The Nicene Creed by Rev. William Crockett

July 9, 2006

in 2005-2006, Speakers

On Thursday, July 27th, 2006 Rev. William Crockett, a professor at Vancouver
School of Theology, reviewed the Nicene Creed with 40 people
who attended the Gabriola Ecumenical Society’s monthly educational
meeting.

The Nicene Creed is the basic statement of faith for many Christian
churches. It is recited as part of Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox,
Anglican, Lutheran and other denomination’s worship services.
It is named after the town of Nicaea, now in Turkey. In 325AD
an ecumenical Council of 318 bishops met there and summarized
Christianity’s main beliefs based on the New Testament. The Creed
was completed in 381AD at Constantinople, present day Istanbul.

The writing of the Nicene Creed was prompted by the need for
a brief, standard summary of Christian beliefs for instruction,
baptism, and celebration. Underlying this need were several difficult
issues in theology. These concerned the nature of God, Jesus,
the Holy Spirit, and the “Word” (logos) of God. Consequently
the Council gave particular attention to the Gospel of John:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and
the Word was God… and the Word became flesh and lived among us…”

Rev. Crockett discussed how the Nicene Creed is understood and
interpreted today. He described it as an act of praise to God,
not just a theological study, or “a box to put God in.” Christians
reciting it are confessing their belief in God’s involvement
in history and their lives. It is also a very brief narrative
of Jesus’ life, and a profession of faith. The text of the Nicene
Creed is available on many web-sites, e.g. www.creeds.net/ancient/nicene.htm.

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