Christ's Dual Nature - Proto-Orthodoxy
Part of the Series: How Jesus Became God

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The Council of Nicea
Part of the Series: How Jesus Became God
Constantine called the famous Council of Nicea in 325 CE, to resolve the conflicting views of Christ's divinity. Examine the theological issues at stake, pitting the Christological views of Arius against those of Alexander of Alexandria. Contemplate the political implications of the outcome, and the resulting orthodox creed, establishing Jesus…
John's View - The Word Made Human
Part of the Series: How Jesus Became God
The Gospel of John differs significantly from the other three canonical Gospels in its conception of Jesus. Investigate John's contention that Jesus had always been the Son of God and the equal of God the Father. Contemplate John's identification of Christ as the embodiment of the word of God, or…
The Arian Controversy
Part of the Series: How Jesus Became God
In the third century, sharp divisions existed between Christians, involving how to explain the relation of God the Father to Christ and the Holy Spirit. Examine the proto-orthodox thought of Novatian, and learn about the "Arian controversy" stemming from the highly divisive view of Christ as a subordinate deity created…
Paul's View - Christ's Elevated Divinity
Part of the Series: How Jesus Became God
Paul's theology represents a transition between early conceptions of Christ as exalted by God upon his death and later views of his innate or eternal divinity. Trace Paul's seminal role within the early church, and his view of Jesus as a divine being whose actions raised him to a higher…
How Jesus Became God
What exactly happened, such that Jesus came to be considered God? To ask this question is to delve into a fascinating, multilayered historical puzzle - one that offers a richly illuminating look into the origins of the Western worldview and the theological underpinnings of our civilization. Explore the process by…
Once Jesus Became God
Part of the Series: How Jesus Became God
Conclude by considering the historical ramifications of the Nicean affirmation that Jesus was God. Learn about the growing Christian faith's effects on paganism and the advent of anti-Jewish thought and action. Observe how the theological debates continued, and review Jesus's path to becoming the object of faith for billions today.
The Birth of the Trinity
Part of the Series: How Jesus Became God
The doctrine of the Trinity asserts that God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit are all individually God. Look into the origins of this mysterious claim, noting that the Trinity appears nowhere in the Bible. Learn about the conception of "modalism", which proposed that the three are manifestations of one being,…
The Life and Teachings of Jesus
Part of the Series: How Jesus Became God
In approaching the historical Jesus, consider why the New Testament Gospels are the only useful early sources on his life, and study the criteria used by scholars for evaluating the Gospels as history. Then investigate Jesus's apocalyptic worldview, which envisioned the imminent end of history and a coming kingdom of…
Did Jesus Think He Was God?
Part of the Series: How Jesus Became God
This lecture explores what Jesus said about himself, as well as what he specifically preached. Grasp the nature and purpose of Jesus's ethical teachings, and his view of himself as a prophet of the coming kingdom. Study the Jewish conception of the Messiah as a warrior-king who would overthrow the…
What Is God Like?
Traditionally, if God exists, God is perfect--God is omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent. See how these three attributes are likely inconsistent with each another. Focus in particular on the difficulties with St. Anselm's argument for a perfect God, and look at modern proposals for redefining our conception of God.
Was Christ Human? The Docetic View
Part of the Series: How Jesus Became God
In the second and third centuries, Christian groups followed radically different beliefs and theologies. Learn about the "docetists", who believed Jesus was not human, but only appeared to be so, highlighting Marcion, a docetist who conceived of two distinct gods - a God of the Jews and a God of…
How Could God Allow Moral Evil?
Now consider arguments against God's existence, the most common being the problem of evil. Explore various theological solutions that account for why God allows certain evils, like the holocaust. Does God have reasons we cannot understand? Examine the flaws in this argument.