Gregory of Nazianzus, “Five Theological Orations”

Gregory of Nazianzus, along with his friend, Basil of Caesarea, and with Basil’s younger brother, Gregory of Nyssa, is considered one of the three great Cappadocian fathers.” Together, in the Fourth Century, they defended the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity against Arian sects that denied the Consubstantiality of the Son (of one and the same substance or being) with the Father and the Deity and Personality of the Holy Spirit. “His principal opponents were the followers of Eunomius and Macedonius”. “Eunomius was the first person to discontinue using the triune formula in baptism. He believed that God can be “perfectly known and comprehended by the human intellect;” and denied the full Deity of the Son; attributing full Deity only to the Father; As an Arian, he claimed there was a time when the Son did not exist, He was the Father’s first creation and His Essence is altogether unlike that of the Father. Macedonius, accepted “the statement that the Son was Like in Essence to the Father”, but declared the Holy Spirit to be a mere creature and the servant or minister of the Son. In response to these heretical movements, Gregory wrote The Five Theological Orations; and preached them at a church called Anastasia, in Constantinople, between 379 and 381. To Gregory, the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity is the fundamental dogma of the Christian faith. His defense of the Godhead (in particular the Deity of the Son) in his Orations, earned him the proper moniker, The Theologian.

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