Category Archives: Apologetics

Should All Speak in Tongues (part 2)

Continuing my discussion from my last post (months ago).

Tongues as supernatural fluency in an unknown language.

This is not clearly evident anywhere in the the Bible, and so far as I know, no one claims it today. I don’t think it bears further discussion.

Speaking in a language not directly intelligible to men but given by the Holy Spirit.

The circumcised believers who had accompanied Peter were astounded that the gift of the holy Spirit should have been poured out on the Gentiles also, for they could hear them speaking in tongues and glorifying God. Then Peter responded, “Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people, who have received the holy Spirit even as we have?” Acts 10:45-47 New American Bible (Revised Edition)

When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul laid [his] hands on them, the holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. Acts 19:5-6

These are crucial passages for one reason: it was a direct sign from God that the Gospel was for the Gentiles as well as the Jews. The sign was the reception of the Holy Spirit, the outward evidence of which was speaking in tongues. So much of Acts and of Paul’s writings deal with Jesus’ role as Redeemer of all mankind, not solely the Jewish messiah.

A great deal of importance is placed on these verses in Pentecostal churches. Being filled with the Spirit is crucial, but it is assumed that there must be some evidence of having received the Holy Spirit. So a spirit-filled believer is expected to speak in tongues. The verses don’t imply one way or the other if speaking in tongues is to become persistent evidence or only initial evidence.

The problem for me is that nothing in Scripture supports the idea that speaking in tongues is normative. Quite the opposite.

Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 1 Corinthians 12:29-30 NIV

This is Paul’s discourse on the gifts (charisms) of the Spirit. It’s pretty evident to me that there are a variety of gifts given to a variety of believers, and that no one gift is shared by all. It’s a rhetorical way of stating the opposite. For instance, if I say “Does everyone own a Ford?” I am really saying that not everyone does. When this was written, it appears that those who spoke in tongues did so for the edification of the Church since their utterances needed to be interpreted. 1 Corinthians 14 (I will not quote it all here) makes it very clear that prophecy is more greatly valued than tongues, and they only insofar as they are interpreted. The superiority of teaching over tongues is driven home repeatedly in this chapter.

What then? Are tongues useless? Certainly not, especially if a believer feels that God has graced them with that gift. But I am convinced that they are in no way normative. This brings me to my real criticism.

Pentecostal churches generally use the term “full Gospel” or “Spirit-filled” to differentiate themselves from non-Pentecostal churches. It is a not-so-subtle way of saying that those who do not embrace speaking in tongues have less than a full Gospel. How is that possible? Consider that Jesus never once spoke on the subject. Nowhere is He described as speaking in tongues. He did not even promise the disciples that they would speak in tongues, only that the Spirit would be given to them and that they would be witnesses throughout the world. I am of the firm conviction that Pentecostalism can in fact be a roadblock to salvation for someone put off by this insistence on one and only one “proof” of being Spirit-filled. If you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God made flesh, that He suffered and died to procure your salvation, and that the gifts of the Spirit are the birthright of all believers, then you are filled with his Spirit and you need not prove that to anyone.

 

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Interesting article from ChurchPOP

At times it seems as though the door between Catholicism and Evangelicalism is a revolving one. When I was an Evangelical I saw many (poorly catechized?) Catholics filling the pews.  And now, having “swum the Tiber” I see many former Evangelicals. The difference is that those headed to Rome have the advantage of the solid biblical teaching of the Evangelical church, even when the doctrines don’t line up.

So here is an interesting article that sheds some light on the phenom. Enjoy.

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Should all speak in tongues? Part 1

I spent a lot of time in my last post giving some personal background of my experiences in the Pentecostal (“Spirit-filled”, “Full-Gospel” etc.) environment. I did so because I couldn’t jump into the theology without telling you my background. There are several aspects of Pentecostal worship, but “speaking in tongues” is central. This is considered by most Pentecostal churches to be the “evidence” of the baptism in the Spirit. The big problem, however,  is that “tongues” is not one phenomenon.

