Peter J. Leithart
December 18, 2011
Category: Theology - Christology,Theology - Trinity
During the fourth century, the church had in an intense debate about the nature of the Son who became flesh. Does the Father choose to create a Son, as Arius believed? Or is having a Son essential to the Father’s very existence as God?
These debates seem tedious and irrelevant. Can anyone really know? Does it really matter? It mattered to the church fathers. They believed the entire Christian faith hinged on getting this right. Unless they got this right, they lost the gospel.
If the Son is a creature brought into existence by the Father’s will, then the most basic relationship, and the pattern of all relationships, is Lord and servant. For the orthodox, the loving communion of the Father and Son united by their common Spirit is the foundation and pattern of all reality. We confess that the Son is “one substance with the Father” to defend the startling biblical declaration, “God is love.”
We embody our theology in everything we do. Husbands who lord it over their wives are practical Arians. Parents who boss and bully their kids deny the creed they confess on Sunday. Employers who abuse employees like Laban abused Jacob are heretics in action, whatever they might believe about Jesus.
The pulsing heart of reality is a God who is love. Is that love the heart of your heart? Are you living Christmas?
Article printed from Peter J. Leithart: http://www.leithart.com
URL to article: http://www.leithart.com/2011/12/18/exhortation-92/
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