- Arianism = Islam?
1. It has been a while since the verbatim claims of the Da Vinci Code were levelled against myself. It was rather tedious, but this time there was an Islamic perspective attached. For example, apparently Arius and Arianism believed that Jesus was simply a prophet of God - no crucifixion, resurrection, atonement, et - and that the heretical sect lived on until Muhammad delivered the Qur'an in the 7th century.
This may not be the most effective way to deal with the issue, but it is historically correct and makes use of some good sources. So, was the Jesus of Arius the prophet of Islam 'Isa?
"Arius’s concept of the Christian godhead was monarchic, that is, it held that the first and unique absolute principle of divinity is the Father. Consequently, any other divine reality was considered by him as secondary to the Father. He applied this view first of all to the Logos, the Word of God, the Son who becomes the instrument of the divine plan of creation and salvation. The Son, being bound to the decision of the Father in the very process of his own generation as the Son, is not eternal in the same sense as the Father is eternal; more important, he is not eternal because only the Father is ungenerated. On the other hand, being the instrument of the fulfillment of the Father’s will, the Son is by nature linked with the divine creation. He is, so to speak, the first transcendent creature, the principle of all things."
Arianism, Gale Encyclopedia of Religion 2nd edition Volume 1.
A Sceptical non-Christian
"Arius tried to resolve the problem of the identity of Christ by maintaining that in the beginning there was only God the Father. But at some point in eternity past, God brought his Son into existence, and it was through this Son of God, Christ, that he created all things. Christ, then, was a divine being—but he was subordinate to God the Father as his first creation. And Christ was the one who brought into existence all else. He then became a human by being born of the Virgin; he died for sins, was raised from the dead, and continues to dwell with God, as God’s own Son, in heaven."
Bart D. Ehrman, Fact and Fiction in the Da Vinci Code, p.21
Arius believed that Jesus was a god, a created being, who then co-created the universe with the Father. But there was a time when He was not, declared Arius.I assume this fuflfills a requirement of multiple attestation. An Encyclopaedia, a champion of anti-Christian criticism and a conservative Christian. In my opinion, it is clear that the Jesus of Arius is most definately not the mere prophet 'Isa of Islam.
D. James Kennedy et al (2006), The Da Vinci Myth versus the Gospel Truth, p.40