The Nicene Creed

Discussion in 'Faith, Devotion & Formation' started by Botolph, Oct 6, 2018.

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  1. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    The history of the Church in understanding the Creed is important. The contributing role of Arianism and the Pneumatomachi cannot be ignored if you want to understand why the words came to be so carefully considered in 381. The original purpose was to ensure that people could understand that the argument that the Nicene Creed is not scriptural and lacks a scriptural base is without merit. I quite like Beveridge on the Creed (https://www.anglican.net/works/william-beveridge-church-catechism-explained-1720/#p4) however I don't know that he was seeking to exegete it, but rather to discuss its meaning for us.

    I don't think that the filioque was a big issue for the reformers in general who attention was focussed on other matters, notably matters of indulgences, the authority of the Church vs the authority of scripture, and the incapacity of man to save himself save for faith in the redeeming work of Christ. Essentially it wasn't the topic of the day. I personally think that to dismiss a position of the filioque as 'may personally feel' is a little disingenuous. I have not sought to argue for or against the filioque, though it is clear that I have a considered position on the subject, I certainly allow room for others to have a considered position which may be different to mine.
     
  2. Tiffy

    Tiffy Active Member

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    These matters are difficult to comprehend even at the best of times, and nobody actually can ever understand the exact way in which the Trinity operates. If they could they would be able to put God in a bottle and usurp His position of being Ineffable.

    The theory of the Trinity is in all probability an attempt to reconcile scripture with scripture. That is what is actually at issue, since none could be so arrogant as to assume they could describe and define God. Even Jesus didn't try to do that using human language.

    As regards the filioque clause, I'm inclined to think it was put into various manuscript copies because the copyists really believed it should be there, but somehow had been missed out inadvertently. It then became standard, because it seemed so right that The Holy Spirit should be intimately involved with both the other Persons of the Trinity, if the Spirit was to be regarded as truly co-eternal and co-equal with both of the other Persons in the Godhead. I'm happy for it to be there, (but who the heck am I to say a thing like that :laugh:). In all these matters we are all 'out of our depth' and 'sailing uncharted waters'. Anything which emphasizes God's utter uniqueness, while also accepting God's utter remoteness and intimate immanence has got to be capable of mind bending ability to embrace paradox, and therefore intellectually must needs fall at the feet of God in awe.
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  3. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    That may be so, but it was certainly commented on, in commentaries on the Nicene Creed if nowhere else.

    http://www.academia.edu/3722448/_Ho...r_Theological_Journal_66_Spring_2004_159_77._
    “How Important is the Filioque for Reformed Orthodoxy?” Westminster Theological Journal 66 (Spring 2004): 159 – 77.
     
  4. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    So let me be clear about my position.
    1. I affirm:

      John 14:26 'But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.'
      John 15:26 ‘When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf.'
      John 20:22 'When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit'.'

    2. I affirm the principle enunciated in the 39 Articles not expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another. (Article 20)

    3. I accept the Creed of the 1st Council of Constantinople as affirmed by the Five Patriarchs and the two following Great Councils of the Church, and indeed a number of Popes in the following centuries.

    4. I do however question the authority of the Bishop of Rome to change the Creed of the Councils, whilst I fully endorse the understanding that Spirit may proceed from the Father, or From the Father and the Son, but that always the alpha point of all that is is understood in the monarchical integrity of the Father.
     
  5. Tiffy

    Tiffy Active Member

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    It is so gratifying to have one's own insights confirmed by so qualified a source. Thanks for a heavy but very informative read.

    When all is said and done, no matter how essential it may be that we strive to get a proper understanding of God's Awesome Majesty, (encompassing His Absolute Sovereignty, infinite compassion, patience, loving kindness and Wisdom, [personified as female, Prov.1:20-23 ;)], it is MORE ESSENTIAL that we 'receive the Holy Spirit' not merely perceive the role, nature or origin of The Holy Spirit.

    And that is not a matter of intellectual understanding, it is merely a matter of asking in faith.
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