What does it mean to confess in the Nicene Creed that “we believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, visible and invisible”?

In episode 3 of Passages, we explore the backstory of these lines in the Nicene Creed. In conversation with systematic theologian Michael Horton, Caleb explores the ancient context in which the errors of ‘gnositicism’ emerged, and how devaluing the goodness of God’s creation is a problem not only in the past but at present as well. We discuss the formation of the canon of Scripture and how the pagan philosopher Celsus criticized early Christianity.

Then, we discuss the errors and heresy of Marcion, who distinguished between the evil creator ‘god of the Old Testament’ and law, in contrast with a supposedly loving and new ‘God of the New Testament.’ Joshua reads excerpts and discuss the refutation of Marcion by Tertullian in his work “Against Marcion,” noting some ways that the errors of Marcion have recently recurred in popular culture and even in the church.

Finally, this episode concludes with excerpts from our conversation with systematic theologian Fred Sanders. With Dr. Sanders we discuss the oneness of God, how early Christians approached theological interpretation from the whole canon of Scripture, and the importance of the doctrine of divine simplicity in early Christian theology.


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 Jake Meador

Jake Meador is the editor-in-chief of Mere Orthodoxy. He is a 2010 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he studied English and History. He lives in Lincoln, NE with his wife Joie, their daughter Davy Joy, and sons Wendell, Austin, and Ambrose. Jake's writing has appeared in Commonweal, Christianity Today, Fare Forward, the University Bookman, Books & Culture, First Things, National Review, Front Porch Republic, and The Run of Play and he has written or contributed to several books, including "In Search of the Common Good," "What Are Christians For?" (both with InterVarsity Press), "A Protestant Christendom?" (with Davenant Press), and "Telling the Stories Right" (with the Front Porch Republic Press).

One Comment

  1. […] “Passages – Chapter 3.” In this episode of Passages (a podcast on the story of the Nicene Creed), Joshua Heavin and […]


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.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