Debate: Did Constantine Steal Christianity?

vftbgraphic200ARE MODERN-DAY Christians celebrating a faith that was reinvented by the Roman emperor Constantine the Great?

Our format tonight is different.  We welcome two special guests:  Dr. Russ “Pappy” Houck, author of Epidemic: Examining the Infected Roots of Judaism and Christianity, and Cris Putnam, publisher of the website Logos Apologia and co-author of Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope is Here and Exo Vaticana.

Houck contends that Constantine, among other things, changed God’s Sabbath and established the doctrine of Trinitarianism, adding the word “Christ” to the Greek New Testament hundreds of times and “altering Matthew 28:19 to conform to the heretical Trinity doctrine” (Epidemic, p. 220).  Putnam defends the doctrine of the Trinity as predating Constantine by hundreds of years.  The discussion is in a format derived from academic debate and runs roughly an hour and twenty minutes.

Link to audio file

About Cris Putnam
Logos Apologia is the ministry of Cris D. Putnam. The mission of Logos Apologia is to show that logic, science, history and faith are complementary, not contradictory and to bring that life-changing truth to everybody who wants to know.


  1. Natalina says:

    This was so exciting to listen to. I have a history with LD style debate and it was wonderful to hear it presented in this format on VFTB. At the outset, I have to admit that I am biased toward the orthodox trinitarian belief, but in judging the winner of a debate of this nature, it is possible to put personal opinions aside. All you have to do is determine at the outset that you’ll base your determination upon the resolution, which in this case Derek called Russ the affirmative, so that would make the resolution something like, “Resolved: The orthodox concept of the Trinity is an unbiblical stance that was promoted by Constantine in an effort to create a new religion from the early followers of Jesus.” This makes Pappy the affirmative, meaning he agrees, and Cris the negative, in that he disagrees with the resolution.

    Based solely upon the presentation of supporting evidence for each claim and rebuttal, Cris had the clear upper hand in this debate. Russ primarily referred to his own book as a source, and even in the cases when he did so, he put the onus on the audience to find the evidence. You can’t do that. You have to enter a debate under the assumption that the audience is neutral and lacking in facts. It is your job to state a clear case using supporting evidentiary sources (quotes, citations, etc) in an effort to persuade the audience that you’ve presented the best argument.

    Whereas Cris was able to cite ancient papyri, first century church fathers, greek manuscripts, and modern theologians to support his case… Russ was able to cite Russ. And that’s about it. Russ would claim that his primary source was the Bible, but that cannot be claimed as reliable in his case, as part of his contention is that certain portions of the Bible are not reliable. See what I mean? If you’re going to make claims of that magnitude, back it up.

    Both speakers were given equal time, yet while Cris was able to lay out a point by point case, Russ claimed he didn’t have ample time to counter each claim. Again, this presented an ineffective strategy if the goal is to elicit an affirmative response from the audience.

    Some will probably say that this was a somewhat informal debate, and holding either speaker to strict standards is unfair. I disagree. The magnitude of the subject matter, and the role each man plays in the realm of teaching and influencing people outside of this debate is enough reason to expect that each of them would be prepared to present their best and most serious case for what it is that they present as truth. If you cannot give the audience examinable evidence upon which to hang the facts that you present, the audience has no choice but to presume your facts are not facts at all.

    Therefore, anyone who is being intellectually and spiritually honest has to admit that the clear winner of this debate was Cris Putnam, and the ultimate victor was the person of the Holy Spirit, who was clearly and soundly defended.

  2. Hillary says:

    Pls no replies just ThankYou and Praise God for the debate and your terrific representation. Set an example to me. All I can offer is heartfelt gratitude to God for you and to you, here. Kind regards, H.

  3. the Truth is stranger than fiction... says:

    Chris, very encouraged that you have been willing to invest the time and energy into exposing this mass of false teaching. I would say that anyone who listens to this exchange should be able to see that Mr. Houck is disingenuous and self-contradictory on a number of levels. Every time you attempted to focus in on any specific claim he makes, he would simply try to dodge the question, and many times going so far as to suggest that the whole debate was really inconsequential and periphery (which makes NO sense when he is the one coming out of the gate making use of the term “heresy” for the concept of the Trinity, saying that scripture was corrupted, talking about being injections of gnosticism etc!) He refuses to back up any of the very serious assertions he makes, talking in circles, making false appeals to a “unity” between himself and you, while simultaneously accusing you (and 99% of Christianns) of embracing PAGAN doctrine. Confronting slippery deception like this is exhausting I know, but I am thankful that you were able to arrange this person-to-person discussion which I believe showcases the very dangers of his unsubstantiated position.t

  4. James says:

    Cris, I have listened to the first 15 minute exchange. Brother, I just want to take a moment to Praise my God!!!. When you had your on the road to Damascus experience with the Lord Jesus, you were made a “New Creation” Apologist for such a time as this. God Bless, James

  5. Cris Putnam says:

    Thanks everyone, its amazing that so many folks believe this stuff. I don’t think Houck ever researched the idea that the trinity came from paganism, he assumed it was true. There are not any sources from pagan literature that support it and Constantine had NOTHING to do with the trinity doctrine or the NT text.