The Hidden Flaw in Traditional Christianity: A Perversion of Monotheism
Friedrich Loofs (church historian, 1858-1928):
"The Apologists [‘church fathers’ like Justin Martyr, mid-2nd century] laid the foundation for the perversion (Verkehrung) of Christianity into a revealed [philosophical] teaching. Specifically, their Christology affected the later development disastrously. By taking for granted the transfer of the concept of Son of God onto the preexisting Christ, they were the cause of the Christological problem of the 4th century. They caused a shift in the point of departure of Christological thinking — away from the historical Christ and onto the issue of preexistence. They thus shifted attention away from the historical life of Jesus, putting it into the shadow and promoting instead the Incarnation. They tied Christology to cosmology and could not tie it to soteriology. The Logos teaching is not a 'higher' Christology than the customary one. It lags in fact far behind the genuine appreciation of Christ. According to their teaching it is no longer God who reveals Himself in Christ, but the Logos, the inferior God, a God who as God is subordinated to the Highest God (inferiorism or subordinationism)...In addition the suppression of economic-Trinitarian ideas by metaphysical-pluralistic concepts of the divine triad (trias) can be traced to the Apologists."
(Friedrich Loofs, Leitfaden zum Studium des Dogmengeschichte [Manual for the Study of the History of Dogma] (1890), part 1 ch. 2, section 18: "Christianity as a Revealed Philosophy. The Greek Apologists," Niemeyer Verlag, 1951, p. 97).
This disastrous development is reflected exactly in modern popular evangelism. D. James Kennedy says:
"Many people today think that the essence of Christianity is the teachings of Jesus. That isn't so…Christianity centers not in the teachings of Jesus but in the person of Jesus as the incarnate God who came into the world to take upon himself our guilt and to die in our place."
(The Presence of a Hidden God, 2008, p. 82).
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