VIEWS: 29 PAGES: 4 POSTED ON: 2/26/2010
Ecumenical Creeds Wrap-Up Lesson I. Apostles’ Creed A. Dating The Apostles’ Creed is most likely dated back to the mid third century AD. It was originally used as a baptismal confession. B. Heresies Refuted 1. Marcionism Marcion taught that Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament was a different being than the God who was the father of Jesus Christ in the New Testament. In fact, he held that the God of the Old Testament was evil, or at least, less good than the other, and had created matter, including the world, in rebellion to the will of the greater God. Thus, the ultimate goal of life was to escape from the confines of the material world. Refuting Language: God, the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth and in Jesus Christ, his only Son (contra the Marcionist teaching of 2 separate gods.) Maker of heaven and earth (contra Marcionist teaching of matter as evil and not part of God’s original plan.) 2. Docetism Docetism was another second and third century heresy that claimed that Jesus only seemed to be human and only seemed to die on the cross. Refuting Language: born of the virgin, Mary (contra Docetic teaching that Jesus seemed human.) dead and buried (contra Docetic teaching that Jesus only seemed to die.) C. Theological Issues Summary 1. Jesus Christ as the Messiah of Old Testament prophecy 2. Yahweh as the creator of all things, including matter 3. Reality of the actual life and death of Christ D. Practical Uses of the Apostles’ Creed Today 1. As an outline for teaching the basics of biblical Christianity This can be seen from the variety of books that use the Apostles’ Creed as a statement of essential truths (J. I. Packer’s Growing in Christ; Justo Gonzalez’ The Apostles’ Creed for Today and Alister McGrath’s I Believe: Exploring the Apostles’ Creed) 2. Refuting the notion that material things are evil The Apostles’ Creed helps us to remember that the material world was created by God and will one day be totally redeemed by Him. The notion that our bodies are evil, that bodily pleasure is wicked, that enjoying “non-spiritual” things too much is evidence of immaturity. II. Nicene Creed A. Dating The Nicene Creed was a product of the Council of Nicea, 325 AD, though some parts were added later. B. Heresies Refuted 1. Arianism Arius taught that the Son was not equal to God the Father. Arians taught that Christ was not of the same substance as the Father. Refuting Language: true God from true God of one Being with the Father 2. Macedonianism Macedonius taught that the Holy Spirit was not an individual person of the Trinity, not equal to the Father. Refuting Language: the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified C. Theological Issues Summary 1. Deity of Christ 2. Deity of the Holy Spirit D. Practical Uses of the Nicene Creed Today 1. Refuting the Unitarian church’s neo-Arian theology 2. As a reminder that the Holy Spirit is a person himself, not just a force This idea can creep into otherwise orthodox discussions. It manifests itself in references to the Holy Spirit as “it” or in a default elevation of the Father and Son while ignoring the person of the Spirit. III. Definition of Chalcedon A. Dating The Definition of Chalcedon came out of the council of Chalcedon in 451 AD. It dealt primarily with the nature of Christ’s humanity. B. Heresies Refuted 1. Nestorianism Yet another doctrine taught that the two natures of Christ, human and divine, were so distinct as to be almost dual personalities. Summary: Two natures, two personalities, two wills in Christ. Refuting Language: one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten... without division, without separation 2. Apollinarianism Apollinarianism taught that the Son of God, the Divine Word took over the immaterial part of the man, Jesus Christ. This was how they explained the divinity of Jesus. Summary: “half- human”, “half-divine”. Refuting Language: complete in Godhead and complete in manhood 3. Monophysitism Other teachings included the idea that Jesus’ human personality somehow blended with the divine personality to create a separate being. Summary: One nature in Christ, the human absorbed into the divine. Refuting Language: one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten... without confusion, without change C. Theological Issues Summary 1. Hypostatic Union of Christ (1 person, 2 natures) D. Practical Uses of the Definition of Chalcedon Today 1. As a helpful boundary for theological speculation This is true of all the creeds, but it is perhaps most helpful in the case of thinking about the incarnation of Christ. It is very easy to slip into errors about the natures and person of Christ. IV. Athanasian Creed A. Dating The Athanasian Creed was most likely composed by a Western theologian sometime in the early 6th century. B. Heresies Refuted 1. Modalism Modalism teaches the persons of the Trinity are actually just different “modes” in which God manifests Himself. Refuting Language: For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit. 2. Apollinarianism Apollinarianism taught that the Son of God, the Divine Word took over the immaterial part of the man, Jesus Christ. This was how they explained the divinity of Jesus. Summary: “half- human”, “half-divine”. Refuting Language: One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person C. Theological Issues Summary 1. The Trinity 2. Hypostatic Union of Christ D. Practical Uses of the Athanasian Creed Today 1. Affirming the reality of the persons of the Trinity Although this doctrine is not being questioned amongst evangelicals, it is dismissed in the popular spiritualism that is rampant today. Almost everyone acknowledges the existence of God in some form or another, but the Athanasian Creed insists upon a specifically Trinitarian faith. 2. Refuting the Unitarian church’s anti-Trinitarian theology 3. Refuting Modalism (United Pentecostals, United Apostolic Churches) All of the creeds are valuable for guiding us into biblical avenues of theological contemplation. By spending time considering these things, our hearts can be lifted in worship to God.
Pages to are hidden for
"Ecumenical Creeds Wrap-Up Lesson"Please download to view full document