Theological Process

Theology is an interaction.  First Arius gave a theological interpretation on the role of Christ and God.  Second the leaders of the Church considered it carefully and came up with their decision.  Then Arius did not accept the decision.  He then was removed and excommunicated or cut off from the communion of the Church.  This problem led to discussion and consensus.  The lived faith in the worship service experience led to a consensus about the most appropriate expression.  The final result was the Nicene Creed, the oldest and most important creed.  Most dogmas came out of disputes.  Over the last two thousand years there have been many more disputes within Christianity.

The letter to the Spartans about the past (1 Macc 12:5-12:8)

“This is a copy of the letter that Jonathan wrote to the Spartans.

‘The high priest Jonathan,

The senate of the nation,

The priests,

And the rest of the Jewish people,

To their brothers, the Spartans,

Greetings!

Already in time past

A letter was sent

To the high priest Onias from Arius,

He was king among you,

Stating that you are our brothers,

As the appended copy shows.

Onias welcomed the envoy with honor.

He received the letter

That contained a clear declaration of alliance and friendship.’”

This letter came from Jonathan, the Jewish senate of what later was known as the Sanhedrin, the priests, and all the Jewish people. He was sending it to his brothers in Sparta, which was a Greek city state. This is strange since he was so opposed to any Hellenism coming into Jewish society. Here he calls them brothers. The high priest Onias was high priest from 320-290 BCE, over 100 years before the writing to this letter. Arius was king of Sparta from 309-265 BCE. Onias accepted the Spartan envoy with honor and a clear declaration of alliance and friendship.