“Varieties of Tongues”

Before considering the Scriptural basis for “tongues,” I want to define what I believe to be three distinct phenomena that the term might describe.

  1. The Pentecostal phenomenon described in the Book of Acts. In this case the miracle was not in the speaking but in the hearing. Peter addressed the crowd in one language (probably Aramaic) but every listener heard the “the mighty acts of God” proclaimed in his own language. One could get technical and say that this was not so much speaking in tongues as it was hearing in tongues. But so much of Pentecostal theology (if you want to call it that) is invested in this event, even to the point of taking the name, that it needs to be addressed.
  2. The supernatural ability to speak in any language, even an unknown one.
  3. Speaking in a language not directly intelligible to men but given by the Holy Spirit. It may or may not be accompanied by an interpretation in a known language.

The Pentecostal Miracle

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem. At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd, but they were confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language. They were astounded, and in amazement they asked, “Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans? Then how does each of us hear them in his own native language? We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene, as well as travelers from Rome, both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs, yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God.” They were all astounded and bewildered, and said to one another, “What does this mean?” But others said, scoffing, “They have had too much new wine.” (Acts 2:5-13)

If this is what is meant by Pentecostal, then to my knowledge there are no Pentecostal churches in existence. If, on the other hand, you take it to mean that the Church has the ability to proclaim the Gospel in all languages, albeit naturally, then every Christian church is Pentecostal. Either way, whatever happened on the day of Pentecost is not happening anywhere today. As a side note, it might be said that only those hearers to whom the Holy Spirit granted the ability were able to hear the Word. Those from whom it was withheld may have been those mockers.

What does it mean?

The question they asked one another was “What does it mean?” The answer to that is found in the Old testament.

The whole world had the same language and the same words. When they were migrating from the east, they came to a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there. They said to one another, “Come, let us mold bricks and harden them with fire.” They used bricks for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky, and so make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered all over the earth.”

The Lord came down to see the city and the tower that the people had built. Then the Lord said: If now, while they are one people and all have the same language, they have started to do this, nothing they presume to do will be out of their reach. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that no one will understand the speech of another. So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the speech of all the world. From there the Lord scattered them over all the earth. Genesis 11:1-9

Tower of Babel

The Tower of Babel (Bruegel)

The Tower represented the hubris of man, a desire for fame and recognition, and a desire for self-protection apart from the Providence of God. A fallen man had enough power alone to do great evil. But God recognized that a united and fallen human race could not be stopped from the evil it could bring about. So how did he prevent this? By destroying the common language that enabled them to operate in concert. Language holds the key to power.

With the coming of the Holy Spirit, God could now reunify the human race by in essence undoing what had been done at Babel. Pentecost is the anti-Babel. It is the reconciliation of all mankind in the Blood of Christ, and language holds the key to the Church’s power. The Church of Jesus Christ was born on the day that God loosed our tongues. So in very literal sense, all Christians speak in tongues when in the Spirit we proclaim the power of Christ’s victory on the Cross.

I will cover the next two cases in later posts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What was that??

My early religious upbringing took place in the strange overlap of Baptists and Pentecostals.

I have a very early memory of my mother being baptized at the Highland Park Baptist Church. She hadn’t been raised in a particularly religious home, but I think exposure to (or maybe the expectations of) my father’s very religious mother drove her in that direction. It’s important to note that she didn’t actually adopt the religion in which my father had been raised, but it awakened a spiritual need that she tried to satisfy in many different ways before she died.

So I was shuffled off to Redeemer Baptist Church every Sunday where we were taught how nice Jesus is. And that was the core of their Baptist mind-set: they were nice.  Salvation was a given because, after all, you were a Baptist. But that left very little else to do while we were waiting for the bus to Heaven, or “The Rapture” as they called it. So we were supposed to be nice while we were waiting. However, “nice” did not describe me very well. I found “nice” to be very “boring.”

