Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Who Needs A Creed?

@ goes over the usefulness of Creeds. He notes:

It Helps us Wrestle with the Challenge of Articulating the Faith
"From the simplest article of faith found in the Great Shema - 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.' (Dt 6.4) - right through to the Carmen Christi of Philippians, the Bible has multiple examples of its teachings being summarised and confessed. Its teaching has to be systemised if it is to make sense".

It Provides a Tool for Teaching the Faith

It Makes us Focus on the Heart of the Faith

'What I received I passed on to you as of first importance...' (1Co 15.3)

It Guards the Gospel against Distortions of the Faith

His conclusion:

It Shows the Need for Personal Faith
"Perhaps the greatest threat of all to the church and the teachings on which she stands in every generation is that of sliding into nominalism. Paul warns Timothy that the Last Days will be characterised by those (in the church) who have a 'form of godliness' but who deny its power (2Ti 3.5). He warns against them in the strongest possible terms.

It's a danger that lurks most subtly in the Reformed community where we are inclined to lay great store on scholarship and precision. It can be paradise for the kind of people who Paul is warning about - especially those who delight in controversy. The essence of Christianity that is authentically Reformed is its concern for authentic experience. The experiential Calvinism of the Reformation and Puritan eras was driven by the conviction that all truth leads to godliness. The study of theology can never be merely academic.

The first three words of the Creed embed that conviction at the very centre of the truths it goes on to confess. It is only as we declare our belief in this God and all that he has done that we can actually know him along with all the benefits he promises in the gospel. There is a piety reflected in the Creed that is the key to understanding its truths and making them live for the church and all its members. The piety of genuine personal faith".

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