Have an account? Log in or

This Week in Creed News

boromir-and-the-nicene-creed

No, Scott Stapp is not getting the band back together.

At a meeting last week of Anglican and Orthodox Church leaders, the latter pressed the former to drop the “Filioque Clause” from the Nicene Creed in their liturgies. And the Anglicans were agreeable to the suggestion.

For those unfamiliar, the Filioque Clause was added to the creed by popular convention in the West in the later centuries of the first millennium CE. By the time that leaders of East and West got together to debate it, the practice was entrenched in the West, and by 1054 it was one primary reasons for the Great Schism.

What led the the insertion is a long and complex tale, but it really came down to an attempt to quell Christological controversies. But in substantiating the procession of the Son from the Father, the Spirit was effectively made a junior partner of the Trinity. It’s this effect that has most troubled theologians in the East and, more recently, the West. Moltmann rejected the Filioque Clause years ago — and I’ve followed his lead and written against it myself.

filioque

Metropolitan Bishoy from the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria in Egypt with Bishops Geoffrey Rowell (left) and Gregory Cameron (right) at the Anglican Oriental Orthodox International Commission in Hawarden, Wales.

In this age of disenchantment and materiality, it’s hardly front page news that a millennium-old theological dispute is getting attention from some guys in robes, but for those of us who care about such things, it’s fun and interesting. Here’s hoping that Anglicans around the world drop “and the Son” from their creeds, because that will be one small step toward bringing the global church back together.



Don't miss a post! Enter your email address to receive Tony's blog posts in your inbox.

  • Preston Price

    What is the theological foundation for adding the filioque?

  • It was meant to establish the Son’s co-eternality with the Father. Basically, it was a promotion for the Son.

  • Preston Price

    Thank you for the reply. Was this the only way of establishing the co-eternality? Or, since the Son was considered co-eternal, then the Spirit must also proceed from Him as well? Sorry for my rudimentary questions. Do you write more about this or know of any books to read about the Orthodox’s understanding of the Trinity?

  • Preston Price

    Oh, thank you! I just saw that you sent this link to me!

  • Preston Price

    Thank you for your reply. And thank you for the scriptures. I’ve never really had a problem holding to the Spirit being sent by Christ, i.e. proceeding from him. This does seem to establish the authority of the Son as well. Thanks!

  • Phlebs

    When I was a child looking for answers to my innocent religious questions about God, I was passionate about, the unforgivable sin.

    “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.”
    -Matt 12:31

    I would ask everyone (of authority), I could find: “Is the Holy Spirit the more important one of the Trinity?”

    I won’t go into all the responses, but I came away with the understanding that the Spirit is sent out for conviction, the son sent out to declare the father; they all work in tandem as One, for grace and salvation.

    If we turn our backs on the Holy Spirit we begin to silence His convictions and eventually we cannot hear His convicting power. This effectively blocks the working of God in our lives because we have reached a point where we are unable to respond to or even hear the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

    Note: I only added this musing as an anecdote, how I see the Trinity as ONE, no class distinctions, no power plays and not to you personally but just ramblings.
    Thanks!