I am sitting in the library at the London School of Theology trying to cobble together a book proposal. Looking for distraction I have just pulled off the shelf beside me The Wicket Gate by G.A. Studdert Kennedy, first published in 1923. Opening the book more or less at random I happened upon this entertaining comment on the lines “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son” from the Nicene Creed:
Merely reading the history of this clause of the Creed makes one’s brain reel, and the cold sweat of utter bewilderment breaks out upon one’s brow, as one strives to follow the very human doctors of Divinity in their efforts to settle the exact relationship of the persons of the Blessed Trinity. No sooner does one escape from one heresy, than another bites one in the back; and the last state is worse than the first. Mr. G.K. Chesterton, in a fine passage of his “Orthodoxy,” draws a picture of Orthodoxy as a splendid, swaying figure, standing upon two wild, but superbly-controlled horses, and sweeping down the course of time with the sprawling heresies lying prone on either side. But the attempt to be orthodox on the subject of the Blessed Trinity, and at the same time intelligible, makes one feel not so much like a gallant rider of fiery steeds, as like hen on a hot riddle, only safe when one is in the air.