worshipping a creature instead of God (idolatry). the Old Testament warns against worshipping anything other than God.

32
Q

what did the Nicene Creed of 381 declare?

A

Christ was ‘of the same substance’ (homoousios) with the father, Jesus was not reflective of God but was Gods literal incarnate

33
Q

what did the church do about Arius’s controversial remarks?

A

rejected them, Constantine did not force them to do it, but he wanted the issue resolved

34
Q

what form did creeds take in the first three centuries?

A

three fold structures dealing with father, son, Holy Spirit separately

35
Q

what were early christian beliefs about God?

A

God the creator, Judge, the almighty ruler who we were subject to, the object of worship

36
Q

what does binitarian mean?

A

belief in the father and son

37
Q

what does trinitarian mean?

A

belief in the father, son and Holy Spirit

38
Q

what did Amphilochius of Iconium point out?

A

the Arius controversy had been overcome before any discussion about the Holy Spirit

39
Q

what did the development of trinitarian theology demand?

A

that the Holy Spirit also be recognised as divine

40
Q

what did Athanasius declare about the baptismal formula?

A

that it proved that the Holy Spirit shared divinity with the father and son

41
Q

was the Holy Spirit seen as God?

A

even as late as 380 Gregory of Nazianzus conceded many orthodox Christian theologians were uncertain whether to treat the Holy Spirit as ‘an activity, as a creator, or as God”

42
Q

how did a council in Constantinople describe the Holy Spirit in 381?

A

not as god but as the lord and giver of life who proceeds from the father and is worshipped and glorified with the father and son

43
Q

even if the Holy Spirit is not described as god what does it still have?

A

the same dignity and rank as the son and Holy Spirit

44
Q

how did Gregory of nazianzus describe the Holy Spirit?

A

the spirit sanctifies, does not need to be sanctified. drew particular attention to the word ‘holy’, this holiness did not emerge from and exterior source but was a result of the nature of the spirit.

45
Q

what did Didymus the Blind (d.398) point out about the Holy Spirit?

A

the Holy Spirit was responsible for creating, renewing, sanctifying God’s creatures

46
Q

what was confusing about the trinitarian view?

A

whether it was a formula suggestive of the actual being of God or was it about the manner in which God acted in history

47
Q

what is ‘modalism’?

A

the view that the divinity of christ and the Holy Spirit is to be explained in terms of three different ‘modes’ of self revelation

48
Q

what was the most influential form of modalism?

A

sabellianism

49
Q

what were the three point constituting to sabellianism?

A
  • the one God is revealed in the manner of savour and lawgiver ‘the father
  • The same god is revealed in the manner of the saviour, Jesus Christ the ‘son
  • the same God is then revealed in the manner of the one who sanctifies and gives eternal life ‘the spirit’
50
Q

what were christian priests ordered to do under the edict of February 303?

A

to burn their books

51
Q

what was an issue when Constantine disallowed christian persecution ?

A

how were those who had lapsed under persecution to be treated?

52
Q

What did Donatsists believe?

A

the Catholic Church had become corrupted by its leaders who lapsed under persecution and so should be replaced by new leaders who had remained firm in their faith.

53
Q

what was augustine’s ‘ecclesiology’?

A

that christians weren’t meant to be a pure body but more of a mixed body of saints and sinners: uses parable of wheat and weeds (matt, 13:24-31) to demonstrate

54
Q

what happens in the parable of the wheat and the weeds?

A

a farmer owes a seed and discovered that the resulted crop included both weeds and wheat, to get rid of the weeds would damage the wheat. when it came to harvest though all the plants were separated into wheat and weeds, without damaging the wheat

55
Q

for donatists, what makes the sacraments effective?

A

if they are lead by someone who is unquestionably moral and doctrinal

56
Q

what did Donatism lay excessive weight on?

A

the qualities of the human agent and the grace of Jesus Christ

57
Q

how did Augustine respond to donatism’s emphasis on morality and grace?

A

it is impossible for fallen humans to make distinctions between pure and impure worthy or unworthy. the validity of sacraments is thus not ultimately dependent on the merits of those who administer them

58
Q

what does Augustine compare the church to?

A

a hospital not a room full of healthy people. a place where people can be healed and where Gods grace can be restored

59
Q

what is christian life according to Augustine?

A

a process of being healed from sin, it is only heaven where we will be healthy and righteous

60
Q

what does donatism deny?

A

that priests and bishops are in need of the same healing and redemption as everyone else is

61
Q

what did the Pelagain controversy in the early faith century bring into sharp focus?

A

questions concerning human nature, sin and grace

62
Q

who was pelagius?

A

British monk who arrived in Rome during the end of the fourth century, distressed by religious and moral nominalism

63
Q

what was necessary in order to flourish in Roman establishments

A

to conform to religious social norms

64
Q

what did Pelagius advocate?

