Hilary on his Feast Day—False teachers make Christ a second order God, or not a God at all

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We have clearly fallen on the evil times prophesied by the Apostle; for nowadays teachers are sought after who preach not God but a creature And men are more zealous for what they themselves desire, than for what the sound faith teaches. So far have their itching ears stirred them to listen to what they desire, that for the moment that preaching alone rules among their crowd of doctors which estranges the Only-begotten God from the power and nature of God the Father, and makes Him in our faith either a God of the second order, or not a God at all; in either case a damning profession of impiety, whether one profess two Gods by making different grades of divinity; or else deny divinity altogether to Him Who drew His nature by birth from God. Such doctrines please those whose ears are estranged from the hearing of the truth and turned to fables, while the hearing of this our sound faith is not endured, and is driven bodily into exile with its preachers.

But though many may heap up teachers according to their desires, and banish sound doctrine, yet from the company of the Saints the preaching of truth can never be exiled. From our exile we shall speak by these our writings, and the Word of God which cannot be bound will run unhindered, warning us of this time which the Apostle prophesied. For when men shew themselves impatient of the true message, and heap up teachers according to their own human desires, we can no longer doubt about the times, but know that while the preachers of sound doctrine are banished truth is banished too. We do not complain of the times: we rejoice rather, that iniquity has revealed itself in this our exile, when, unable to endure the truth, it banishes the preachers of sound doctrine, that it may heap up for itself teachers after its own desires. We glory in our exile, and rejoice in the Lord that in our person the Apostle’s prophecy should be fulfilled.

--Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity, X

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* TheologyAnthropologyChristologyThe Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

Posted January 13, 2014 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Hilary is rightly considered one of the Doctors of the Church, i.e., one of the teachers of universal and permanent significance, largely because of this large book On the Trinity.  Like Irenaeus before him, Hilary was raised and educated in the East, but served as a bishop in the West, in Gaul.  And like Athanasius, he suffered exile for his faithfulness to the Nicene doctrine of the full divinity of Jesus Christ as being “of one substance” (homo-ousios) with the Father.  What is less commonly known, however, is that Hilary is also the first theologian to speak explicitly of the double procession of the Spirit from the Father and the Son (despite his eastern roots).

David Handy+

January 13, 3:14 pm | [comment link]
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