First Short Paper: Nicene Christianity
In this short paper (800-1,000 words, dbl. spaced, standard 12-point font), you will explain the major Christological perspectives that were discussed in the Ecumenical Councils of the fourth and fifth centuries (the Councils of Nicaea, Constantinople, and Chalcedon).

The Controversy

First, drawing from your course texts, briefly discuss the controversy over the deity of Jesus (approx. 250-300 words).

What were the positions of the different parties (concentrate on their views about Christ)?
Why did they hold these views?

The Outcome

Second, describe the outcome of these councils, including the “Chalcedonian Definition” (approx. 250-300 words).

What conclusions were reached at Nicaea and the subsequent councils?
Why did they reach them?
What difference did these specific conclusions make in the life of the church?

Application and Analysis

Third, apply what you have learned to your contemporary Christian fellowship/church experience (approx. 300-400 words). Possible questions for your reflection in this third section would be:

What is the Christology (the understanding of who Christ is) of your contemporary Christian fellowship/church?
How does this Christology compare or contrast with Nicene orthodoxy?
How does your Christian fellowship/church adherence or departure from Nicene orthodoxy affect the message of salvation (and it does!)?
Why should (or shouldn’t) the thinking of contemporary Christians be/ become aligned with the Nicene Creed?
Review the syllabus for other details on expectations for writing assignments.
Your papers should draw primarily (but not exclusively) from the three course textbooks (Bingham, Kerr, and Lane). Integration of quality, additional outside sources into papers is required. Sources other than course textbooks should be scholarly books or articles. E-books or full-text articles secured through the Regent University Library databases are ideal (e.g. the ATLA Religion Database, which contains numerous relevant journals and pertinent scholarly articles, or the Religion and Divinity database; see Internet websites should not be used.
These are the text books. ▪ A Concise History of Christian Thought, rev. ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2006), Tony Lane (ISBN-10: 0801031591; ISBN-13: 9780801031595). $28.00
▪ Readings in Christian Thought, 2d ed. (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1990), Hugh Kerr (ISBN-10: 0687355478; ISBN-13: 9780687355471). $36.00
▪ Pocket History of the Christian Church (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), D. Jeffrey Bingham (ISBN-10: 0830827013; ISBN-13: 9780830827015). $9.00

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