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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Lutherans, Orthodox agree on Nicene Creed

In a historic joint statement, representatives of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Orthodox Churches in America agreed to a "mutual confession of the faith ... as expressed in the Nicene Creed in its original [fourth century] form."

Referring to a major theological dispute dating from the early Middle Ages, the ELCA delegation recommended that its church "act to implement the 1990 resolution of the Lutheran World Federation ... that churches [that] use the Nicene Creed in their liturgies may use the [original] version of A.D. 381," omitting the controversial "filioque" or "and the Son" clause. The original-text profession--which speaks of the Spirit "who proceeds from the Father" without the later addition, "and the Son"--has been the practice of the Orthodox Church since the creed was adopted 16 centuries ago.

"The action proposed by the consultation would bring the two historic Christian churches closer in their profession of faith in their worship," said dialogue co-chair Paul Werger, bishop emeritus of the Southeastern Iowa Synod.


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