Evangelical Arianism

I’ve added this video as a supplement to my last post because who we say Christ is, and understanding our union with Him, is critically important to understanding the good news that brings great joy. A lot of people don’t like John Crowder because of his delivery style, but his theology, especially his Christology, is pretty solid. Ironically, many modern “Bible-believing” evangelicals seem a bit weak in this area and might just learn something here.

While he comes off a lot stronger than I would, I would have to generally agree with Crowder’s assessment on how Arianism and pagan Greek dualism has crept into our modern evangelical theology. There’s a lot of misinformation and historical revisionism propagated on the Internet by modern skeptics about this, but Trinitarian Christology was a non-negotiable with the early church fathers and, for this reason, their tireless defense of it over the first three centuries culminated in the Nicene Creed, the foundational proclamation of Christian orthodoxy. Who we say Jesus is, is the foundation to our faith (Matt.16:13-20), and undermining it undermines everything else we believe.

Crowder pokes at the following popular doctrines where he says Arianism has undermined our theology. I’ve been critical of these popular doctrines myself (linked to relevant posts and resources below) for the same reasons he suggests.

All of these relatively modern innovations, no matter how we try to nuance them, separates the Trinity in some fashion, and separates us from God. I’ll let Crowder explain why. And while you may be tempted to simply reject outright what he has to say (because it contradicts what you were taught), be a good Berean and see if these things are so.

 

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About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 38 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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3 Responses to Evangelical Arianism

  1. Thanks, Mel! I haven’t watched much Crowder. I sure will now!

    You said a real mouth full here, “Ironically, many modern “Bible-believing” evangelicals seem a bit weak in this area.” My biggest challenge, my biggest frustration in the world, what grieves me the most, is trying to knock that wall down and I have the scars to show it. Somebody smart recently said, that’s not your biggest grief, that’s your passion and your calling. Love that change in perspective. 🙂

    Jesus asks, “who do you say I am?” IMO, that is the most important part of the gospel and when we get that part wrong, the results are just tragic and painful,both for us as individuals and us as the church as a whole. So things like Eternal Subordination of the Son, or God the Father as some kind of cosmic child abuser, demanding a pagan sacrifice, just irk the heck out of me.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Crowder’s newest stuff is his best. His book, Cosmos Reborn” is quite good, too.

      I couldn’t agree more with what irks you, IB. You and I are definitely evangelical iconoclasts in that regard. 🙃 But it’s a worthy cause because there’s nothing more stunning, beautiful, splendorous, scandalously gracious, and over-the-top good than seeing God through the lens of Jesus Christ. Anyone who sees Him rightly will want to follow Him with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. 😊

    • Mel Wild says:

      One more thing…as Athanasius said, if Arius is right, then we cannot be in Christ in God. John 14:20 and John 17:21-26, and a whole host of other scriptures about our identity, would be false. We would have no part in the life of God, which means we don’t have “eternal life”; we would simply live forever, separated from God, like the angels, but not His dwelling place. And THAT is a different gospel.

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