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Just a blurb

  

It’s very hard to post after a blitzkrieg of sorts involving theological conference papers. I trust that it was fun. Unfortunately I couldn’t go, I was stuck working back at North Hills. 

It is hard following up such great scholarship as those who write papers for the Theological Conference and sometimes I find it quite daunting to come up against such great minds. I found myself reading some of the papers and I got stuck on Kent Ross’s paper on Heresy, or at least the so-called heresy of the Radical Reformation.  For those of you who are unsure of what the Radical Reformation was, it was a part of the Anabaptist movement that desired to get back to the truths of the Bible, to get back to the original teachings of Jesus and the apostles. Radical meaning “back to the roots” they desired to get back to Christianity’s roots which are where many of us in that line of thinking get our Unitarian and soul sleep beliefs, from this desire to get back to the roots of Christianity.

In any case, I was reading some of the famous creedal statments of mainline Christianity and the difference 300 years makes all of a sudden impressed itself on me. The Apostles’ creed is stunningly different from the Nicene Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord: who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; the third day he rose from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church*, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

This is the Lutheran Version, it seems that each of the different liturgical denominations have a different version to match up with their “beliefs.”

The Nicene Creed changed this greatly defining Jesus as God of God and Light of Light, a radical departure from “His [God’s] only Son, our Lord.” I believe it would take too much space to post the actual creed in this blog so I will just post a link to a site containing it: http://www.creeds.net/ancient/nicene.htm.

Of course this is where we see a great departure from the original creed of Israel in Deuteronomy 6:4, defining God, Yahweh, as one. It has always interested me how humans in their futility have managed to make what they think law and then persecuting those who are attempting to rethink these beliefs. This happened during the “Radical Reformation.”

I am reminded of Alan Eyre’s book in which it talks of a non-trinitarian about to be tortured. The torturer was attempting to force him to agree with a recite the Nicene Creed, but the man said that Peter’s original confession found in Matthew 16 “You are the Christ, the son of the living God” was enough for him.

I was thinking, how many of us refuse to continue to check our beliefs against scripture and may be promoting a faulty understanding (which is bad) and then saying that everyone else is wrong and heretical when they perhaps may be right (which is even worse). This reminds me, and I hope it reminds the rest of us to use what God has already said and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit to check ourselves. It seems to me that all Christians ought to be Theologians in a different sense. Some may be serious theologians, but all Christians need to be checking things out with Scripture and the story of God. This situation reminds me to do that, as a matter of fact, I am reminded to do that every time I go or interface with the Theological conference.

Kyle

3 Responses to “Just a blurb”

  1. on 02 May 2008 at 3:16 pmKaren

    “This is the Lutheran Version, it seems that each of the different liturgical denominations have a different version to match up with their “beliefs.” ”

    The Apostle’s Creed was originally written in Greek. The different versions are mostly different translations, just as we have many different translations of the Bible. The only significant difference between them is the inclusion and/or wording of “he descended to the dead”, sometimes translated as “descended into hell”. The most commonly used version is as follows:

    I believe in God, the Father almighty,

    creator of heaven and earth.

    I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,

    who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
    born of the Virgin Mary,
    suffered under Pontius Pilate,
    was crucified, died, and was buried;
    he descended to the dead.
    On the third day he rose again;
    he ascended into heaven,
    he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
    and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

    I believe in the Holy Spirit,

    the holy catholic Church,
    the communion of saints,
    the forgiveness of sins,
    the resurrection of the body,
    and the life everlasting. Amen.

    (Understanding, of course, that ‘catholic’ here means ‘universal’, not the Roman Catholic church.) When you see it in this form, you see that it’s Trinitarian in outline, if not in its specifics as the Nicene and later creeds are.

  2. on 03 May 2008 at 11:21 pmRay

    Today I watched an old Billy Graham crusade in black and white.
    A very young Billy Graham was reading the part from Acts where
    Philip the evangelist ran up to the man in the chariot who was reading from Isaiah 53.

    Acts 8:37
    And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.
    And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of
    God.

    I wonder what Philip would have done if the eunuch would have
    said, “I believe Jesus is God the Son.”

    I think I would simply say, “If you believe Jesus is the Christ, the
    Son of God you may be baptized, and if you have no man to do it
    for you, I will do it in Jesus’ name.”

    If he wanted to argue with me, I think I would just walk away, but
    if he received what I said, I would be willing to baptize him in the
    name of Jesus Christ, and tell him so.

    If he would say, ” I want you to baptize me in the name of Jesus
    Christ, God the Son.” I don’t know what I would do. I suppose
    I would ask him why the words “God the Son” is important to him.

    I would want to know if it adds anything to Jesus as he is, that is
    necessary to him, and if so, I would want to know why because I
    don’t think I would want to baptize people who like to mess around
    and play games with words or whatever else is behind the words
    if it’s a game.

    I hope he could understand that I want to treat him fairly, and that
    I also have a responsibilty before God.

    I think somehow, some words got changed in their meanings or
    something.

  3. on 04 May 2008 at 6:12 amSean

    Kyle, we missed you this year!

  

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