A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Neglected Affirmations of the Christian Faith #1

I have been thinking about teaching a five to six week class at church entitled, "Neglected Affirmations of the Faith." I realize that Ascension Sunday is several months away, but I have been thinking of dealing with the ascension as one of the neglected affirmations. I do not think one has a difficult case to make in showing that the ascension of Christ is overlooked by the church; and that is not the only pronouncment that is ignored, or at least minimized.

Traditionally, the exaltation of Christ encompasses four teachings which are confessed in the The Nicean Creed: 1. Christ's descent into the nether world ("descended into hell," or "descended to the dead"), 2. his resurrection, 3. his ascension, and 4. his session ("sits at the right hand of the Father"). The first teaching is controversial among Protestants, the remaining three are not.

I plan to post some thoughts on all four of these affirmations which must be held together, but I am interested in your thoughts. Do you think we neglect the ascension and the session of Christ? If so, why? What do you think about the creed's affirmation of Christ's descent?

Please post your thoughts.


Jordan Barrett said...

Personally, I think it is because Christians are now aware of the implications of Jesus' ascension. Perhaps it also has to do with the fact that Jesus' resurrection has received more attention lately, especially due to common criticism. This may distract Christians from the other aspects of the Nicean Creed. I would be interested to know how many are aware of the significance of the ascension. Nonetheless, I look forward to your thoughts and upcoming posts.

Allan R. Bevere said...


I think your comment concerning the "distraction" of the resurrection discussion is quite insightful. As we move through discussion over the next few days, let's give that some more thought.