Theology of the Comma
Posted 19 May 2008on:
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.”
For us and for our salvation, he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human. 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.”
Above are two excerpts from the most influential creeds of Christianity; the Apostle’s and the Nicene. Both excerpts deal with the Godly person of Jesus. There is something very important missing from these creeds. What is it? The 30 something years of the life and ministry of Jesus, that’s what’s missing. What the Christ did while living among us is just as important as his death and resurrection. In his life, we see how we are to live our lives, which is just as important as some “salvation” that has no affect on how we live. This is the theology of the comma, the commas of the creeds. And it is this that I have discovered is the real distinctive of the Mennonite Church. Yes, we’re pacifists and million other things. But above all it is this focus on the human ministry of Christ that makes us Mennonites. And it is this focus that makes us adopt all those other things that people know about us (or think they know about us). This may not have been the specific thing that drew me into the Mennonite Church in the last year, but it is the thing that supported what did draw me into the Church. And as I spend more time dwelling on the theology of the comma, I realize I am in the right place.