Master’s Seminary | – Lecture 7: Historical Theology I – Dr. Nathan Busenitz

Professor Nathan Busenitz teaches a course on Historical Theology [support us] /> “The History of Heresy, Part II”
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The Master's Seminary The Master's Seminary. These are courses taught at The Master's Seminary in Sun Valley, California. - They are taped live during the school year and exist to better educate those who seek to understand and worship the God of the Bible. Joshua Crooch Director for Academic Media The Master's Seminary

Comment (19)

  1. at time 8:16 – Note that the Roman Empire saw them as atheists and did not care what their religion was, they only cared that they did not worship the Emperor. In many cases, the church was left alone to worship. There were areas where the persecution was severe, but it was periods of times that it was more severe.

  2. at time 15:00 – Donatism – ultimately the Donatists held that the leaders who had lapsed could not carry out the sacraments. Any sacraments were not valid because of the character of the person administering the sacrament. The real issue is that sacraments are from God, so how "holy" is "holy" enough. This is what needs to be addressed in this heresy.

  3. I was asking myself in the past days about how the church should view culture and should it be influenced by it. I was shocked to see that in this lesson the professor talks about this. 🙂

  4. I'm not an Arian (I'm a Modalist), but to be intellectually honest, I must admit that Justin Martyr was an Arian (or at least a "Semi-Arian"). He definitely did not believe in the deity of Christ as expressed by contemporary Modalists (who lived at the same time of Justin) and by latter Trinitarians who developed their theology much later. Professor Busenitz purposefully ignored the historical data and was outright misleading about it. Justin believed that Jesus is "ANOTHER GOD" under the true God rather than being a coequal and coeternal God beside Him. Thus the "coequality" and "co-eternality" was a later development that was not fully incorporated into the RCC until the late fifth century. Nothing was said about the Arian/Semi-Arian theology of Justin (AD 138-165) which was completely ignored.
    Justin wrote, “… there is, and that there is said to be ANOTHER GOD and Lord subject to the Maker of all things who is also called an Angel, because he announces to men whatsoever the Maker of all things, above whom there is no other God, wishes to announce to them.” Dialogue with Trypho 223
    Justin wrote, “God begat before all creatures a Beginning, a certain rational power from himself, who is called by the Holy Spirit … the glory of the Lord, then the Son, again Wisdom, again an Angel, then God, and then Lord and Logos.” Dialogue with Tryphoch. 61
    Justin clearly taught that God BEGAT THE SON "BEFORE ALL CREATURES" to have "A BEGINNING."
    Like modern Jehovah’s Witnesses, Justin clearly taught that Jesus was begotten [created] as an Angel at a specific point in time before his human existence as the man Christ Jesus. Justin calls Jesus “an Angel” who “announces to men whatsoever the Maker of all things wishes to announce.” Justin also wrote that Jesus is “another God and Lord” who is “subject to the Maker of all things.” Like all so called second century Trinitarians (Semi-Arians), Justin clearly taught that Jesus is a lesser God who submits himself under the authority of his Maker. Therefore Justin and all of the alleged Trinitarians of the first three centuries were really Arians who denied the full deity of Jesus Christ.

    THE 1913 Old Catholic Encyclopedia, "St. Justin Martyr," informs us what Justin actually believed. 
    The Word is numerically distinct from the Father (Dial., cxxviii, cxxix; cf. lvi, lxii). He was born of the very substance of the Father, not that this substance was divided, but He proceeds from it as one fire does from another at which it is lit (cxxviii, lxi); this form of production (procession) is compared also with that of human speech (lxi). The Word (Logos) is therefore the Son: much more, He alone may properly be called Son (II Apol., vi, 3); He is the monogenes, the unigenitus (Dial., cv). Elsewhere, however, Justin, like St. Paul, calls Him the eldest Son, prototokos (I Apol., xxxiii; xlvi; lxiii; Dial., lxxxiv, lxxxv, cxxv). The Word is God (I Apol., lxiii; Dial., xxxiv, xxxvi, xxxvii, lvi, lxiii, lxxvi, lxxxvi, lxxxvii, cxiii, cxv, cxxv, cxxvi, cxviii). His Divinity, however, seems subordinate, as does the worship which is rendered to Him (I Apol., vi; cf. lxi, 13; Teder, "Justins des Märtyrers Lehre von Jesus Christus", Freiburg im Br., 1906, 103-19). The Father engendered Him by a free and voluntary act (Dial., lxi, c, cxxvii, cxxviii; cf. Teder, op. cit., 104), at the beginning of all His works (Dial., lxi, lxii, II Apol., vi, 3); in this last text certain authors thought they distinguished in the Word two states of being, one intimate, the other outspoken, but this distinction, though found in some other apologists, is in Justin very doubtful. Through the Word God has made everything (II Apol., vi; Dial., cxiv). The Word is diffused through all humanity (I Apol., vi; II, viii; xiii); it was He who appeared to the patriarchs (I Apol., lxii; lxiii; Dial., lvi, lix, lx etc.). Two influences are plainly discernible in the aforesaid body of doctrine. It is, of course, to Christian revelation that Justin owes his concept of the distinct personality of the Word, His Divinity and Incarnation; but philosophic speculation is responsible for his unfortunate concepts of the temporal and voluntary generation of the Word, and for the subordinationism of Justin's theology. It must be recognized, moreover, that the latter ideas stand out more boldly in the "Apology" than in the "Dialogue."

