Gregory, although he has not always escaped the charge of Sabellianism, now holds an undisputed place among the fathers of the church; and although the turn of his mind was practical rather than speculative, he is known to have taken an energetic part in most of the doctrinal controversies of his time.
He detected in his bishop Gnosticism, Manichaeism and Sabellianism, and was convinced that he himself was the champion of pure doctrine against heresy.
2 It was violently controverted by the bishops, notably by Dionysius of Alexandria, and the development in the East of the philosophical doctrine of the Trinity after Origen (from 260 to 320) was very powerfully influenced by the opposition to Sabellianism.
Sabellianism, in fact, became a collective name for all those Unitarian doctrines in which the divine nature of Christ was acknowledged.
The sources of our knowledge of Sabellianism are Hippolytus (Philos.
Sometimes he gives prominence, and correctly, to the fact that the disputants partially failed to understand one another, because they had separate interests at heart - those on the one side desiring above everything to guard against polytheism, those on the other being most afraid of Sabellianism.
It was natural that he should take this side, for in his traditional fear of Sabellianism, in which he was one with the followers of Origen in general, he found it difficult to approve the position of Alexander, who seemed to be doing away altogether with the subordination of the Son.
The former and briefer aims simply to expose the errors of Marcellus, whom Eusebius accuses of Sabellianism, the latter to refute them.
The other species, Modalism, has its most important type historically in Sabellianism.
In regard to the Trinity, Protestantism tart his- has nothing very new to say, though " Sabellianism " tors of is revived by Swedenborg and Schleiermacher.
Caroli brought a counter-charge against the Geneva divines of Sabellianism and Arianism, because they would not enforce the Athanasian creed, and had not used the words "Trinity" and "Person" in the confession they had drawn up. It was a struggle between the thoroughgoing humanistic reformer who drew his creed solely from the "word of God" and the merely semi-Protestant reformer who looked on the old creed as a priceless heritage.
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.
But he never felt in sympathy with the extreme views of the Athanasian party, for they seemed to him to savour of Sabellianism, which always remained his chief dread (cf.
And the name Sabellianism is often loosely applied (e.g.
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