Posts tagged ‘Nicene Creed’

December 14, 2015

Radicals Reject the Ecumenical Creeds

 

SONY DSC

Faustus Socinus

On Sunday, November 22, 2015, Elder Wayne Wylie led a discussion on the Radical Reformers’ Rejection of the Ecumenical Creeds.

The ecumenical creeds, namely, the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed and the Chalcedonian Definition confess the foundational doctrines of the Christian Faith. The “Magisterial Reformers,” or the Lutherans, Calvinists and Anglicans, retained confession of the ecumenical creeds in their reforms of theology and practice.

The “Radical Reformers,” known also as the Anabaptist movement, however, rejected the ecumenical creeds. They emphasized a more individualistic form of divine revelation at the expense of Scripture. They, therefore, repeated many errors of the ancient heretics like Adoptionism and Docetism , among others. Socinianism was introduced. Faustus Socinus denied the deity of Christ and the exclusivity of salvation through him.

The communions born out of the Magisterial Reformaiton divided regionally due to blocks of nations establishing the various churches. Those who confessed a particular tradition moved to that tradition’s region of Europe.

The controversy over freewill was discussed. The freedom to do what one wants is limited by various factors, chief of all the moral nature of the individual. Semi-Pelagianism finds expression in post-Reformation era in the form of Arminianism. Crisis in the Reformed Churches recommended for an introduction to the debate at the Synod of Dort.

Listen to “Radicals Reject the Ecumenical Creeds” at mcopc.org.

Advertisements
November 18, 2015

Pneumatomachianism and the Definition of Chalcedon

Click image to read more about this book.

Click image to read more about this book.

On Sunday, November 8, 2015, the Adult Sunday School lesson introduced Pneumatomachianism and the Definition of Chalcedon.

The class discussed the eternality of the Holy Spirit in light of the fact that he “proceeds from the Father and the Son.” Then, Pneumatomachianism was introduced, and how this ancient heresy led to the insertion by the Western catholic church of the so-called “filioque clause” into the Nicene Creed, which reads, “…And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.”

Pneumatomachians–While accepting the divinity of Jesus Christ as affirmed at Nicea in AD 325, they denied that of the Holy Spirit which they saw as a creation of the Son, and a servant of the Father and the Son. Led to the Filioque of the Nicene Creed (from class handout).

The difficulty of conceiving of the human and divine natures of the Lord Jesus Christ and the gravity with which the orthodox creedal formulations of the first five hundred years of church history were enforced was then discussed.

The Chalcedonian Definition of the relationship between the two natures of Christ:

Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the God-bearer; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from the earliest times spoke of him, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the creed of the fathers has handed down to us. (Click here for more information about the Definition of Chalcedon)

Implicit faith in the revelation of the human and divine natures of Christ in Scripture despite the complexity of how this can be without falling into one or other of the ancient heresies was affirmed.

Then the discussion moved to the issue of original sin, and how the guilt of Adam was not imputed to Jesus because his conception was “extraordinary,” rather than being the “ordinary generation” by which the guilt of Adam is conveyed to his posterity, in the words of the Westminster Standards.

Finally, the class closed with some discussion of the apparent hierarchy in the Godhead and the distinction between the ontological and economic Trinity (click here for more on these terms).

Listen to “Pneumatomachianism and the Definition of Chalcedon” at mcopc.org.

November 3, 2015

The Arian Heresy and Nicene Orthodoxy

The Council of Nicea ruling on the Arian Heresy.

The Council of Nicea ruling on the Arian Heresy.

On Sunday, November 1, 2015, Elder Wayne Wylie taught about the Arian Heresy and Nicene Orthodoxy.

Christianity faces more controversies and heresies than other religions because it is based on propositional doctrine rather than morality, as other religions are. “Contending for the faith” is a biblical duty intended to preserve the peace and purity of the church (Jude 3). In the ancient era of church history, the Faith needed to be stated more clearly in a formal way, hence the development of Nicene Orthodoxy.

The heresiarch Arius taught that Jesus was the first created being, and denied the “ontological Trinity,” which means he denied that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are of one divine essence. The councils which developed the Nicene Creed demonstrate the fact of the eternal generation of the Son, and the modern controversy over this teaching is due to a new understanding of the Greek root of the term translated “begotten” in reference to Christ.

Listen to “The Arian Heresy and Nicene Orthodoxy” at mcopc.org.