Whither Athanasius?

St. AthanasiusC.S. Lewis, in his introduction to De Incarnatione, wrote this of Athanasius,

His epitaph is Athanasius contra mundum, “Athanasius against the world.” We are proud that our own country has more than once stood against the world. Athanasius did the same. He stood for the Trinitarian doctrine, “whole and undefiled,” when it looked as if all the civilised world was slipping back from Christianity into the religion of Arius—into one of those “sensible” synthetic religions which are so strongly recommended today and which, then as now, included among their devotees many highly cultivated clergymen. It is his glory that he did not move with the times; it is his reward that he now remains when those times, as all times do, have moved away.

I suggest that the Anglican communion be viewed as a local counsel in error. The Episcopal Church–a smallish branch of the Anglican Communion–is Arian, Nestorian, Docetic, and parts are just plain Gnostic. Our hope is that this is a temporal anomaly. There are champions of the Faith. In our day we have an Athanasius or two and we have Cappadocian Fathers. We have an Irenaeus and a Cyril. To be sure there are Pikes and Spongs, and Swings, Robinsons and Griswolds,Brunos and Schoris. But they shall not prevail.


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