Socinianism is a belief system named after Fausto Sozzini (or Faustus Socinus) that was developed in Poland during the 15th and 16th centuries. It is marked by its non-Trinitarian viewpoint, especially in the fact that it holds that Jesus was only human and not divine.
In addition to this view, Socinianism adheres to other beliefs rejected by historic, orthodox Christianity. For example, this belief system holds that God is not omniscient or all-knowing.
Regarding Jesus, Socinianism teaches that Jesus did not exist until He was born on earth. Jesus was therefore allegedly only a created being and not eternal God or the second Person of the Triune Godhead.
As can be seen in these teachings, Socianianism holds that the Bible is not the inspired, inerrant Word of God. This is in contradiction with many Scriptures, including 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that clearly teaches, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."
A further doctrine rejected by Socinianism is the belief in original sin. Humans sinned, but were not born sinners with an inherent sin nature, according to its teachings.
Socinianism was one of the early belief systems to accept the idea of open theism, the belief that God does not know everything that will happen in the future. This belief system teaches that God only knows what could happen, not what actually would happen. For free will to be possible, God could not know every possible or ultimate future according to this concept. Open theism is clearly unbiblical.
Due to its many unorthodox Christian beliefs, Socinianism has at times been used as a derogatory term regarding any unorthodox Christian teaching. Its teachings would also be used in the development of Unitarianism. While an important historical area of study, Socinianism includes numerous unorthodox Christian beliefs that stand in contradiction with biblical teachings.
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