f The Wittenberg Door: What You Need to Know About the First 7 Church Councils

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Commenting on Christendom, culture, history, and other oddities of life from an historic Protestant perspective.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

What You Need to Know About the First 7 Church Councils

I didn’t grow up in the church, so when I became a believer I came in cold. Once I did start going to church I fell in with a bad theological crowd: Word of Faith Pentecostals. After six years of binding, loosing, and demon chasing, I realized that I didn’t know squat about Christianity. That’s where the creeds, confessions, and catechisms came in. They taught me the Christian faith, as they have to millions of believers for generations.

But not only are Christians taught the faith through these documents, but they are also a means of protecting the believer from the church. Indeed, if I had known them when I became a believer I wouldn’t have wasted six years with the big-hair and loud-suits crew.

Many of these documents would not exist if it wasn't for church councils. Tim Challies does the church a good-turn through his series, 7 Councils. In it he provides the tale-of-the-tape (setting and purpose, major characters, the conflict, the result, and lasting significance) for the councils that were held from 325 AD, First Council of Nicaea, through 787 AD, Second Council of Nicaea. Here’s an excerpt regarding the significance of the First Council of Nicaea:

The First Council of Nicaea is most significant in settling an essential issue related to the divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was decreed to be eternal and divine, equal with the Father, and infinitely greater than a created being. However, the Council is also significant as the first attempt to achieve a consensus among all Christians through a debate between representatives from the opposing sides. It set a precedent for holding councils to decide other doctrinal and practical church matters, and for turning these decisions into creeds and canon law.

You can read more on this council, and start the series, here.

--The Catechizer

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