August 14, 2006

Creedal Christianity

When I started my first church plant, I began the beliefs page with the Creed. I felt a need to get "back" to something that was inclusive of fellow Christians and got away from sectarianism.

Today, we often call people "heretics" because they disagree or dissent to OUR understanding of Scripture and OUR doctrinal persuasion. The Creeds offer us a tool for defining "heresy" and showing us the borders of the Christian faith.

If we believe that all truth is God's truth, then we are able to affirm the true, the good, the holy (??) that is found in other religions and in our world. But the creeds show us the border of the Christian faith. If what we consider "true" in other religions crosses the boudary established by the creed, then we are no longer in Christian territory.

Too often the church has been a doctrinal church rather than a creedal church. I know about the passage that speaks of doctrine, but I don't believe it is speaking of doctrine the way we use that word today.

In Velvet Elvis, Rob Bell talks about theology (our words about God) being inadequate to capture the reality of God. He uses a trampoline as an example; the springs being our words about God. He contrasts this with the popular model of theology as bricks in a wall. The problem with that model is that if one brick is removed the wall crashes. For the Apostle Paul the only brick he saw as absolutely necessary was the resurrection.

Here is an article from JesusCreed:

Jesus Creed » Emerging and Orthodoxy: "For many in the emerging movement there is a good reason to express the Christian faith by appealing to the creeds: that reason is ecumenical. By appealing to the creeds one is able to get way behind and well beyond fundamentalism and the sectarian tendencies of denominationalism. "

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