Re: Seely's Views 2

From: Don Winterstein <>
Date: Sun Sep 12 2004 - 03:41:18 EDT

Jim Armstrong wrote:

"Not all Christians have historically nor even now (though perhaps to a lesser extent) take the Holy Spirit to be a separate personification rather than one particular expression of God."

Most Christians (Roman Catholic, Orthodox, most Protestants) accept the Nicene creed as authoritative. (The Church of Christ and others are exceptions in acknowledging no creed.) While the Nicene creed--unlike the Athanasian--doesn't spell out in detail that the Holy Spirit is a separate person, the wording is such that it's hard to draw any other conclusion: He "proceeds from the Father [and the Son], with the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified." This creed seems to have been regarded as authoritative since around 400 AD, so the Holy Spirit was regarded by most of Christendom as a distinct person at least by that time. From biblical statements alone one can argue either way. But the church after much agonizing decided the Trinity was the correct solution. And the Athanasian creed pile drives that doctrine down your throat. Despite all this, your statement is correct as it stands.

JA: Unless I am mistaken, the eastern branch of Christianity feels that the western branch has created "a form of idolatry" (heresy) by deciding to worship one begotten of God rather than God Himself who preexisted the begotten one. Many/most western Christians take exception to that, but would we say the eastern branch is practicing idolatry because their understanding of God and man's history with Him differs in this way?

DW: The eastern branch accepts the Nicene creed, which states that Christ is fully God. So they would not criticize the west for worshiping Christ. Their big bone of contention with the west was that the west modified the Nicene creed to include the phrase I've set off with brackets (above), the infamous "filioque clause." The easterners thought filioque was such an egregious error that it became a major factor in bringing about the permanent split between the two bodies in 1054.


Received on Sun Sep 12 04:07:28 2004

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