As I’ve been stuck in my house for the last week fighting the +50 inches of snow fall in Maryland, I took some time to read one of the many books I received for Christmas this year: “The First Seven Ecumenical Councils (325-787): Their History and Theology” by Leo Donald Davis describes in much details the history of these very important councils. I call them important because to this date almost all Christian traditions accept their decrees. If you are a history buff (Specially history of the early Church, like me) this is a little book you will not want to miss.
In the second chapter of this book Dr Davis goes into the history of the first ecumenical council: Nicea. You might have heard that this council was called by Constantine to resolve the Arian controversy (Arian as in a group of bishops who were teaching that of Jesus, the Son of God, “There was a time in which he was not” meaning that he was NOT eternal like the Father) Anyway what caught my attention was a comment on page 59. It seems that the Arians had developed a very strong scriptural base for their claims. The story reads:
“Apparently various attempts were made to fashion a creed using only scriptural terms, but it proved impossible to word such a creed so as to exclude the Arian position in the strictest fashion possible. Aryan-sympathizing bishops could be seen, it is said, winking and nodding, confident that they could twist a scripturally worded creed to their advantage”
At the end the Nicea Fathers, decided to word a creed that expressed the apostolic tradition but could not be twisted to the benefict of the Arians.
I So as you can see the heresy of Sola Scriptura was not a Reformer innovation, the church has been fighting against this error since the beginning.
Viva Cristo Rey!