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Bible. Free will Category: Articles XXI Century. Completion

Articles
We believe in one God

“We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. …”

With these words begins the Niceno-Constantinopolitan creed. On a theological level, this phrase makes no sense. The term “Creator” is not personal/proper name but attribute or activity of God, and we know that all attributes or activities of God are shared by all three persons of the Trinity.

The terms “Creator”, “Redeemer”, and “Sustainer” are not personal/proper names but attributes or activities of God, and we know that all attributes or activities of God are shared by all three persons of the Trinity. Thus all three persons are Creator (the Father creates through the Son in the Holy Spirit), all three take part in redemption (the Father sends His only-Begotten Son who after His ascension sends the Spirit upon mankind), and all three are active in sustaining the world. The Proper Names of the Persons of the Trinity are the Names which denote or point to the relation with the other Persons, and so they cannot be altered.

Alexis Torrance
The Concept of the Person
in Orthodox Theology

And this phrase really misleads Orthodox theologians, who draw the wrong conclusion that “the one God in whom we believe, strictly speaking, is not the Holy Trinity. The one God is God the Father.” (Thomas Hopko).

Now here we have to see a very important point for Trinitarian theology, and that is that in the Bible, in the Scriptures, and then, therefore, in the creeds—and particularly the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, which became the credal statement for ancient Christianity and remains the baptismal, liturgical creed for Eastern Orthodox churches and most Christian churches to this very day, as it was formulated and put together and received from the first two Ecumenical Councils (Nicaea in 325 and Constantinople in 381)—that [is] in this creed and as it is proclaimed in liturgical prayers—and certainly in the liturgical prayer, the anaphora (which is a word that means “raising up” or “offering up,” which is a technical term for the Eucharistic prayer, the Eucharistic canon, where the bread and wine, the prosphora, are first elevated and offered to God as we lift up our hearts and have our hearts on high when we remember the saving activity of Christ at the holy Eucharistic service)—in the Bible, in the creeds, and in the Liturgy, it’s very important, really critically important, to note and to affirm and to remember that the one God in whom we believe, strictly speaking, is not the Holy Trinity. The one God is God the Father. In the Bible, the one God is the Father of Jesus Christ. He is God who sends his only-begotten Son into the world, and Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Then, of course, in a parallel manner, the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, is the Spirit of God, that the Holy Spirit, being the Spirit of God, is therefore also the Spirit of Christ, the Messiah, because the Christ is the Son of God, upon whom God the Father sends and affirms his Holy Spirit.

The dogma of the Holy Trinity says that one God exists in three hypostases, having an inseparable single being, and all of them are of equal honor, and each of them is the one true God, and the Most Holy Trinity is the one true God.

This phrase needs to be corrected.

It should be noted that only the Proper Names of the Persons of the Trinity are used in the Athanasian Creed, which is correct:

3. And the catholic faith is this: that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;
4. neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Essence.
5. For there is one Person of the Father; another of the Son; and another of the Holy Ghost.
6. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal.

13. So likewise the Father is Almighty; the Son Almighty; and the Holy Ghost Almighty.
14. And yet they are not three Almighties; but one Almighty.

 

Published: September 15, 2022

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