Thus when in the ante-Nicene age the doctrine of the Trinity was under discussion, dynamic Monarchianism " regarded Christ as a mere man, who, like the prophets, though in a much higher measure, had been endued with divine wisdom and power"; modal Monarchianism saw in the Logos dwelling in Christ "only a mode of the activity of the Father"; Patripassianism identified the Logos with the Father; and Sabellianism regarded Father, Son and Spirit as "the roles which the God who manifests Himself in the world assumes in succession" (Kurtz, Church History, i.
MONARCHIANISM, a theological term designating the view taken by those Christians who, within the Church, towards the end of the 2nd century and during the 3rd, opposed the doctrine of an independent personal subsistence of the Logos.
It is usual to speak of two kinds of monarchianism - the dynamistic and the modalistic, though the distinction cannot be carried through without some straining of the texts.
Modalistic monarchianism, conceiving that the whole fullness of the Godhead dwelt in Christ, took exception to the "subordinatianism" of some Church writers, and maintained that the names Father and Son were only two different designations of the same subject, the one God, who "with reference to the relations in which He had previously stood to the world is called the Father, but in reference to His appearance in humanity is called the Son."
(For the subsequent history of modalistic monarchianism see SABELLIUS.) See the Histories of Dogma by A.