    Justin’s First Apology Chapter 13 “… we reasonably worship Him, having learned that He is the Son of the true God Himself, and holding Him in the second place, and the prophetic Spirit in the third, we will prove. For they proclaim our madness to consist in this, that we give to a crucified man a place second to the unchangeable and eternal God, the Creator of all; …”

    Dialogue with Trypho 56"But this OFFSPRING which was truly BROUGHT FORTH from the Father, was with the Father before all the creatures, and the Father communed with Him; even as the Scripture by Solomon has made clear, that He whom Solomon calls WISDOM, WAS BEGOTTEN AS A BEGINNING before all His creatures and as (an) Offspring by God.
    Justin was an Arian who believed that the Son was "brought forth" as the "offspring" of the Father before all creation. Justin clearly taught that Solomon called "WISDOM" the pre-incarnate Son who was "begotten as a beginning before all His creatures as an OFFSPRING BY GOD."

    Justin's contemporary Christian opponents were clearly the Modalistic Monarchians who affirmed the full deity of Christ.

    In Justin’s First Apology 63 (written about 140-150 AD), Justin referred to contemporary Christians who affirmed that the Son was the Father (Modalism).

    “For they who affirm that the Son is the Father, are proved neither to have become acquainted with the Father, nor to know that the Father of the universe has a Son …”

    In Justin’s Dialogue with Trypho 128, Justin again speaks about other second century Christians who believed that the Son is inseparable from the Father.

    “But SOME TEACH (other Christians) that this power (the Son) is indivisible and inseparable from the Father, just as the light of the sun on earth is indivisible and inseparable from the sun in the skies; for, when the sun sets, its light disappears from the earth. SO THEY CLAIM (other Christians), the Father by His will can cause His power to go forth and, whenever He wishes, to return again …”
    Why do Trinitarian scholars hide the historical data? The historical evidence proves that the Semi-Arians were the founding fathers of the Roman Catholic doctrine of a Trinity, and that the Modalists alone were those who believed in the full deity of Christ (within the first 300 years of the Christian era).

  5. I'm only 4:27 in to the lecture but How does a revelation from the spirit become binding on the church unless the church it self is becoming an establishment that isn't in accordance with the Spirit which to my biblical knowledge intercedes in accordance to the will of God via Romans.

  6. What do you mean bythe phrase " this or that person went to heaven"?I like your lectures but I know the bible what is death and only a few persons have been reported to have been taken up to heaven, so I am confused about what do you mean by going to heaven. Is this an expression you use to mean that the person has died or do you mean that the person is literally alive in heaven? To me the bible does not speak like that. To the bible and to me the person is dead and will be resurected to be taken to heaven when Jesus comes.

  7. People shouldn't draw or make sculptures of God. While it is true that there have been people long ago who saw God through Jesus Christ, this is an exception rather than the rule (Read {1 John 3:2} & {1 John 4:12}).

    Furthermore, Moses saw God (Read {Exodus 33:11}). The fact is that {Deuteronomy 4:23-24} still applies.

  8. 48:46 Well maybe nowadays the church does not pray much, and the collected money is not for the poor people in the congregation but above all for the leaders, and not all sundays we participate in the Lords dinner. It is interesting that Justino does not mention the tithes, because that does not exist in the New Covenant.