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The Trinity in Church History (1 of 8)
The Trinity is quickly becoming one of the greatest mysteries in modern Christianity. Opponents and proponents alike struggle with the misinformation and often the lack of information on this topic. Is it three gods or one God? Is it modes of God or persons? Did the early church force this doctrine into Christianity? To do justice to this topic I have broken this into a four-part Study. We will look at church history (especially leading up to the Council of Nicaea), what the early church believed, the heresies that the church confronted and the last part will examine the doctrine of the Trinity.
The most common argument I hear against the Trinity or even against the accuracy of the scriptures is the claim that the Council of Nicaea altered the Bible or changed church doctrine to fit their purposes. Did the Council of Nicaea alter the scriptures? And did this council formulate the doctrine of the Trinity? Did the church only pick the books of the Bible to fit their beliefs? Often liberal theologians claim the councils had an axe to grind and an agenda to promote. However, as we examine history we will see these claims fall short of the facts. Those who make claims such as "The early church had an axe to grind", are ignorant of history. Let's take a historical look at the early church.
Persecution has always been a weapon against Christianity. We see persecution against the church in the book of Acts and the apostle John addresses it in Revelation. Because the Bible ends its account here, the church is largely unaware of the martyrs that continued where scripture left off. Even when the Roman Emperors were not persecuting the church, local persecutions by Rome were consistently taking place up until the time of Constantine. Keep in mind that Jesus was crucified between 33 and 34 AD. For the first 20 years, the Jewish leaders were the primary source of persecution.
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