| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 41 - Page 218 of 246 Index | Zoom | |
Not a creed imposed, but a creed professed.
Not in the canon of Scripture.
Man has no power to make such a creed, as he cannot distinguish between
abstract truths and vital truths.
(a) All truth is Divine, because all truth is of God: but
(b) There are may things that are true, the belief of which is not necessary
to salvation, instances
(c) In Nature.
(d) In Revelation. Of truths not vital.
(e) In Mathematics.
It is God's sole prerogative to curse. Therefore a fortiori man has no right to
hold out a threat of eternal perdition to those who will not accept that which
he had neither the right, nor the power to construct.
Supposing such a right to exist in certain cases, the Athanasian Creed from the
circumstances of its origin and from its intrinsic character does not possess such a right.
Circumstances of its origin.
Not composed until five centuries after the closing of the canon of Scripture.
The outcome of bitter religious feud.
Appearing at the commencement of the dark ages.
In an age when mysticism had almost supplanted the true faith.
Hence from the circumstances of its origin it deserves no special exception in its favour.
Its intrinsic value.
Bears marks of its origin in the bitterness of its spirit.
Demands implicit faith in its own explanation of the doctrine it treats of.
The abstract idea of a Trinity in Unity involves no absurdity or paradox.
Illustrations of a Trinity in Unity.
In Nature--man, with body, soul, spirit.
(ii) In Art--a triangle.
(iii) In human affairs--a firm with three partners.
It is not suggested by these illustrations that the Trinity in the Godhead can be
illustrated by an appeal to nature; what the compiler of this summary intends is, that in
the realm of human experience, such trinities are everywhere accepted. Man is body,
soul and spirit. Time is past, present and future. Place is length, breadth and height. One
human being can be son, father and husband, with correspondingly different
responsibilities. He who most stoutly criticizes the doctrine of the Trinity, continually
says "I" when he refers to his body, or to his mind. When he says that something `hurts
me' what or who does `me' involve?
Summarizing some of our findings we first of all quote from two scholars:
"It is not GOD Himself, but the knowledge He has revealed to us concerning Himself
which constitutes the material for theological investigation" (Dr. Kuyher).