Reflection on Council Day 2

Emperor Constantine and fellow Bishops,

I am extremely pleased with both the actions and results of the second day of this council. Today, debate was much more orderly which made the day run much smoother because the hand-raising rule forces individuals to better listen to one another. It also causes individuals to put more thought into their arguments and better articulate their thoughts instead of emotionally reacting to perceived slights against their character. I believe this was main cause for the shift of focus between Day 1 and Day 2 of the council. In contrast to Day 1, Day 2 was more focused on unity and compromise. Both the Arians and Alexandrians seemed more willing to compromise and reach a consensus. For the most part, the council operated along my new rules of decorum which brought me great joy, however, there were moments when council members allowed their passion to drive them forward without thought for who they plowed over. Thus we will maintain the rules for speaking during sessions in order to help ensure everyone has equal opportunity to speak.

In regards to the creed on Jesus Christ, for the most part I am delighted by where it stands and the compromise is represents. I am thrilled that we were able to make a lengthy and wordy creed into one that is more easily understood. Although I appreciate the robust rhetoric Arius presented in his original version, I think it muddled the truth and meaning of the creed. Since this is the statement of belief for the entire Christian world, it should be accessible for all Christians from all walks of life.  The one issue I have with the creed is that I do not believe it is explicit enough in demonstrating our understanding that Jesus is of the same substance of God. I believe that, as it stands, the creed leaves room for interpretation on Jesus’ relationship to God. Our creed states that Jesus Christ is the “word of God, the image of God…Son only-begotten.” I think these terms could be construed to mean that Jesus is not co-equal and co-eternal with God. However, I am reluctant to bring this up in council because it seems that we may have an overwhelming majority, possibly unanimity, on the creed and I have no intention of upsetting the great Emperor Constantine with contention and disharmony. I will have to wait and see how the rest our debate on the creed on Jesus Christ plays out.

Blessed be,