All biblical references, unless otherwise noted, are from the English Standard Version (Crossway, 2001).
GOD’S PROMISE #7 – GOD’S FINAL PROMISE
According to Biblical scholars, the Nicene Creed is the most universally accepted and recognized statements of the Christian faith. And the Nicene Creed offers God’s final promise to us.
“We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.”
I have to confess that this is a bit perplexing to me. The Nicene Creed is not part of the biblical canon and I was under the assumption that Thomason was a believer of sola scriptura, the Reformation doctrine that the Bible alone is the final authority on all matters theological. While the Nicene Creed may or may not reflect biblical ideas, it itself is not sacred scripture. In fact, the Nicene Creed doesn’t even appear until the fourth century CE, centuries after the final books of the New Testament were composed.
I will not offer a commentary on the Creed, though it is a fascinating statement of what would become orthodox belief. Unlike the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed fleshes out what it means to call Jesus the “begotten” Son of God: “begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father.” The intention was to rebut those dastardly Arians who insisted that Jesus was a created being and could not be divine as the Father was divine. The Arians lost, though it should be noted that following the death of Constantine, a Trinitarian, the Arians gained some ground in the political sphere. But that is a story for another time perhaps.
The “final promise” Thomason mentions must be the final line of the Christological portion of the Creed: “He shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.” But if the whole purpose of the blog post was to “show the way God has used the Bible to demonstrate how He keeps His promises,” then there is simply no way to evaluate this one. Jesus hasn’t returned and it has been two thousand years since he departed this world. There have been numerous failed predictions from various religious leaders claiming that he would return on this or that date. But none of them have panned out and the world remains as it is.
And so, on this promise, we can say with a great deal of confidence that thus far God has not kept his promise. And as we have seen in each and every promise Thomason presented in her blog, the evidence that God has kept his word is dismal at best. From Babylon to Noah’s Flood to the death of Judas, we have seen time and again a pattern of evangelical eisegesis and one-sidedness that is unbecoming of one who claims to be a “Christian Apologist.”
And now, having offered my own rebuttal, I can say with a great deal of confidence that it most assuredly took as long to write her post as it did for me to read it.