Skip to main content

Why the Nicene Creed is Pretty Much Awesome

The Nicene Creed (well, technically, it’s the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed...but that’s not nearly as sexy) is one of three ecumenical creeds that nutshells basic Christian beliefs and particularly hones in on the doctrine of the Trinity. This creed is more than a cobwebbed document that sits in a library; it is a living manifesto of the Gospel!
First established at the Council of Nicea in 325, the final stanza regarding the Holy Spirit was not appended until the Council of Constantinople in 381. Pneumatological theology had not been fully developed at the time of Nicea, especially because the council was focused on Christological heresy, in particular Arianism, who egregiously taught that the Son was created. But Arius was a charismatic and clever marketer, singing catchy musical jingles to declare that “there was a time when the Son was not.” As St. Athanasius and many of his opponents argued, if the Son was created, then he is less than the Father. Hence, the Nicene Creed was in a part an attack against Arius’ teachings, most directly shown in the line that Christ was “begotten, not made.” This is why the bulk of the Nicene Creed focuses on the work and nature of Jesus Christ.

The Creed parallels the Apostles’ Creed with a Colossians 1:15-20 twist. We see the cosmic Christ as the restorer of our relationships with God and we confess, as St. Anselm writes, why God became man. The Nicene Creed is the Christmas gospel; it explains the logic for and the nature of the Incarnation, celebrated during Advent, and looks ahead to the work he will accomplish for the Kingdom. As we read this ancient creed, we sit in wonder of the Incarnation – God becoming human in order to bring light and life into a dark and broken world.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Learning Theology Through The Church's Worship

Worship and theology are inextricably linked; some even say that worship is “lived theology.” The ancient formula lex orandi, lex credendi insists that the goal of theology is to make better worshippers. Yet for many years, there has been a gap in introducing worship as a way of doing theology. To be sure, there is an abundance of works on systematic, historical, and constructive theology, and many on worship theory and practice; however, their intersection is given little attention in current literature. Dennis Okholm observed this problem and offers his Learning Theology through the Church’s Worship: An Introduction to Christian Belief (Baker Academic, 2018) to fill this gap, providing a systematic theology textbook arranged as an order of worship.

The book is structured as a worship service, designed to bring readers through the typical movements of a service, stopping along the way to uncover the theology behind the Church’s worship. He opens with an impassioned argument for why …

Product Review: LL Bean Extra-Large Rolling Adventure Duffle

Overview When adventure strikes, the right bag makes all the difference. Too often, however, luggage bags are either large, ponderous suitcases or small, flimsy duffle bags. I have traveled to Central and South America multiple times with terribly large suitcases. It added extra complication to my trip—especially lugging the bag up the steps! This is the problem which LL Bean seeks to rectify in the LL Bean Extra-Large Rolling Adventure Duffle. With a 137-liter capacity, this duffel is able to hold the items of the biggest pack-rat while being easy to transport. It features a telescoping handle, smooth-gliding wheels, and cinch straps.

SpecificationsCapacity: Approx. 8,350 cu. in., 137 L. Weight: 9 lb. 3 oz. Dimensions: 17"H x 34"W x 15"D. 
HighlightsThis bag is sturdy. Not only is it capable of holding many items, but it is incredibly durable. It has a reinforced nylon bottom and a thick plastic frame so that the bag does not sag or become weak. The bag is dubbed “extra-…

Review: NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible

A revised version of the previously published NIV Zondervan Study Bible, the NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible (Zondervan, 2018) represents the best of biblical scholarship in a compact study Bible. It introduces Biblical Theology (BT), a discipline that is intended for readers to weave individual books and stories into a larger metanarrative that reveals God's redemptive plan through the entire Bible. To that end, this study Bible includes articles introducing BT and articles on theological matters.

While the emphasis of this Bible may appeal to a more Reformed/covenantal audience, the contributors span a variety of theological traditions and are respected authorities within their discipline. The verse-by-verse notes—over 20,000—are insightful and suitable for determining the historical, literary, and cultural background of the text with a view to responsible interpretation of Scripture. There are in-text cross references, a concordance, maps, and useful charts. Each book contai…