Until today, I don’t believe I have ever had a phrase from the Athanasian Creed pop into my head while walking through a shopping centre with my children. I don’t think I have ever actually been to a church service where the Athanasian Creed was recited, come to that.
We were returning to our car after shopping at the farmer’s market in Solihull, and had stopped for a chat with Stephen Dancer and his bookstall from Solihull Presbyterian Church. We got talking about Pierced for our Transgressions, and the importance of the doctrine of the Trinity for correctly understanding penal substitution. We must not, in our thinking about the atonement, set the persons of the Trinity at odds with each other, as if the Father were demanding blood from an uninvolved, unwilling Son. The distinct persons act together to bring about the common will of God. One purpose, yet distinct persons carrying out their different aspects of the one plan of redemption.
And then, walking along through the shopping centre as you do, a phrase from the Athanasian Creed just popped into my head: “Neither confounding the Persons : nor dividing the Substance”. Exactly.