Theologians Like Recognition!
A little recognition can sure make you feel good! Movie stars have the Academy Awards and musicians, singers and athletes all have their own awards. We thought the “church fathers” would appreciate some nice trophies too since theologians like recognition as much as anyone. That’s why the Reunion Committee decided to have an awards ceremony and all the hoopla that goes with it! Theologians like to talk a lot so the Awards Committee decided to call their prizes the Windy Awards!
The Awards Committee figured that personalized awards might keep the recipients from getting too puffed up. Well, that was the theory anyway. Our theology stars rehearsed their humble acceptance speeches for the big night and even got all dressed up!
Ancient Theologians Shaped the Course of History!
Moderator: Good evening and welcome everyone! What a thrill it is to be here! This the first and only time that Windy Awards will ever be given to anyone! We are honored to be in the midst of thinkers who have shaped the very course of history with their very fine opinions about God. These men wrote the creeds that defined the broad outlines of Christianity for over 1700 years and no matter how you slice it that’s pretty impressive! Let’s start off by having everyone stand and give a big round of applause to each other!
Audience: The standing ovation that followed was an enthusiastic display of mutual admiration (for the most part) and was accompanied by shouts of “Hurray for us! Hurray for you and hurray for me too!” There was a lot of excitement in the air and it was clear that everyone was in high spirits.
The Best Theologians Won Trophies
Moderator: Each and every one of you is going to get a Windy Award tonight! We know some of you have accomplished much more than others but all these beautiful trophies are exactly the same size. (That was the only way we could order them from the supplier). We didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and trust that those of you who were hoping for a bigger trophy will understand.
How to Think of The Trinity!
Tonight’s first Windy Award is the “My Way or The Highway Award!” (The moderator then tore open an envelope and read the note inside). It goes to Bishop Athanasius who distinguished himself by writing the unforgettable phrase, “He therefore that would be saved must thus think of the Trinity”. This proved once and for all that salvation depends on the acceptance of our creeds! We agreed at the Councils of Nicaea and Chalcedon that disputing the trinity spells certain doom for all those unfortunate souls who disagree with us! Here to accept his Windy Award is Bishop Athanasius!
Audience: Bravo! Bravo! Congratulations Athanasius! Enthusiastic applause.
The Athanasian Creed Means My Way or the Highway!
Athanasius: I am deeply honored to receive this award! Our creed calls down fire from heaven to damn our adversaries and we all know this is exactly what should happen to anyone who rejects the trinity. My Way or the Highway is certainly true in this case! The whole point of our creed was to put some teeth into our theology. That’s why we threatened our opponents with punishment from the Emperor in this life and damnation from God in the next! I accept this marvelous award proudly and humbly and want to thank the Reunion Committee for their tremendous insight and good judgment in awarding it to me.
Audience: Respectful and prolonged applause.
Post Award Interview with Athanasius by Meticulus: Well Bishop Athanasius it certainly seems that your logic and work has carried the day! The crowd loved you and it seems that giving you a Windy Award has near unanimous support.
Athanasius: That is so true Meticulus. So very very true. Thank you for noticing.
Do Creeds Express God’s Feelings?
Meticulus: Your creed certainly isn’t the only example of Jesus’ followers wanting to destroy their adversaries. His disciples were ready to destroy a whole city once for not receiving Him. He rebuked them though and said, “You do not know what manner of Spirit you are of!” (Luke 9:55). It seems that the human impulse in that case was far different than God’s! Is it possible your creed expresses the same vengeful impulse and doesn’t reflect God’s heart at all?
Athanasius: You must be a lunatic to talk to me this way young man! This interview is officially over!
Copyright 2021 by Bob Shutes
To be continued…