Full Text for Confessions 1- Volume 15 - "Being of One Substance" in the Nicene Creed (Video)

ROUGHLY EDITED COPY CONFESSIONS 1 CON1-Q015 JANUARY 2005 CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY: CAPTION FIRST, INC. P.O. BOX 1924 LOMBARD, IL 60148 * * * * * This text is being provided in a rough-draft format. Communications Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings. * * * * >> DAVID: In my reading, I notice the theological value the Nicene Creed placed on the term being of one substance. What theological dilemma was addressed by this phrase, and against whom was spoken? >> DR. KLAUS DETLEV SHULTZ: Let us revisit once again the Nicene Creed with your question you have just asked, David. As I have said before, I have referred to the presbyter of Alexandria called Arius who in 318 stood up and spoke clearly out that he did not believe that Jesus Christ was of the same substance as the Father, but rather, there is a subordinate position within the Trinity, and that Jesus Christ, therefore, does serve a subordinate position, rather than just one of being the same as the Father. The Council of Nicaea at 318 clearly spoke out against this because they believed that if Jesus Christ is not considered as God Himself, he would endanger, or we would be endangered, by our own salvation. As you know, any human being that dies will not resurrect again unless he is helped by God. And in case of Jesus Christ, He resurrects because he is God. For this reason we must understand that there is a very important theological concern here behind Arius' challenge to the orthodoxy. And that orthodox theologians such as Athanasius and then also Constantine I, the Emperor of the Roman Empire then, clearly realized that they had to speak up out against that position that Arius held. Of course, 325 did not solve all problems. As I have said also, it continued within the church to be a debate as to how one understands *homo ouzious, of the same substance. And the problem here is, perhaps, the relationship of philosophy, the West against the East. The East itself chose a word for substance that is called *Houpostasis, and the Greek word for substance is *ouzia. And then the Latin version for such substance was *substantia. And the person itself *perzouna, which the Greek then eventually chose to be *Houpostasis So as Tertullian who once said, *tres persona, una substantia, meaning thereby, one substance and three persons. That definition, really, is how we see it today. That we say of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit in their relationship to the Father is of one substance, that there is one God and not three Gods, but only one person. The Nicene Creed of 325 had an anathema. That means an explicit rejection of Arius' position. I'd like to read it to you. "And those who say, there was when he was not a time when he was not, and before his generation he was not, and he came to be from nothing, or those who pretend that the son of God is of other *houpostasis, or substance or created or alterable or mutable, the catholic and apostolic church anathematizes." So here we have a clear statement being made against what Arius claimed in quintessence and what his followers also said. The Arianism prevailed in Europe for a long, long time. In 589, we could say, it still had to be addressed in Toledo, where the *filioque was spoken out as being that proper explanation of how the Holy Spirit relates to God the Father and Jesus Christ; namely, to bar a subordination of Jesus Christ, that He is not the one from whom the Holy Spirit flows. With that anathema, Arius was excommunicated from the Christian Church, and he shortly died afterwards. However, his influence prevailed within the East for the whole rest of the century. And it moved over into Europe and was subsequently addressed at the Council of Toledo in 589. It was a regional council, but it addressed, clearly, a quest to subordinate Jesus once more under God and therefore said clearly that the Holy Spirit flows, or proceeds, from the Father and the Son. Thereby barring a subordinationism that had come through the western Goth migration to Spain and southern France. Let's not forget, also, that the Nicene Creed addresses Arius and other statements besides the term *homo ouzious. As we know also it says, God of God, Light of Light, when it comes to Jesus Christ. And it also said that he was begotten, not made. That very fact, that Jesus was begotten, is a concession that Jesus Christ does have a beginning. However, it is not to be placed on the side of time because it clearly says he was not made, though begotten.