Research Paper On Religious Studies
According to Smith (262), Catholic and Protestant Churches disagree on Filioque doctrine that asserts that the Holy Spirit sprouts from the Holy Father and the pious Son. Some theologians believe that the common tradition appears in 589 in Toledo. Other scholars such as A.E. Burn question the tradition since he thinks that not all doctrines apply on a daily basis to impact daily relations in all the branches of the universal church. Traditionally, Christians enjoy an understanding of the Trinity that existed in a unity of three divine persons that include The Father is God, the Son is equally God, and similarly, the Holy Spirit is God.
The three equally divine and eternal Persons led to the Nicene Creed heresy. Arius, a priest, named after the Nicene Creed argues that Jesus is a created being through God the creator of the universe. For the pointed out reason, it would be wrong to worship Jesus as God. Conversely, it would be impossible to obtain salvation from Jesus as only had power to save and Jesus was not fully God. One of the passages in the Nicene Creed that precipitate conflict between the Protestant and Catholic Churches is, “We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of life,” (Smith 263). The intention of the clause, “who proceeds from the Father” intends to preserve divinity of the Holy Spirit.
The creed specifies that Spirit is fully God since he partakes in the divinity of the father. The issue of the strife is due to the addition of the terms “and the Son” by the Protestant Church. Some of the 16th-century Protestant Reformers such as Martin Luther and John Calvin support Filioque. The Eastern Orthodox Church stresses on maintaining the authentic wording of the Nicene Creed that did not have Filioque. The Eastern Orthodox cites there was no agreement for the inclusion of the wording and for that reason it should be out.
Johnson (169) assumes that the classical Christian literature concerning the Trinity is consistent with the Bible. According the author, anyone that contest that should read some of the Biblical text while they do not have the technical language that appear in the classical Christian creeds. In the Bible, Trinity appears in both the Old and New Testament. An understanding of the Trinity associates with Jesus the Christ as fully God. The early Christian Churches used summaries to preserve consistency in teaching different churches prior to the Apostles’ Creed. For instance, Christians in 130-202AD applied the Irenaeus Creed.
The, followers also known as the disciples did not write the Apostles’ Creed while it contains some of the primary elements of the gospel depicted in apostolic perspective. The Creed applied during baptism rite as a Triune statement of faith as such, “in the name of God, the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit,” (William 217). The Nicene Creed contains some of the teachings with the approval of the Nicea Council in 325. The actual wording came from Constantinople at around 381 and for that reason it is also, “The Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed” or “ The Creed of Constantinople.” The Chalcedon Creed depicts a relation between two natures of Christ other than confessing the whole Trinitarian Christian faith.
The Creed serves the purpose of reinstating that Jesus, the Christ was fully God and not fully human. The Chalcedon Council adopted it in 451 AD (Johnson 172). All Christians around the world adopt it with the exception of Oriental Orthodox Churches. The Nicaea- Constantinople says, “We believe in one God and the Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son,” (Johnson 173). The decision to use the particular language emerges from human intense argument bound with speculations. The development of the Trinity appears as an intellectual achievement while one cannot ignore Holy-Sprit role of guidance and God-given given intellectual gifts. The Athanasian Creed named after Athanasius, a fourth-century priest, and writer. During that era, there was no division in the Church since the wording denotes “Catholic” to refer to all Christians. Most of the Evangelical churches have applied it for personal use other than worship due to its didactic form.
According to William (217), some of the medieval reform movements in Christianity focuses on moral reforms concerning sacraments. The basis of most of the reforms was on Christian doctrine. At the origin of Protestantism, most churches affirm the teachings of Trinity classical doctrine taught to the Christian faith. Most of the churches agreed on Trinity in the Protestant confession and other issues such as liturgy, church policies, and sacraments. Some of the examples of confessions include The Augsburg Confession, the main doctrinal standard formulated in 1530. Most of the constituent Lutheran churches teach on the Unity of the Divine Essence in the decree of the Council of Nicaea. . The Trinity has three equal Persons having same essence and power.
Wyatt (72) states that the doctrine of the Trinity is the seal of Christian belief worldwide. The National Council Churches leads World Council of Churches in proclaiming the glory to one God, Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Other religions believe in three equal Persons in tri-unity that arise from confessing Jesus, the Christ as the divine, unique, and distinct mark of faith. Religious liberals’ belief on secularist conviction; that it is not a must to belief in the transcendent deity. The secularists think that all that matters is how one lives, and those that insist on Trinity appear backward just like those that still refer to themselves along Christian identities. Some critics cite that doctrine of the Trinity has direct links to colonial conquest during civilization. The Europeans carried the banner of Christianity as their expression of religion that sought to abolish the Native cultures and beliefs.
