Yesterday, TurretinFan (hereafter TF) took aim at an old comment posted by Bryan Cross and missed the implications by a 'country mile.' The following is the comment from Cross that TF cited:
In the first century, no one needed to confess that Christ is homoousious with the Father. But after the fourth century, to deny the homoousious is to fall into [at least material] heresy. (LINK)
TF responded with:
This is dead wrong and gets things exactly backwards. It has always been heresy to deny the Son's divinity. Arius was a heretic before Nicaea, and the Nicene council simply affirmed (with respect to Arianism) what was always the teaching of the Bible.
The church does not make up orthodoxy. When the church does its job correctly, it merely recognizes the truth that was already once delivered to the saints. There was no new delivery in the fourth century or any of the succeeding centuries.
Of course, Romanists have to put the cart before the horse, because they've added to the gospel. If they tried to claim that it was always heresy to deny the Immaculate Conception, they'd have to treat Augustine, and the Augustinians down through Aquinas as heretics. So, they place the cart before the horse and say that it is only heresy to deny the Immaculate Conception after "the Church" makes that doctrine part of the gospel.
The absurd result is the one that Bryan Cross has illustrated above, where the Son's divinity becomes something that it was ok to deny before 325 A.D.
Amazing - absolutely amazing. (LINK)
Historical theology for most Reformed folk does not really start until the early 16th century; those who do attempt to interact with the pre-Nicene Church Fathers almost always read them anachronistically. Honest students of patrology acknowledge that the pre-Nicene CFs were subordinationists (see these threads: http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2008/06/trinity-and-development-of-doctrine.html; http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2008/10/subordinationism-and-pre-nicene-church.html; http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2008/10/subordinationism-in-st-irenaeus.html; http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2009/01/subordinationism-in-novatian.html; http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2009/02/kephas-recent-scholar-of-choice-weighs.html; http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2009/02/subordinationism-and-ante-nicene-church.html; http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2009/03/some-subordinationism-in-justin.html; http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2009/06/one-god-of-novatian.html), which means that if one were to follow TF's 'logic', they were all heretics!
Even worse, if one applies TF's logic to the soteriology of the Church Fathers prior to Luther, what CF would stand untouched with the charge of heresy, if judged by "the gospel" espoused by TF—i.e. justification by faith alone, through the imputation of Christ's righteousness alone? (See the following two threads for an introduction into this issue: http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2008/09/development-justificationsoteriology.html; http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2008/04/evangelical-critique-of-rc-sprouls.html)
To borrow a phrase from TF: Amazing - absolutely amazing. But then, I have come to expect such 'logic' from the pen of one who once wrote that Thomas Aquinas held to sola scriptura! (See THIS THREAD for the link to TFs amazing assertion.)
Grace and peace,