In his book No Apologies, Anthony Esolen writes:

Had the fathers at Nicea not insisted upon the co-eternity of the Son with the Father the faith would long have degenerated into a kindly social club. Instead they affirmed that strange and world transcending vision of Trinitarian glory

Esolen contends that the "complex God of the Athanasian Creed" is one based on the masculine habit of precision in detail. He believes that it was the creativity mixed with masculine anti-social tendencies that helped form the doctrines of the Trinity and without them Christianity would be anodyne, acceptable, worldly and hedonistic like Arius and not "something flaming, like Joan of Arc".

Furthermore, Belloc says:

A great number of the old noble families were reluctant to accept the social revolution implied by the triumph of the Christian Church. They naturally sided with a movement which they instinctively felt to be spiritually opposed to the life and survival of that Church and which carried with it an atmosphere of social superiority over the populace. The Church relied upon and was supported at the end by the masses. Men of old family tradition and wealth found the Arian more sympathetic than the ordinary Catholic and a better ally for gentlemen.

Did Arians ever address these modern contentions or did they make snob appeal the basis for their doctrinal preferences?

  • 2
    What formed the 'doctrines of the Trinity' was the movings of the Holy Spirit within godly men, which is abundantly evident in the apostles and those who followed them. The idea that other 'tendencies' were responsible could have a certain element of truth to it, but was not the guiding principle.
    – Nigel J
    Dec 16, 2022 at 9:49
  • Are you scoping your Q for modern-day Arians to answer (given that the ancient ones were not facing charges of creating too palatable a deviation from Christianity - unless anyone can cite sources to the contrary)? Or would you be happy for those who know about arianism to answer, with quotes?
    – Anne
    Dec 16, 2022 at 16:26
  • @anne I think if someone can figure out how to answer from the perspective of ante-Nicaean Christianity it stands to reason that someone can figure out how to answer from the perspective of anti-Nicaean Christianity. Mainly, I'd like to know if they made any apology for de-radicalizing Christianity.
    – Peter Turner
    Dec 16, 2022 at 16:34
  • Please be patient with me as I struggle to understand this, because I thought the Arians were the radical ones who had to be resisted for corrupting the doctrine of Christ, but today arianism is growing and spreading a 'comfortable' easy-believism that embraces all but trinitarians. Is the point of the Q based on Anthony Esolen's opinion/ thesis as in his book?
    – Anne
    Dec 16, 2022 at 16:43
  • 1
    @one excellent points, take them to heart, drill them into your children.
    – Peter Turner
    Dec 16, 2022 at 18:33


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