Wyatt (75) affirms that councils in the early Christian Church used force and violent means to conquer the Natives. The evidence of martyrs, persecution, and crusades is an attestation of orthodox. Some of the religious groups that deny the existence of the doctrine of the Trinity includes the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The group claims that the doctrine is unscriptural while different passages in the New Testament such as Matthew 28 and 2 Corinthians 13 sums up a triadic experience of the early Christian community. Other similar passages comment on the triad of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
One of the most significant Christian expressions of tri-unity of God is the use of the word incarnate. The pre-existence of Jesus is the exact being of God, and where the fullness of God dwells. The early Christian experience is that of triadic divine presence where God is a community of three Persons where all are equal, omnipotent, and eternal. The conciliar doctrine continues to commend itself using a triad of God/Christ/Spirit and the divine engagement of Jesus Christ with the creation.
Wyatt (77) explains The Immanent Trinity that contains a relationship of three Persons. Western theology that follows Augustine insists on the unity of the triune God. Eastern theologians such as Rublev speak concerning the mutual indwelling in the Genesis story where three visitors paid a visit to Abraham and Sarah. The three visitors illustrate the immanent Trinity. In the same light, Western theologians such as Jurgen Moltmann stress on the relationships of three Persons to ensure the dominance of three Persons rather than one pure monotheistic God. Other theologians such as Catherine LaCugna argue that Trinity is a social model that helps in building enriching human relationships.
Yeago (371) argue that the scholarly interpretation of the biblical text appears to exclude any classical doctrine to necessitate liberation in the religious experience. Some of the comment of the early church fathers such as Aquinas and Luther claim of the existence of Trinitarian doctrine in the scriptural material that serves as a guide to other faithful. Yeago(371) holds that ancient theologians were right in their descriptions of Nicene homoousian as described in the New Testament. The New Testament in accordance to the church fathers has an implicit and explicit pattern of judgment highlighting the relationship of God of Israel and Jesus of Nazareth. The dogma entails the church attempt to preach and worship God in accordance to the witnesses in the New Testament that identify the Triune God. The foundation of Christian affirmation is on Jesus of Nazareth claims to speak of the God of Israel that raises him from the dead. Later on God of Israel exalts Jesus of Nazareth as Lord. Some of the New Testament writers mention on the worship of the church in the spirit as a concrete locus of the work of the Holy Spirit to testify to advance Christ sufferings, as well as future glory. The church embraced Trinitarian faith since early Christian movements when the Jewish believed only Yahweh as the true and living God. The Jews also invoked the name of Jesus so as to acclaim him, praise, appeal to him while associating him with Yahweh. The apostles’ worship practice in the early church symbolizes Jesus as the resurrected and exalted by God of Israel.
Apostles address Jesus as one that sits at the right hand of God so as to rule through God’s authority. Similarly, the church looks forward to the day Jesus will judge all humanity on the behalf of Yahweh. Paul in the Book of Philippians cites that Jesus has a name above every other name while David in Psalms states that through Jesus majestic name, oppressed will take refuge while they make music to God.
The issue of how members of the Trinity relates to eternity is still shrouded in uncertainty and controversy. Some believe that the Holy Spirit is a mystery that appears in the Bible and confessed by the Church for many years. Some religions regard Filioque as a dangerous heresy.15th Century Mark of Ephesus and Vladimir Lossky in the 30th century argue that the doctrine confuses eternal relations on the divine Persons. In such a case the Father and Son are part of Godhead, the Spirit is a servant to both leading to two gods. Contrarily to Orthodox, Protestants cite that Filique preserves the divinity of the Father in the Godhead. Augustine first introduction of the Trinity in one of his treatise cites that Spirit precedes both the Father and the Son. The first Western Council to support the Filioque is the Council of Toledo in 589 while Rome accepted many centuries later. According to the West, Filique intention was not to add a new meaning to the creed rather it was to defend the faith from Arian mistake that Jesus was not a fully God. The Filique shows correctly that the Spirit procession from Father and Son does not stray away from the faith. The West often denotes the Holy Spirit after Jesus promised to send the disciples an advocate after he ascended into heaven. Recently, the conflict of the Filique and its use in the Creed attracts other religious sects other than Catholic and Protestants.
Johnson, Thomas, K."The Trinity In The Bible And Selected Creeds Of The Church." Evangelical Review Of Theology 38.2 (2014): 169-185.
Smith, Shawn C. "The Insertion Of The Filioque Into The Nicene Creed And A Letter Of Isidore Of Seville." Journal Of Early Christian Studies 22.2 (2014): 261-286.
Williams, D. H. "A Catechetical Address on the Nicene Creed?" Harvard Theological Review 104.2 (2011): 217-32.
Wyatt, Peter. "Ministering With A High Doctrine Of The Trinity In A Liberal Church." Toronto Journal Of Theology 30.1 (2014): 71-80.
Yeago, David S. "The New Testament and the Nicene Dogma: A Contribution to the Recovery of Theological Exegesis." Sewanee Theological Review 45.4 (2012): 371.
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