By Johannes Roldanus
Referring to biblical necessities to historic cosmology and anthropology and delivering types for mirrored image on inculturation, this e-book booklet offers a cultured theological screening of the doctrinal and moral pondering throughout the fourth century.
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Extra info for The church in the age of Constantine : the theological challenges
Christ gained victory over both and the believers in the moment of their baptism appropriate his forces. These forces, however, are not magical: continuing struggle against demons and sinful inclinations remains a necessary commission. The anointment following the act of immersion is supposed to impart the gift of the Holy Spirit who stimulates human reason by enlightenment and strengthens the will by his force. The best contribution of the Christians themselves is to be moderate and in control of their affections.
People who partook in these cults expected to become participants of the mysterious forces that would guarantee life after death. Since Christianity did not want to become a ghetto religion, but to address the whole society, it had to give its particular answer to the widespread longing for immortality. As we said, one answer was to present Jesus as the nations’ teacher whose teachings unmasked the tricks of the demons. Third-century Christian thinkers developed this issue, which originated in the apologists of the second century.
There was both continuity and discontinuity in the way both emperors enforced religious duties upon their subjects in order to please the godhead for the State’s welfare. This background must be kept in mind with respect to the radical change the Christians experienced when they passed from Diocletian’s to Constantine’s reign. This chapter deals with the period from 293 to 324. Diocletian held the supreme power over the Empire from 284, but he introduced the system of the tetrarchy only in 293, the year we have chosen as our starting point for this study.