Creed of Constantinople
Posted: April 11, 2007 Filed under: Patristic Church History
1. the significance of the phrase “the Lord and life-giver”?
Basil the Great was a man on a mission, and that mission was to clean up the church that had broken off, and scattered. It was a tattered church and he was there to repair it. Unfortunately he had very little success in the west and he had to call upon the help of Pope Damascus but to no avail, for Damascus refused to help Basil. As the great divide widened in the theology, Basil and Pope Damascus became more and more detached, which put the peace of the west and the east in jeopardy. Basil, along with his brother Gregory of Nyssa and their friend Gregory of Nazianzus, labored hard over bringing the doctrine of the Holy Trinity to the East. They thought it misleading to encourage the thought of the Father just being equal to the Son, for it made it look like several gods, so they emphasized that the Father and Son must also be recognized as one God. These men’s thoughts on the Trinity were “complex and at points controversial”, and they used examples that were slightly inexact but Basil insisted that Father, Son and Spirit are equal but distinct. The Cappadocians, stated that the three operated inseparably, none ever acting independently of the others. “Every divine action begins from the Father, proceeds through the Son and is completed in the Holy Spirit”. Everything that Father touches the Son touches and inadvertently the Spirit touches.
2. the significance of the clause “who with the Father and the Son is together worshipped and glorified”?
The Holy Spirit in the phrase is shown just as important as the Father and the Son, there is no less and there is no more then to be who is worshiped. All three are of equal importance and all three are in equal state.
3. the contemporary significance of the pneumatological section of this creedal statement?
The contemporary significance of the Holy Spirit is to show that He is no less than the Father and the Son. Understanding this about the Holy Spirit not only leads to the correct view of the triune God, or the speaking through the prophets, and the forgiveness of sins but leads to the correct worship of the trinity. Without a correct view of the trinity leads to an incorrect view of worship.