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The Nicene Faith (Formation Of Christian Theology, Vol. 2)

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In this sequel to The Way to Nicaea, Fr John Behr turns his attention to the fourth century, the era in which Christian theology was formulated as the Nicene faith, the common heritage of most Christians to this day. Engaging the best of modern scholarship, Behr provides a series of original, comprehensive, and insightful sketches of the theology of the key protagonists of In this sequel to The Way to Nicaea, Fr John Behr turns his attention to the fourth century, the era in which Christian theology was formulated as the Nicene faith, the common heritage of most Christians to this day. Engaging the best of modern scholarship, Behr provides a series of original, comprehensive, and insightful sketches of the theology of the key protagonists of the Nicene faith, presenting a powerful vision of Christian theology, centered upon Christ and his Passion. Part One, True God of True God, opens with a reflection on the nature of Christian theology, challenging common presuppositions, and an analysis and survey of the fourth century controversies, followed by studies of Alexander, Arius, the Council of Nicaea, and, Athanasius. Part Two, One of the Holy Trinity, provides analyses of the work of Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Gregory of Nyssa, together with their opponents, in particular Eunomius and Apollinarius.


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In this sequel to The Way to Nicaea, Fr John Behr turns his attention to the fourth century, the era in which Christian theology was formulated as the Nicene faith, the common heritage of most Christians to this day. Engaging the best of modern scholarship, Behr provides a series of original, comprehensive, and insightful sketches of the theology of the key protagonists of In this sequel to The Way to Nicaea, Fr John Behr turns his attention to the fourth century, the era in which Christian theology was formulated as the Nicene faith, the common heritage of most Christians to this day. Engaging the best of modern scholarship, Behr provides a series of original, comprehensive, and insightful sketches of the theology of the key protagonists of the Nicene faith, presenting a powerful vision of Christian theology, centered upon Christ and his Passion. Part One, True God of True God, opens with a reflection on the nature of Christian theology, challenging common presuppositions, and an analysis and survey of the fourth century controversies, followed by studies of Alexander, Arius, the Council of Nicaea, and, Athanasius. Part Two, One of the Holy Trinity, provides analyses of the work of Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Gregory of Nyssa, together with their opponents, in particular Eunomius and Apollinarius.

30 review for The Nicene Faith (Formation Of Christian Theology, Vol. 2)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Josef Muench

    Another outstanding contribution to Christian theological thought by John Behr. Behr makes explicit from the outset the problems of conceiving of Nicene theology as "Trinitarian theology" or the "gradual development of a dogmatic edifice," as well as the problems of caricaturizing Nicene opponents or reducing Nicene theology to shorthand formulae. Having acknowledged such difficulties, Behr pulls the reader into a rich investigation of the Nicene faith by way of its staunchest defenders: Athanasi Another outstanding contribution to Christian theological thought by John Behr. Behr makes explicit from the outset the problems of conceiving of Nicene theology as "Trinitarian theology" or the "gradual development of a dogmatic edifice," as well as the problems of caricaturizing Nicene opponents or reducing Nicene theology to shorthand formulae. Having acknowledged such difficulties, Behr pulls the reader into a rich investigation of the Nicene faith by way of its staunchest defenders: Athanasius, Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Gregory of Nyssa (along with their chief opponents). He shows great facility in the primary sources of all such figures that are available, not dismissing the non-Nicenes out of hand, but investigating their own arguments on their own merits and showing where they fell short of confessing the crucified Jesus as the locus of the revelation of God the Father and bearer of the Spirit (the starting point of Nicene theology). Behr doesn't present a merely historical account, either. Although he offers a careful investigation of the past, his work by no means remains relegated to "mere history," but provides a touchstone for further theological contemplation (as does Nicene theology itself), both implicitly and explicitly. One only wishes there were further volumes (to investigate, for example, the contributions of Chalcedon and Maximus the Confessor which he mentions in the Epilogue). These books are of supreme value for anyone interested not only in Christian history, but Christian theology in general, as they deal with the first principles of Christianity. As Behr writes: "The way to Nicaea is not plotted retrospectively from Nicaea, as if it were itself the starting point, but with reference to the revelation of God in Christ, the subject of the Christian confession from the beginning; if Nicaea is a definitive moment in Christian identity, it is because it preserves the truth of *the* definitive moment. If we overlook this basic fact, then we risk both misunderstanding the landmarks that we think we already know and, more seriously, substituting other first principles, taking something other than Christ and his Cross as constitutive of the identity of Christianity."

  2. 5 out of 5

    David

    Brilliant analysis of the theological debates throughout the 300s. Part 1 includes a long chapter with TONS of names. From that there is analysis of Arius. One big point Behr makes is that not all who were opposed to Nicaea were “Arians” and there was much more complexity among both the heretics. Another big point that Behr makes is that some of our modern ways of approaching this history is misguided. For example, Athanasius and the Cappadocians were not merely philosophizing about the inner li Brilliant analysis of the theological debates throughout the 300s. Part 1 includes a long chapter with TONS of names. From that there is analysis of Arius. One big point Behr makes is that not all who were opposed to Nicaea were “Arians” and there was much more complexity among both the heretics. Another big point that Behr makes is that some of our modern ways of approaching this history is misguided. For example, Athanasius and the Cappadocians were not merely philosophizing about the inner life of the Trinity, somehow apart from God’s actions in the world. Instead, they were reasoning from the scripture and the work of God in Jesus. They were not separating “Christology” from “Soteriology”. The best of this book is when Behr gets to covering the specific works and thought of Athanasius, Basil, Gregory of Nazianzus and Gregory of Nysa. These four were giants and Behr’s analysis and summaries of their theology is brilliant.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Palmer

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mandimby Ranaivoarisoa

  5. 5 out of 5

    Theolojohn

  6. 4 out of 5

    Franklin

  7. 5 out of 5

    Charles

  8. 4 out of 5

    James Guirguis

  9. 5 out of 5

    Michael Philliber

  10. 5 out of 5

    Zach Hedges

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tyson Guthrie

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rico

  13. 4 out of 5

    daniel greeson

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dougald

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joe Johnson

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nathaniel Kidd

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jon Coutts

  18. 4 out of 5

    Donovan Symeon

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

  20. 5 out of 5

    Richard

  21. 4 out of 5

    James

  22. 5 out of 5

    Derek Speegle

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Tomes

  24. 5 out of 5

    Spencer

  25. 4 out of 5

    Corby Amos

  26. 4 out of 5

    David Rathel

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jack Pappas

  28. 4 out of 5

    John

  29. 5 out of 5

    Joe

  30. 5 out of 5

    Leigh

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