Now, the reason my mother did not adopt the religion of my Dad’s mother was that my grandmother was Pentecostal and, yes, Pentecostals were also nice but they were also very scary! I can’t say how old I was when I got my first exposure to a “Holy Ghost” revival meeting, but it made quite an impression. The preacher would get pretty wound up and then, smack dab in the middle of making sense, he would go into some kind of convulsion and start jabbering incoherently, quite unlike anything that my young Baptist ears where accustomed to. Sometimes even people in the congregation would jump up right in the middle of the preaching and start doing the same thing. What was that? And as if that weren’t enough, then came the strangest altar call I had ever seen.

We had altar calls in the Baptist church. I was used to them. “Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling…” Every head bowed, every eye closed. But these Pentecostal altar calls were another breed altogether. Almost everyone would queue up. They were obviously not all unsaved, so why go up? Well, I soon found out. They would go up, and the preacher would lays his hands on their head and pray then, bam!, down they would go, flat on their backs. They must have been expecting that because they had people lined up behind to catch them. This was just too strange to let it slide. It took a while, but I finally got up the courage to go up there. The preacher laid his hands on my head, gave me a little shove and… no bam! There I stood wondering what I had done wrong. Whatever was going on, it wasn’t happening to me. I guess I was too Baptist by then.

My grandmother explained it all to me: the speaking in tongues, the interpretations, being “slain in the spirit,” being healed. She had plenty of biblical warrant for it (well, most of it), but I was having less and less of it. I am relating all this from a much more mature perspective today, but at the time I was just overwhelmed by it. In time, this Pentecostal weirdness actually became a catalyst for my now-accelerating adoption of atheism. All these people believed that this was real, and it gave me the self-justification I needed to reject their entire set of beliefs.

By the time I was in my thirties, the life I had chosen to live apart from God finally collapsed under its unsustainable consequences. So one day, in a solitary act of repentance for the life I had lead, I asked for God’s forgiveness. As I prayed I suddenly sensed that someone was in the room. Not wanting to be embarrassed I turned to see who was there and, of course, there was no on to see. I had for the first time in my life known the real presence of God. It transformed me and the reality of that experience continues to shape me to this day.

But as glorious as that experience had been, it was insufficient to bring me back to the religion(s) of my youth. Instead, I began to pursue the “Mere Christianity” of C. S. Lewis because I now needed a solid understanding of what had happened to me. I read and read and read. And the more I read, the less connected to that original experience I became. In time, I came to believe that Christian faith came from being part of a body of believers. But which body? I was Protestant. That I knew. But what kind? I couldn’t imagine being a Baptist because they seemed so far removed from that ecstatic experience I craved. And I was still very leery of Pentecostals. So I wandered the endless halls of sectarian Protestantism, trying on churches the way one would try on shoes. And nothing fit.

Eventually, in time and in ways that were inescapably part of God’s plan for me, I ended up in a Pentecostal church, Zion Evangelistic Temple, mostly because a lot of the people I knew in AA were going there. Here was a place where people seemed to be having the kinds of intimate encounters with God that I was craving. I wanted what they had in that sense, but I didn’t want the way they did it. I believed in the doctrine of the “baptism in the Holy Spirit.” Not all Protestants felt that way, but I saw no problem with it. But theological loner that I was, I wanted it on my terms and in accordance with my still-developing beliefs.

Jesus taught that “you have not because you ask not.” So I prayed for the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. I figured that if God didn’t want me to have it on my terms, then nothing would happen. I was wrong, spectacularly wrong. As soon as I had said my prayer, I was engulfed in what can only be described as pure ecstatic reverie. It lasted for some time and I had to believe that this is what Jesus had talked about, the second baptism. And I asked for it the next night and…nothing. Looking back, this makes a lot of sense. You don’t get baptized in order to stay wet the rest of your life. I had asked to filled with the Holy Spirit, I was and that was that.

