The Nicene Creed and Our Faith Today

Christian doctrine is exciting.

Thank you for all constructive response with support and objections

Christian doctrine is exciting! (Photo: Tor H. Lanton)

Christian doctrine is exciting! (Photo: Tor H. Lanton)

that I have received during the past few days! Nice to have true and mutual communication.

How important it is for the Christian Church today that our spiritual fathers have fought the good fight!

Last week I wrote about how the Lausanne Covenant was made through warfare by men of truth such as Billy Graham, John Stott and Peter Beyerhaus, especially in their necessary battle with the World Council of Churches (WCC). They received decisive support from Norwegian church leaders such as bishop Erling Utnem, Hans Svartdahl, Gabriel Eikli & Co. I hope that today´s Norwegian church leaders will continue building on this heritage, and not let the fight for truth crumble.

In the same way a couple of other documents have been absolutely crucial for the revelation of the Christian Church today. I am a member of the International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders (ICAL), and we have designed a Statement of Faith that is based on the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Lausanne Covenant. Each of these three documents are decisive because they answer questions that have been asked through the development and battles of history.

In 2012, adherence to the Lausanne Covenant is important because it addresses topical heresies and delusions about Christian faith. I would maintain that official adherence to the Lausanne Covenant is the litmus test!

The Christian Council of Norway states in their bylaws § 1 “The Council´s Foundation” that “NKR is a fellowship of Christian churches and denominations in Norway that have the Bible as source, and that worship and confess one God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – as Creator, Savior, and Life-giver”.

NKR also publishes papers through NTSF (“Norwegian Theological Discussion Forum”) where useful topics are discussed, e.g. on Sudan, on sexual abuse, on worship services, on the Lima Document on baptism, eucharist, and ministry (which I enjoyed discussing in the 1980´s), and the discussion document No 14 (2006): “Israel and Palestine – An ecumenical challenge. To churches in Norway”. The last mentioned document has a clear anti-Israeli bias, sadly!

In these papers there is also a discussion of the Nicene Creed: “Creeds in our time – An ecumenical commentary to the Nicene Creed” (2001). Here, much good is said, based on the historical context which Nicenum was written in.

But nowhere on the NKR webpages can I find anything that deals with the World Council of Churches (WCC) after World War II and its anti-evangelical theology, and which the Lausanne Covenant was a forceful answer to. To say that the discussions in the NTSF papers are a necessary clarification viz a viz WCC is naturally short-sighted. NKR is an official member of WCC, and has not declared adherence to the Lausanne Covenant, and I cannot find any alternative statement. That evangelical and pentecostal movements are members of NKR without addressing this, should be sensational! In the name of truth and integrity NKR should clarify this!

The Nicene Creed “was adopted in the face of the Arian controversy. Arius, a Libyan presbyter in Alexandria, had declared that although the Son was divine, he was a created being and therefore not co-essential with the Father, and “there was when he was not,”[10] This made Jesus less than the Father, which posed soteriological challenges for the nascent doctrine of the Trinity.[11] Arius’s teaching provoked a serious crisis. The Nicene Creed of 325 explicitly affirms the co-essential divinity of the Son, applying to him the term “consubstantial″.” (English Wikipedia)

Here is the Nicene Creed:

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

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.

And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And we believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

About Jan-Aage Torp

Jan-Aage Torp - married to Aina; born in Japan; raised in Thailand; educated in USA; Director of European Apostolic Leaders (EAL); pastors Restoration Oslochurch with Aina.
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