Saturday, June 28, 2008

IRENAEUS June 28th (120-202)

IRENAEUS June 28th (120-202)

" the greatest way to glorify God is with a life well lived"
Born in Asia Minor, probably Smyrna. He was a disciple of Polycarp who had been mentored by John the beloved. He studied in Rome then became a priest at Lyons at the invitation of the Ponthinus the first bishop of Gaul.
He was sent back to Rome with a message and on his return to Lyons found that Ponthinus had been killed in the persecution. Irenaeus was made the new bishop of Gaul. He remained in the West and died there.
Irenaeus made a later journey to Rome to plead for leniency toward the Montanists and for those Eastern Christians who were threatened with excommunication because they did not observe the Roman date for Easter.
His writings were important in the early developement of Christian theology and the developement of the Canon. Irenaeus also provides the first explicit witness to a four-fold gospel canon. He was the earliest Father of the Church to systematize the Christian beliefs that would later they the foundation for orthodox doctrine. He is frequently cited by later theologians.
Only two of his works survive—neither in the original Greek. The five-volume Against Heresies establishes Christian doctrine against the Gnostics and incidentally supplies much of our present information on Gnosticism. And the Epideixix or the Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching, which is a concise exposition of Christian doctrine.
He is recognized as a Saint by both the Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

by Brian MaClaren

We have confidence in Jesus
Who healed the sick, the blind, and the paralyzed.
And even raised the dead.
He cast out evil powers andConfronted corrupt leaders.

He cleansed the temple.

He favored the poor.
He turned water into wine,

Walked on water, calmed storms.
He died for the sins of the world,

Rose from the dead, and ascended to the Father,Sent the Holy Spirit.
We have confidence in Jesus

Who taught in word and example,Sign and wonder.
He preached parables of the kingdom of God
On hillsides, from boats, in the temple, in homes,
At banquets and parties, along the road, on beaches, in towns,
By day and by night.
He taught the way of love for God and neighbor,

For stranger and enemy, for outcast and alien.
We have confidence in Jesus,

Who called disciples, led them,
Gave them new names and new purpose
And sent them out to preach good news.
He washed their feet as a servant.
He walked with them, ate with them,
Called them friends,

Rebuked them, encouraged them,
Promised to leave and then return,
And promised to be with them always.
He taught them to pray.

He rose early to pray, stole away to desolate places,
Fasted and faced agonizing temptations,
Wept in a garden,

And prayed, “Not my will but your will be done.”
He rejoiced, he sang, he feasted, he wept.
We have confidence in Jesus,

So we follow him, learn his ways,
Seek to obey his teaching and live by his example.
We walk with him, walk in him, abide in him,

As a branch in a vine.
We have not seen him, but we love him.

His words are to us words of life eternal,
And to know him is to know the true and living God.
We do not see him now, but we have confidence in Jesus.

this creed was originally shared at an Emergent Gathering in Nashville in May 2004

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

St Patricks Creed

There is no other God,
nor ever was, nor will be,
than God the Father unbegotten,
without beginning,from whom is all beginning,
the Lord of the universe,
as we have been taught;

and His son Jesus Christ,
whom we declare to have always been with the Father,
spiritually and ineffably begotten by the Father
before the beginning of the world,
before all beginning;

and by Him are made all things visible and invisible.
He was made man, and,having defeated death,
was received into heaven by the Father;
and He hath given Him all power over all names in heaven,
on earth, and under the earth,

and every tongue shall confess to Him that Jesus Christ is Lord and God,

in whom we believe,
and whose advent we expect soon to be,
Judge of the living and of the dead,
who will render to every man according to his deeds;

He has poured forth upon us abundantly the Holy Spirit,
the gift and pledge of immortality,
who makes those who believe and obey sons of God and joint heirs with Christ;
and Him do we confess and adore,
one God in the Trinity of the Holy Name.

St. Patrick, from his Confession.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


The Nicene Creed was formulated at the 1st ecuminacal council at Nicea in AD 334. It was expanded at the 2nd council in Constantinoble in 381 to balance it's coverage of the Trinity by including the Holy Spirit. It is the only creed worked on by any of the 7 Ecuminical councils. It is therefore considered the only creed that is truly eccuminical and universal. In the Orthodox Church it is the only creed.

