By Carlos R. Galvao-Sobrinho
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Additional info for Doctrine and Power: Theological Controversy and Christian Leadership in the Later Roman Empire
The Arian controversy revolved around precisely these questions. Stressing the majesty and transcendence of the Father, Arius envisioned the Son as a subordinate being, generated by the Father not out of his own being, because the Father, like the Platonic God, was “indivisible . . unchangeable . . 7 Convinced that their views represented the orthodoxy of the Catholic Church, bishop and priest and their supporters could not arrive at a compromise. This was not unusual in disputes about God, as we have seen in the examples of Heracleides and Paul of Samosata.
26 Again, Origen understood this best. ), impossible. Divine truth could not be reduced to simple formulas. 28 “If something profound occurs to someone in a disputation,” he wrote, “this must be expressed, but not with absolute certainty. To do so is for the imprudent, those who have lost the sense of human weakness. . ”29 Such an opinion was at once enlightened and mystical. One arrived at the truth through reasoning and argumentation, but only the truly inspired grasped its meaning, and then never fully, so that, in practice, orthodoxy could not exist out there an sich;30 rather, it must evolve in continuous debates about the meaning of God’s word.
38 In the third century, when bishops emerged as more forceful leaders, they became sensitive to charisma and grew wary of spiritually gifted Christians. 42 They were also dramatized in the ceremony of ordination that was being elaborated in the early third century. A treatise attributed to Hippolytus describes the ritual: The people will gather . . with the council of elders and the bishops. . With the assent of all, the . . ] will place their hands upon him. . Everyone will keep silent, praying in their hearts for the descent of the Spirit.