In the Nicene Creed we confess that “we believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father…” Where do these conclusions come from, what do they mean, and are there some key figures and texts in the backstory of the Nicene Creed that might illuminate them?

In episode 4 of Passages, Caleb and Joshua explore the backstory of these lines in the Nicene Creed, especially focusing on Athanasius of Alexandria and his beautiful, important work entitled “On the Incarnation.” We discuss how to navigate the controversies surrounding Athanasius’ relationship to his opponents. We meet the charismatic figure of Arius, who taught that there was a time when the Son of God did not exist, and we at last arrive at the Council of Nicaea in the year 325 AD. But mainly, we are encountered by Jesus’ summoning Word in Matthew 16: “who do you say that I am?”

Next time on Passages, we speak with theologians Fred Sanders and Scott Swain to learn what it means that the Son of God was “eternally begotten of the Father” but also “not made.”

Credits

To support those who made Passages, please consider donating to Mere Orthodoxy.

Joshua Heavin serves as the lead writer and host of Passages, while Caleb Wait serves as the lead producer and co-host. Original music by Aaron Feeney, who welcomes inquires.

Follow Passages and Joshua and Caleb on Twitter for more news and updates about the show.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Posted by Joshua Heavin

Joshua Heavin is from the flatlands of the Texas Panhandle, attended Amarillo College and West Texas A&M University, and wrote his doctoral dissertation at Trinity College Bristol, University of Aberdeen, on the Apostle Paul and Participation in Christ. 

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *