By Charles Freeman
A scary and well timed exam of 1 of crucial sessions in Church heritage
In A.D. 381, Theodosius, emperor of the jap Roman empire, issued a decree during which all his matters have been required to join a trust within the Trinity of the daddy, Son and Holy Spirit. This edict outlined Christian orthodoxy and taken to an finish a full of life and wide-ranging debate in regards to the nature of God; all different interpretations have been now declared heretical. It used to be the 1st time in 1000 years of Greco-Roman civilization unfastened suggestion used to be unambiguously suppressed. Why has Theodosius's revolution been airbrushed from the historic list? during this groundbreaking ebook, acclaimed historian Charles Freeman argues that Theodosius's edict and the next suppression of paganism not just introduced an finish to the range of non secular and philosophical ideals during the empire, yet created various theological difficulties for the Church, that have remained unsolved. The 12 months A.D. 381, as Freeman places it, used to be "a turning aspect which period forgot."
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Additional info for A. D. 381: Heretics, Pagans, and the Dawn of the Monotheistic State
This divine jealousy differs from, and is even incompatible with, selfish human jealousy. The rigorous jealousy in Israel’s God aims to protect the people of Israel in their relationship with God by opposing all idolatrous substitutes, visible or invisible. Accordingly, this God announces to the wayward people of Israel: “I will chastise you in just measure, and I will by no means leave you unpunished” (Jer. 30:11; cf. Exod. 20:5). God intends such just chastisement to be corrective and life-giving, according to Jeremiah and other Hebrew prophets; so, it is not an end in itself.
This interpretation is highly controversial, partly because it lacks clear support in the New Testament, and, in any case, it raises serious questions about divine justice. Nonetheless, God’s allowing the crucifixion of Jesus is severe by any ordinary standard of severe permission, even if certain Roman officials and soldiers were causally and morally responsible for the harsh punishment involved. Accordingly, the New Testament invites us to face a kind of divine severity. The God of the Hebrew Bible sometimes judges people by withdrawing the divine presence from them.
Accordingly, it would oppose any presumption of humans being good on their own. Instead, it would aim for moral transformation in human companionship with God.