History Of Country Region
This explanation of the history of faith, and thus also of dogma, is well-illustrated by a consideration of baptismal faith. For the first Christians, the encounter with the Lord in baptism, conversion to him, was undoubtedly a privileged experience of faith. The Epistle to the Romans 58 is the most eloquent attestation of this. This baptismal experience found dogmatic expression in the mandate, attributed to the risen Christ, to baptize all in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit Mt 28:19; Did. 7. The baptismal formula would thus be the light in which new converts would see their baptism. Those, on the other hand, who were baptized in other historical and religious circumstances the 4th c. would reinterpret the formula to the point of arriving, at the end of that century, at a universal acceptance of faith in the Trinity.
The main steps toward this goal, which were not the last, were 1 Justin presents the baptismal creed to the pagans as an expression of Christian religiosity Apol. 6; 61-67; 2 Irenaeus frames his catechesis within the three articles of the baptismal creed Epid. 3-6; 100; 3 the Traditio Apostolica mentions it in its defense of the traditional liturgy ch. 21; 4 Origen makes it the basis of his vision of the world Princ. praef.; 5 the Council of Nicaea rules out any graduality of the three persons; 6 anti-Sabellian theologians, like Eusebius of Caesarea, see it as the main evidence of the true distinction of the divine persons Hahn, 188; 7 Basil derives homotimia, the equal adoration of the Father, Son and Spirit, from the baptismal consecration in the triple name; 8 he also insists on the necessity of understanding Jesus’ baptismal command starting precisely from baptismal experience. Thus baptismal faith, experienced and further elucidated on both a theological and a dogmatic level, became during the first centuries the explicit confession that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, really distinct but without distinction of degree, are nonetheless one God.
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