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date: 24 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Christology of the fourth century often drew a connection between the proclamation of Christ and the theme of divine goodness. The Christological apologetics of the fourth century defended the intelligibility of faith in a crucified Lord by narrating reality as a story of divine goodness, in which the original benevolent divine act of creation is consummated and superseded by the Incarnation and the salvific work of Christ. Trinitarian doctrine included conceptions of Christ’s divinity as intrinsic to divine goodness and of his humanity as a manifestation of that goodness in the mode of self-emptying. The Apollinarian controversy clarified that Christ’s salvific self-emptying consisted not merely in the divine mind directly ruling over human flesh, without the mediation of a human mind, but rather in a complete communion and solidarity between the divine Word and the entirety of the human being. All these aspects of Christological doctrine informed fourth-century preaching.

Keywords: Christology, apologetics, divine goodness, Trinity, divine Word, preaching

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