Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Athanasius against the world

Athanasius the GreatHis epitaph is Athanasius contra mundum, ‘Athanasius against the world’. We are proud that our country has more than once stood against the world. Athanasius did the same. He stood for the Trinitarian doctrine, ‘whole and undefiled’, when it looked as if all the civilized world was slipping hack from Christianity into the religion of Arius*— into one of those ‘sensible’ synthetic religions which are so strongly recommended today and which, then as now, included among their devotees many highly cultivated clergymen. It is his glory that he did not move with the times; it is his reward that he now remains when those times, as all times do, have moved away.

*Arius (c. 250-c. 336), a champion of subordinationist teaching about the Person of Christ.

C.S. Lewis, “On the Reading of Old Books,” God in the Dock (Eerdmans: 1970) 206.

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