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Posted by on Jul 19, 2016 | 3 comments

The Nicene Creed: “one baptism for the remission of sins.”

The Nicene Creed: “one baptism for the remission of sins.”

**This post is part of a series reflecting on the Nicene Creed** << Previous post View series “We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins.” I do not remember my baptism, and because regular church attendance was not an essential part of my childhood, it was not until I was 20 that I became concerned with the event. Upon returning to the faith when I was 18, I considered being rebaptized. The evangelicals I spent time with did not seem to care either way. Reflecting on that time of questioning, I suppose I felt like I was missing out on an essential Christian experience—a sort of profound experience that I could easily say was the moment I encountered the divine. I did not know at the time how profound my baptism really was. Paul states that to be baptized is to be buried and raised with Christ (Col 2:12, Rom 6). The cross is the lens from which we interpret the power of baptism. To take baptism seriously,...

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Posted by on Jul 14, 2016 | 4 comments

The Nicene Creed: “One Church”

The Nicene Creed: “One Church”

**This post is part of a series reflecting on the Nicene Creed** << Previous post View series Next post >>     “And we believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.” “Pope Says Having A Personal Relationship With Jesus Is Dangerous” ran the headline. Of course, the Pope had said nothing of the sort. He had only called dangerous the temptation to think that you can “go it alone” in your faith, without the support of others, a statement with which most Protestants would heartily agree.[1] But the accusation points to a crucial question with which the Pope and his accusers probably nonetheless differ: Is Christian faith communal by its very nature, or only by accident? Can someone be authentically Christian, a true disciple of Christ, if they have nothing to do with the Church? At first sight the answer would seem that faith can be individual. Believing in Jesus and following his teaching matters more than going to church services. Aren’t there millions of hypocrites who attend church but...

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Posted by on Jul 11, 2016 | 2 comments

The Nicene Creed: “…who spoke by the prophets.”

The Nicene Creed: “…who spoke by the prophets.”

**This post is part of a series reflecting on the Nicene Creed** << Previous post View series Next post >>   “…who spoke by the prophets.”   Semi-Arian, Pneumatomachian, Spirit fighters. These titles designate a heretical sect that emerged in the fourth-century whose followers denied the divinity of the Spirit. As Alex outlined in his introductory post, the Nicene Creed underwent a two-part development, the first in 325 and the second in 381. One of the important developments of the Creed in 381 regards the proclamation about the Holy Spirit: 325: And in the Holy Ghost. 381: And 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 worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets. As can be seen, the 381 additions emphasizes the full divinity of the Holy Spirit as the third-person of the Trinity. But why the addition of “who spoke by the prophets?” In 379, Gregory of Nazianzus was...

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Posted by on Jul 4, 2016 | 2 comments

The Nicene Creed: “…to judge the quick and the dead…”

The Nicene Creed: “…to judge the quick and the dead…”

**This post is part of a series reflecting on the Nicene Creed** << Previous post View series Next post >> From thence he shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end. The Creed has it all. The key topics of systematic theology, whether written by the deeply conservative or the modern German liberal, are all found in the creed. Theology proper—the study of God, as Rachel wrote about. Christology—the study of Christ—and soteriology— “for us and for our salvation.” Thursday’s blog post will feature the first post on pneumatology, the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, and today is our first taste of eschatology: the study of death, judgment, and our final destiny. The notion of a final judgment has captured the imagination of Christians for many centuries. Countless paintings and altarpieces are devoted to the topic; today’s chosen image is one such altarpiece created in the 15th century by Hans Memling. That the end times remain of interest can be...

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