A

personal moral reform, christians ought to be morally upright, to convert christianity into a religion of moral achievement

65
Q

what did Pelagius declare about humanity?

A

its free to choose and act morally and therefore they are morally obligated to do this, self discipline and the exercise of will over lower human nature. ‘if perfection is possible for humanity, it is obligatory’

66
Q

did Augustine agree with Pelagius’ view of human nature?

A

no, humans are damaged and corrupted by sin so their freedom is limited, knowing that we should be moral does not mean we are able to achieve it

67
Q

how can we have free will according to Augustine?

A

with the grace of God. free will has been compromised by sin and needs grace to be restored

68
Q

does humanity have control over sinning?

A

no they are contaminated with sinfulness from birth and this dominated life thereafter, we thus have no control over it

69
Q

what was sin for Pelagius?

A

the human refusal to do good, an act committed wilfully against god

70
Q

what was grace for Pelagius?

A

God’s moral guidance e.g. the Ten Commandments

71
Q

why didn’t people like Pelagius’ ideas?

A

because they were to authoritarian and allowed no leeway for human weakness

72
Q

what are augustines ideas often regarded as?

A

theological innovation

73
Q

what does tradition or traditio (latin) mean?

A

‘heading down’ ‘handing on’

74
Q

what can tradition be understood as

A

both a process and a body of teaching

75
Q

why did the questions raised by the gnostic controversy in the second century cause problems?

A

because christian writers were having to deal with and complex interpretations of the bible and if the bible was to be authoritative, must every interpretation be regarded as equal?

76
Q

what did Irenaeus of Lyons say about heretics

A

that heretics were those who interpreted the bible to suit themselves, orthodox people interpreted it inline with apostolic teaching.

77
Q

what did Vincent of Lerins (died before 450) think?

A

concerned that certain doctrinal innovations were being introduced without good reason. there was a need for a public standard upon which doctrines should be judged

78
Q

what happened during lent by the fourth century?

A

converts would attend catechetical lectures and be baptised on Easter Day

79
Q

what would candidates do at baptism?

A

state their faith modelled on the baptismal formula of Matthew 28:19

80
Q

an interrogative creed

A

publicly affirming the christian faith, agree to all of the creedal statements that are put to theme e.g. Matthew 28:19

81
Q

the Nicene Creed

A

respond to Arius challenges. assembled at the council of Nicaea 325, convened by Constantine, emphasise orthodox understanding of christ over and against divisions in the church

82
Q

what was the apostles creed?

A

emerged by consensus over an extended period of time, no polemical agenda, derived from the fifth century belief that each of the twelve apostles contributed a statement to the text

83
Q

what two central functions of creeds

A

affirming the fundamental themes of faith, offering a framework by which heretical versions of christianity may be identified

84
Q

what did Constantine do to take action against Donatists?

A

used coercive measures over a period of decades from 317 after failing to unite the church with negotiation

85
Q

the aims of Theodosius I (ruled from 379-395)

A

like Constantine, wanted the empire to be united on the fundamentals of faith and knew that to achieve this there needed to be some kind of official ruling to be published.

86
Q

what did Theodosius I do to Arian bishops who resisted Nicene orthodox?

A

deposed of them, prepared to use his authority to achieve consensus within the church

87
Q

what was the Nestorian Controversy in the early fifth century?

A

between Cyril of Alexandria and Nestorius of Constantinople over whether Nestorius’ understanding of the divinity of christ was adequate as he was suspicious of the use of ‘barer of God’ being associated with Mary. why not also refer to her as Christotokos ‘bearer of the messiah’

88
Q

why did Cyril think Nestorius was a heretic

A

as he thought that Nestorius didn’t really believe that Christ was both divine and human

89
Q

what happened at a council at Ephesus in 431?

A

Theodosius II convened a council to settle matters between Nestorius and Cyril. Nestorius presented his case poorly and the decisions made at the council of Nicaea 325 were confirmed. use of Theotokos approved. although this didn’t fully solve the issues

90
Q

when was the council of Chalcedon?

A

451

91
Q

what was the ‘chalcedonian definition’

A

set out an agreed formula for making sense of the identity of christ, which set out to safeguard his humanity while affirming his divinity.

92
Q

chalcedonian formula

A

‘we all with one voice confess our lord Jesus Christ to be one and the same son, perfect in divinity and humanity.’

93
Q

was the chalcedonian definition widely accepted?

A

yes, in both eastern and western churches, plays normative role in the discussion of Jesus’ identity

94
Q

what was the alexandrian reaction to Chalcedon?

A

that it didn’t do Jesus’ divinity justice, resulting in monophysite controversies

95
Q

most important outcome of Chalcedon/ monophysite controversies

A

churches of Egypt now considered themselves to be at odds with the churches of Europe and Asia