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Protestants and Creeds



Protestants and Creeds (from the January 2009 Tabletalk)

Q. What is then necessary for a Christian to believe? 

A. All that is promised us in the gospel, which the articles of our catholic, undoubted Christian faith teach us in sum.   (Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 22)

I’ll never forget the first time I worshiped in a Presbyterian church. I had been raised in independent Bible churches where it was a given that Christians believed the Bible, while Roman Catholics relied on tradition. We had “no creed but Christ.” You can imagine how I was taken aback when the Presbyterian faithful recited the Apostles’ Creed with great gusto, including the line that, at the time, I could not bring myself to repeat: “I believe…in the holy catholic church.”

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Reader Comments (5)

In my previous church, I tried to teach from the Heidelberg Catechism, using Williamson's study guide. I fully intended to use our differences regarding baptism as a good learning tool. Wouldn't you know it, my dear Baptist students showed up with booklets on Baptist Distinctives clutched as if to ward off some strange and heretical doctrine...
You can either laugh or cry, as they say.
December 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpb
I grew up in a Southern Baptist church and later a Bible church (member of the Independent Fundamental Churches of America). At the Bible church we recited the Apostle's Creed once a month on communion Sunday (something that never happened at the Southern Baptist church). The creed was printed in the hymnal and the word catholic was changed to Christian so as to be more palatable. To their credit, there was a footnote giving the alternative 'catholic' and its meaning as being 'universal.'
December 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterToltec
Luther on the Apostles' Creed: "The three Persons in the one Divine Essence are distinctly and nicely comprised in the Creed, and to each Person is ascribed His own distinctive work. To the Father creation is ascribed, to the Son redemption, and to the Holy Ghost the power of sanctification, that is, He dispenses forgiveness of sins, makes joyful , strengthens souls, and leads them from death into yonder life."

"This confession of faith we did not make or invent, neither did the fathers of the church before us. But as the bee gathers the honey from many a beaufiful and delicious flower, so this creed has been collected in commendable brevity from the books of the beloved prophets and apostles, that is, from the entire Holy Scriptures, for children and plain Christians.

Also, thank God for the Nicene Creed, which is a rebuke against heresies, especially Arianism, which attack the Trinity, the Diety of Christ, and Christ's role in the Godhead.

While we're at it, praise God for allowing us the great Athanasian Creeed, which gives us the greatest description of the Trinity that has ever been written. Whenever someone wants me to give a description of the Trinity, I just tell them to read the Athanasian Creed. (It is a great tool to use against the J.W.'s.)
December 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd I. Cadle
Like you Dr Kim i grewup in a non liturgical/confessional environment-amongst the Church of Christ-Disciples as you lot in the USA know them. my parents were confessing Christians but did not use the Confessions of their Anglican childhood.
i married a Presbyterian and we got Married in Scots Church right in the heart of Melbourne. The first time i went to a morning service waswhen the Apostles Creed was recited and I was conscious that i was sadly lacking,nay ignorant of a great deal around my faith ,especially as my church prided itself on being in the Reformation tradition . After marriage we attended this Church and I grew to love the use of the Creeds atCommunion. nowout in the 'burbs I attended Lutheran and Uniting Churches (the latter is an amalgam of Pressies,Methodists and Congregationalists) but now attend a Baptist Church that for all of the good teaching/preaching, and exceedingly boring hymns,or are they Gospel ditties i feel lacks the depth that Creeds give to worship service. I am currently wading through Williamsons's edition of the Heidelberg Catechism as well as Luther's Small Catechism. Our local Christian boostore ,must be run by Baptists or pentecostals as they have plenty of work on Luther and Calvin ,but anything on the Reformed Confessions has to be ordered in. Oh they do stock your two books thought Dr Kim,whilst another Christian bookstore-WORD-run by Pentecostals has no amillenial books at all
December 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterwayne pelling
I grew up in a non-confessing (how sad that sounds) Bible-believing church. I feel gratified in my church today when we stand to confess the faith (sometimes with the Apostles' Creed - sometimes with the Nicene Creed) and see young children confessing with the adults! I love to see that. Out of the mouths of babes God has perfected praise.
December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDB

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