But as I watched people queuing up week after week to be “slain in the Spirit” I thought that perhaps that was the path to an ongoing ecstatic encounter. So up I went, the preacher laid his hands on me, gave me a little shove and…nothing. It was very disconcerting. Why did this not happen to me? Okay, maybe I should be speaking in tongues. So I asked around about how this happened and the answer was cockeyed. You just did it. God would give you you “heavenly language” when you stepped out in faith and did it. Well, I could “do it.” I had heard it enough and could make the right sounds, but that hardly seemed to be what the prophecy was referring to.

And this brings me to the whole point of the next post.

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Here’s an article that expands on a topic I have discussed here before.

BioLogos Guided Tours #1: Ancient Cosmology and the Bible

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What do we call Jesus’ mother?

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. — Isaiah 7:14 [emphasis mine]

And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. – Luke 1:41-42 [emphasis mine]

And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. – Luke 1:46-48 [emphasis mine]

When Protestants refer to Jesus’ mother they call her by her name, Mary. That makes sense. It was, after all, her name. But people are sometimes put off when they hear Catholics refer to her as “the Blessed Virgin Mary.” I don’t think it is wrong either way, but I do want the show that the Catholic appellation is at least consistent with Scripture.

Isaiah prophesied that “a” virgin would conceive. Not “some” or “many” virgins. So when the fulfillment of the prophecy occurred, Mary was “the” virgin whom he foretold. So it would be completely scriptural to call her “the virgin.”

The Holy Spirit, speaking through Elisabeth and Mary said that all future generations would call her “blessed.” I think that includes us. So it is scriptural to call her the “blessed virgin.” And it is common in the English language, when referring to a person of title, to attach an appellation to the title. “His Majesty, King George the First.” “The President of the United States, George W. Bush.” “The Blessed Virgin, Mary.”

Oops! Did I just use a Protestant Bible to explain a Catholic tradition? Yes, I did. Does that mean that Protestants are wrong and Catholics are right? No, it certainly  does not. Both are correct. So during this Christmas season (we call it Advent because we await His appearance) we should stop and consider how much she was favored by God and at the very least ponder in our own hearts how such a miracle could be so.

Bless you all.

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Welcoming the rationalist

I have invited Malibu Bob from christiannews.net to join us here. Among his posts Bob said the following:

Christianity is so unbelievable and so contrary to everyday observation on its surface, that the only way in which people can maintain such an untenable set of beliefs is by constant reinforcement.

That’s a pretty big challenge and one that I feel would be better addressed by breaking it into it a set of questions that can be approached more succinctly. So here’s how I think it should go. Bob may feel differently.

  1. The supernatural: Is there a “reality” not readily accessible to human perception? Or at the very least, is it even possible to prove that one way or the other?
  2. If such a thing may exist, then does God exist or is it even possible to prove that as well?
  3. If God exists, what is his/her/its relationship to the natural world and to us human beings?
  4. What is the nature of man and how does it relate to God’s nature?
  5. If man is imperfect, in what ways have we sought to achieve perfection?
  6. Finally, if God exists and it is not in our power to achieve perfection, what means have we been given to do so?

So to kick things off, let’s talk about that which is contrary to everyday observation, namely question one. What does Bob have to say about the possibility of the supernatural?

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Did Jesus lie about the age of the universe?

My friend from christiannews.net, Reason2012, crafted a very thorough and carefully reasoned response to one of my posts. Much of it concerns what Jesus Himself believed about Creation since, as the Bible clearly states, He was present at the creation of the world. And he makes a very valid point that we shouldn’t distort Scripture because it makes us uncomfortable by not comporting with our scientific point of view. Given the absolute sovereignty of God, there is every reason to assume that He may create His universe in whatever form He pleases and I can’t refute that. Omnipotence pretty much trumps everything.

However, I want to lay out some additional thoughts in relation to his response that clarifies my point of view. He begins by quoting part of my response.

