Carl Trueman has a post defending the centrality of Nicene Trinitarianism. Apparently, he is responding to the video James MacDonald released yesterday defending The Elephant Room 2, which seemed to suggest that defending orthodoxy is a “white” thing. Trueman writes:
Still, let us go back to the fourth century and see how the `middle aged white guy’ critique measures up. Well, at the Council of Nicea in 325, many of the participants were no doubt middle aged — which Paul in the Pastorals would actually seem to think is quite a good thing in a church leader. But white? I suspect they were ethnically more akin to modern day Turks or south eastern Europeans, not that racial categories really meant anything then. The key category in the fourth century was that of Roman citizenship, not skin colour.
More significantly, of course, had you been there yourself and looked around the council, you would have seen that many of the delegates had body parts missing – an arm here, a leg there, an occasional eye – because they were survivors of the terrible persecutions under Diocletian and Galerius. Indeed, many had probably lost close friends and family members too. Thus, the foundations for the creedal doctrine of the Trinity were laid by men who thought doctrine was something for which it was actually worth suffering and dying.
That someone is willing to die for a cause does not sanctify it; but when you add to this that Nicene orthodoxy has been universally agreed upon as important by millions of Christians of multiple races, nationalities and age profile, through sixteen centuries, surely that should give us pause for thought. The questions asked at Nicea were important and they were asked by serious men, men serious enough to risk death for their faith. To dismiss all this with a wave of the hand or through simple lack of knowledge and competence, and to follow this up by playing the race card, is an interesting move.
But hey, if a bunch of middle-aged American pastors in the Elephant Room tell you Nicea and its delegates — and all the Christians who have suffered and died to maintain its truth over the centuries — are irrelevant, who am I to question them? To do so would surely be the height of arrogance. Ahem.
Read the rest here.