You Need to Know About Athanasius

One of the great saints of the early church was Athanasius, who stood contra mundum (“against the world”) for the truth of the deity of Christ against the Arians in the 4th century. He was a deacon in the church in Alexandria, Egypt, and was the main proponent of what became codified as orthodoxy in the Nicene Creed in 325 (and later amplified at the Council of Constantinople in 381, some eight years after Athanasius’ death). Both at the Council of Nicea and after it, he contended for the belief that Jesus Christ was not made at some point in time, but has always existed, and is of the same substance as God the Father (“homoousios”). His fight for truth earned him exile by the unholy alliance of the Arians and the empire – not just once, but five times. He was a godly, bold, articulate, and thoughtful father in the faith, who suffered much for the truth. He is a man to know about, to imitate, to read, to give thanks to God for. I encourage you to read more about him in John Piper’s book Contending for Our All (and check out the other volumes on biography by Piper in his “The Swans are Not Silent” series).



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