Question: Was Nicean Trinitarianism always a key part of Christian belief?

Table of Contents

Question: Was Nicean Trinitarianism always a key part of Christian belief?

There is abundant evidence that “Trinitarianism”, as now understood by the majority of Protestants and Catholics was not present in the Early Christian Church

Since the Nicene Creed was first adopted in A.D. 325, it seems clear that there were many Christians in the first centuries following the resurrection of Christ who did not use it. Those who oppose calling the Latter-day Saints "Christians" need to explain whether Peter and Paul are "Christians," since they lived and practiced Christianity at a time when there was no Nicene Creed, and no Trinitarianism in the current sense.

Critics may try to argue that the Nicene Creed is merely a statement of Biblical principles, but Bible scholarship is very clear that the Nicene Creed was an innovation.

There is abundant evidence that “Trinitarianism”, as now understood by the majority of Protestants and Catholics was not present in the Early Christian Church.

When we turn to the problem of the doctrine of the Trinity, we are confronted by a peculiarly contradictory situation; On the one hand, the history of Christian theology and of dogma teaches us to regard the dogma of the Trinity as the distinctive element in the Christian Idea of God, that which distinguishes it from the Idea of God in Judaism and in Islam, and indeed, in all forms of rational Theism. Judaism, Islam, and rational Theism are Unitarian. On the other hand, we must honestly admit that the doctrine of the Trinity did not form part of the early Christian—New Testament—message, nor has it ever been a central article of faith in the religious life of the Christian Church as a whole, at any period in its history.[1]

Notes

  1. Emil Brunner, The Christian Doctrine of God (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1949), 205.