“And what we know for certain about light makes it impossible for the universe to be much less than 13 BILLION years old.”
No, all we “know” on this topic are assumptions
– we ASSUME light traveled the same speed since light first existed
– we ASSUME God cannot change that speed
– we ASSUME God cannot create other things, heavenly bodies, in mature form where we assume they went through other processes before their current state when God could have easily created them in mature form skipping previous ‘states’ as well.

Following that logic, it would also be possible to say that God created the entire universe ten seconds ago with you having a memory of your entire life even though it didn’t “really” happen. That is PROBABLY absurd. (And not exactly Scriptural) But it leaves us with a quandary.

We know from Scripture that God’s nature is clearly evident in His creation.

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. – Romans 1:20 NIV [emphasis mine]

The crux of the problem is this: when what we can “clearly see” does not jibe with what we understand from God’s Word, it seems as if we have to make a choice. Do we believe the Bible or do we believe the evidence of our senses (science)? Since both reflect the truth of God’s nature they can’t disagree. Do we distort the Word to make it conform to science, or do we distort science to make it conform to the Word? Or is it possible that we can believe that both are true but the reconciliation of the two exceeds our present understanding?

Before I delve into this, let’s first consider for a moment language in the context of culture. As I mentioned before, I was at one time an anthropology major concentrating in linguistics. The study of contemporary cultures from a socio-linguistic context shows that language and culture are so inextricably intertwined that it may be said that they are each an expression of the same thing. And language operates at multiple levels. At the lowest levels, it exists as unarticulated concepts. The process of translating from one language to another is, at its root, the reduction of one language to its conceptual level and the re-articulation of these concepts back into the target language. And since language and culture are so intertwined, a culture that lacks a particular concept will not have the means of expressing it. We see this in modern day translation when one language “borrows” from another because it is better expressed that way. For example, there is a word in German, schadenfreude that expresses the idea of deriving  pleasure from another’s misfortune. There is no succinct way of expressing that concept in English so it was borrowed and is now a legitimate English word.There are many words borrowed from English that appear in other languages albeit in their phonology. For example, the word “steak” (or beef steak) appears in French as biftec, in Spanish as bistec, in Japanese as suteki.

In observing language development in children, we see that their use of language reflects their level of conceptual ability. If a five-year-old asks his father “what makes the car go,” he will probably be able to grasp the concept that the big thing under the hood “eats” gas and pushes the car. Dad will probably not get into the details of the internal combustion engine. And it is much the same with cultures. Human beings can only understand language in the context of their existing categories. And while they are certainly capable of learning new concepts, attempting to convey information information radically beyond their understanding is not likely to be fruitful.

So now let us now consider the Holy Spirit inspiring the writer of Genesis. There’s a pretty good chance that the Biblical story of creation existed in oral form long before it was written down, but for the sake of argument let’s assume that Moses sat down with pen and papyrus and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit began to recount the story of creation.  Keep in mind that this is God the Holy Spirit who knows all of nature down to the tiniest details. And again for the sake of argument, let us assume that the universe was created 13 billion years ago, that the stars are distributed in three-dimensional space and not attached to the inside of a solid sphere (or “firmament”), and that the Earth is not its center, that matter is not composed of uniform substances but is composed of indescribably tiny particles. How could this information be conveyed in a true sense but still be comprehensible to Moses? In my opinion it was God’s intended purpose to convey the parts of the message that were essential for the spiritual life of the Jews in categories that were comprehensible in their culture. Did God lie? Is the withholding of unnecessary details dishonest or is it expedient?

So when Jesus spoke to His disciples, he spoke to them as the first-century Palestinians they were. Did he lie because He omitted the details of the Higgs boson? He had a very few years in which to convey the vitally important details of God’s plan of salvation. (Even then they didn’t understand Him a lot of the time). So he used terms with which they were already familiar. In their minds the world was the center of the universe and was recent in origin. Would it have served any purpose for Him to expound on the fact that when he said “from the beginning” he was referring to a time less than 13 billion years ago but more than several thousand?