The New Testament and the Nicene Creed are are deeply interwoven. The language and the concepts of the Creed are directly influenced by the New Testament. The most important debate at the council was whether a word that was not in the New Testiment should be used in the Creed. On the other hand when the church issued the Cannon of the New Testament it was custimary to compare them to the Nicene Creed to determine there orthodoxy.

You would be correct in stipulating that the Nicene Creed proceeds from the New Testiment, yet on the other hand you would also be correct if you stated the New Testiment proceeded from the Nicene Creed. More correctly the Nicene Creed and the Cannon of the New Testiment were formed as part of the same process.

for further reading go to

Friday, June 13, 2008


We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through Him all things were made. For us and for our salvation He came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit He became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate; He suffered death and was buried. On the third day He rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father.* With the Father and the Son He is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. AMEN.

*Roman Catholics and Protestants add ‘and the Son’ at this point.

Monday, June 9, 2008

ST Columba (521-597)

 ST Columba June 9th (521-597)
Columba was born into an Irish royal clan and trained as a priest. He travelled preaching and teaching thoroughout Ireland founding several monastries including those at Derry (546) and Durrow (556).
Columba was condemned by a Synod in 561 due to his part in a dispute over the ownership of a copy of a Gospel which resulted in the deaths of many in the battle of Cooldrevne.

Columba asked Finnian if he could make a copy of the manuscript but Finnian refused. Columba, however, was a prince of the O’Neills. A proud and independent minded man he ignored Finnian’s refusal getting up in the middle of the night Cloumba copied a small piece of the manuscript. He repeated this act every night until the cpy was completed. Fiinnian flew into a rage when he discovered what had been don, demanding the copy. Columba who refused and retreated to the country of his tribe.

Finnian appealed to the High King of Ireland who summoned both to appear before him on a set date for the judgement. When they appeared the King’s judgement was "To the cow her calf." Finnian won the judgment but Columba was was determined.

He returned home to his tribe raised an army and marched south. The High King, angry that his judgement had been defied, raised his army and marched north. There was a huge battle. Columba won but 2000 men were killed. Filled with remorse he sought the counsel of his Soul friend who told him he must leave Ireland and win as many souls for Christ as had been lost at the battle. This sentence became known as white martyrdom

In 553 he left his beloved Ireland with a group of twelve and in a self imposed excile sailed for Scotland. He reached the island off Southend on the Mull of Kintyre but he found that when he climbed to the top of the hill he could still see Ireland. As a result he sailed on to Iona. He established the now famous monastic community there and become it's first Abbot.

Blessed with powerful oratory skills and using Iona as a base Columba and his companions travelled widely on the mainland revivng Christianity among the Scots and even managed to penitrate
into Pictland.

Columba made a number of return visits to Ireland. At one such visit he attended a summit of all the kings of Ireland and managed to persuade them to exempt women from military duties
By the time of his death in 597 Columba had succeeded in making Iona the centre of a Celtic church that was very rapidly expanding through out Great Britian.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Apostlres Creed (1)

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord,who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead.On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,the communion of saints.the forgiveness of sins,the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

For hundreds of years Christians believed that the twelve apostles were the authors of the widely known creed that bears their name. According to an ancient theory, the twelve composed the creed with each apostle adding a clause to form the whole.

Today practically all scholars understand this theory of apostolic composition to be legendary. Nevertheless, many continue to think of the creed as apostolic in nature because its basic teachings are agreeable to the theological formulations of the apostolic age.
The full form in which the creed now appears stems from about 700 AD. However, segments of it are found in Christian writings dating as early as the second century. The most important predecessor of the Apostles' Creed was the Old Roman Creed, which was probably developed during the second half of the second century.

Monday, June 2, 2008


A creed is a statement or confession of belief or faith often recited as part of a religious service. The word comes from the Latin: credo for I believe and credimus for we believe.

The most definitive creed in Christianity is the Nicene Creed, formulated in AD 325 at the first of the Seven Ecumenical Councils. Affirmation of this creed, which describes the Trinity, is generally taken as a fundamental test of orthodoxy. The Apostle's Creed is broadly accepted.
Some Christian communities including Unitarians, Quakers, Baptists, and Restorationists reject the authority of creeds.

There is a place in many liturgies for the declaration of a creed. Through out June we'll post a selection of creeds ancient and more recent... they're great for lectio divina and other occassions as well.