Creeds: Lucian of Antioch

Continuing our week of Creeds, we will examine Lucian of Antioch. Lucianus was an elder of Antioch, and the accused follower of Paul of Samosata as well as the to progenitor of the Eusebians and their doctrine. His creed was found after his death, and was, together with three similar creeds, laid before the Synod of Antioch, held A.D. 341, in the hope that it might be substituted for the obnoxious Creed of Nicæa. It is also called the second Antiochean Formula.

We believe, in accordance with evangelic and apostolic tradition, in one God the Father Almighty, the Maker and Provider of all things.

We note in this creed, unlike the others before it, that Lucian makes an appeal to the Apostles through the ‘apostolic tradition.’

And in one Lord Jesus Christ his Son, the only-begotten God, (note, this is one of the textual variants to John 1.18) through whom all things were made, who was begotten of the Father before all ages, God of God, Whole of Whole, One of One, Perfect of Perfect, King of King, Lord of Lord (In Revelation, we read that Christ is the King of all Kings, and Lord of all Lords. I am unsure if this creedal statement is a twist on this, but if it is, then it stands as error.), the living Word, Wisdom, Life, True Light, Way, Truth, Resurrection, Shepherd, Door, unchangeble and unalterable, the immutable likeness of the Godhead, both of the substance and will and power and glory of the Father, the first-born of all creation, who was in the beginning with God, the Divine Logos, according to what is said in the gospel: ‘And the Word was God,’25 through whom all things were made, and in whom ‘all things consist:’26 who in the last days came down from above, and was born of a Virgin, according to the Scriptures, and became man, the Mediator between God and man, and the Apostle of our Faith,27 and the Prince of life; as he says,28 ‘I have come down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me:’ who suffered for us, and rose for us the third day, and ascended into heaven and sitteth on the right hand of the Father, and again is coming with glory and power to judge the quick and the dead.

And in the Holy Ghost given for consolation and sanctification and perfection to those who believe; as also our Lord Jesus Christ commanded his disciples, saying, ‘Go ye, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost;’29 clearly of the Father who is really a Father, and of a Son who is really a Son, and of the Holy Ghost who is really a Holy Ghost; these names being assigned not vaguely nor idly, but indicating accurately the special personality, order, and glory of those named, so that in Personality (ὑποστάσει) they are three, but in harmony (συμφωνίᾳ) one.

This is clearly Eusebian theology, in that the argument is being made that if three names are found in the Rule of Faith, or in Matthew 28.19, then each must have a ‘Personality’. We see that unbiblical notion that each of the Named has three hypostasis (ὑποστάσει) but are united only in the symphonia (συμφωνίᾳ) of wills, which is at the heart of Eusebius of Caesaria’s doctrine and the crisis that erupted after the Council of Nicaea.

What the Eusebians brought to the table, to counter Arias and his ‘Son-Creature’ theology was what Lucian had proposed, in that the Son was created by the Father, but as an imiatator of the Father – God from God – allowing for Three Hypostaseis that was united only by the one will.

Having then this faith (from the beginning and holding it to the end) before God and Christ we anathematize all heretical false doctrine. And if any one, contrary to the right faith of the Scriptures, teaches and says that there has been a season or time or age before the Son of God was begotten, let him be accursed. And if any one says that the Son is a creature as one of the creatures, or generated as one of the things generated, or made as one of the things made, and not as the divine Scriptures have handed down each of the forenamed statements; or if a man teaches or preaches any thing else contrary to what we have received, let him be accursed.

Tertullian tought the generation of the Word from eternity, but there was a time when God was alone.

For we truly and clearly both believe and follow all things from the holy Scriptures that have been transmitted to us by the Prophets and Apostles.

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