In the intervening two thousand years we have learned a lot more about God’s creation and it continues to astound us how infinitely beautiful, complex and massive it really is. If Jesus were speaking to us today, would it make sense for Him to speak to us as first-century Palestininans, or would He have the ability to offer us even deeper understandings of the creation? (I picture him at CERN explaining to the particle physicists how to improve their experiments.) Why, then, do we insist on reading the Bible as if we were Palestinian fisherman?

By approaching it this way there is no need to distort Scripture, nor to reject our scientific understanding of the universe. Why, after all, did God give us such powerful brains? As our understanding increases we usually find that it conforms to the Scriptures in a way we could never have imagined. Who would have thought that the discovery of the background microwave radiation would settle the dispute among astronomers and cosmologists as to whether the universe had a beginning or had always existed. When the truth was finally determined, it turns out that Genesis was right, that everything that exists was brought into being all at once out of nothing.

We will not always be able to harmonize what we can discover through our senses with what the Holy Spirit teaches us, but when there are apparent conflicts we can say that we’re still very young and continue to learn at the feet of our Father.

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God, the Father

I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. – from the Nicene Creed

The creed begins with the single most important statement, a belief without which no faith is possible. “I believe in … God.”

This is not unique to Christian or even Judeo-Christian theology. Belief in deities is a cultural universal. All cultures have at their core a belief in something greater than they are. And anyone who rejects this basic belief is by definition an atheist. Catholic and Evangelicals alike confirm their unshakable belief in God.

But more importantly, we all believe in God as one God. We are both entirely monotheistic and this finds expression in a number of places in Scripture:

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: – Deuteronomy 6:4 (KJV) 

Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel
    and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
“I am the first and I am the last;
    besides me there is no god.  – Isaiah 44:6 (KJV)
And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: – Mark 12:29 (KJV)

We also share the trinitarian concept of God (for which the creed was its perfect affirmation), and this first part of the creed is devoted to God, the Father and affirms His role as omnipotent Creator.

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him…” Colossians 1:13

It’s important to note that the phrase “all things visible and invisible” was in direct opposition to the teachings of the Gnostics who believed that there were a number of divine powers in the world. This affirmation in the creed makes it clear that there is no God above the God of Israel. In Christian theology, this means that however many invisible things there are (thrones, dominions, principalities, or powers) they are all created, but God and God alone is uncreated Being. On this point Catholics and Evangelicals agree 100%.

So even in this one short sentence we see a very full elaboration of the Person of God, the Father. I take great joy in knowing that Catholics and Evangelicals are in complete agreement thus far. If anyone feels this is not the case, please comment so we explore the possibility that we understand things differently.

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Credo

The blog has a purpose. I was pondering just how I could bring Catholics and Evangelicals together when I recalled one of the events in my life that started turning me toward Rome. I was challenged to read the Catechism and could find very little I disagreed with. I was amazed that the Roman Catholic Church toward which I held such animosity was, in fact, pretty much in agreement with most Protestant doctrine, at least in matters of faith and morals. Sure, there were things I felt I could not accept, but I really had to look for them.

So it is in this spirit that I would like to start an exploration of one of the most fundamental expressions of Christian orthodoxy, the Nicene creed. But before I begin I would like to explore what it is and why it came into being.

The creed takes it’s English name from the first word in the Latin version, “credo” – “I believe.” It was adopted primarily to counter the heresy of Arianism which held that Jesus was a created being and not co-eternal with the Father. As Christians, Protestant and Catholic alike, we believe in the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit and it was in this creed that most of the theological elements of the Doctrine of the Trinity were set out in detail. There have been subsequent controversies regarding elements of the creed, especially between Rome and the Eastern Orthodox Church, but they are irrelevant for our purposes here.

I plan to discuss each section of the creed in separate posts and examine them in terms of both Evangelical and Catholic theology and see where or even if we disagree. I’ll be using the current form adopted recently by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) as it is a much better translation of the Latin form which was in use at the time of the Reformation. In other words, this was the creed that Luther and the Reformers confessed. And it is the creed that sits as the foundation of Evangelical theology.

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