The creeds – a view from the pew

One of the great things about writing a blog is that people write comments on it that teach you things.

In the midst of the current Methoblog flurry about the creeds of the church, I wanted to highlight this comment from the pew by one of my frequent comment writers:

A practical view from the pew: After a life time of reciting the Apostle’s Creed, I came to the point as an adult that I realized I did not truly understand what I was saying “I believed”. Unfortunately hard on the heels of that realization, things went south for me at church and I ended up distancing myself from it. I finally stumbled on the Heidelberg Catechism and three books about it that fleshed out the Apostle’s Creed, the Ten Commandments and The Lord’s Prayer. Over a space of a few days Christianity went from feeling like rocket science to being simply unfathomable and “even I” was folded into God’s story of salvation. I was left wondering why nobody had never shared this information before.

Bottom line is, clergy and theologians tend to over think things when it comes to creeds. Reality is, reciting a creed every Sunday has a practical use for the person in the pew if it is fleshed out elsewhere. It is a very good “jumping off spot”. And, when fleshed out properly, the Apostle’s Creed is very much a Trinitarian creed.


One thought on “The creeds – a view from the pew

  1. Thank you for highlighting my comment! No creed or catechism can adequately sum up who God is and who we are, but they can make a huge start! One of the books I read about the Heidelberg was “The Good News We Almost Forgot” by Kevin DeYoung (who knew I would ever have a favorite young Calvinist?). In his intro he makes this statement about the Heidelberg:

    No doubt, the church in the west has many new things to learn. But for the most part, everything we need to learn is what we’ve already forgotten. The chief theological task now facing the Western church is not to reinvent or to be relevant but to remember. We must remember the old, old story. We must remember the faith once delivered to the saints. We must remember the truths that spark reformation, revival, and regeneration…In a church age confused about the essential elements of the Christian faith—and whether Christianity has any doctrinal center at all—the Heidelberg Catechism offers a relentless reminder of the one doctrine that matters most: We are great sinners and Christ is a greater Savior.

    Come and see
    what vintage faith is really all about.
    Come and see
    if the cool breeze from centuries gone by can awaken your lumbering faith.
    Come and see
    if your church was lame because of its confessions and catechisms or
    if your lame church made the confessions and catechisms
    lame all on its own.
    …I freely confess I love the Heidelberg Catechism.
    I love it because it’s old,
    it’s biblical,
    and it’s true.
    It’s not perfect. It’s not infallible.
    It says too little about some subjects and too much about some others.
    But it is, through and through,
    trustworthy and beautiful,
    simple and deep.

    Most of all, I love the Heidelberg Catechism because
    I love the gospel it expounds and the salvation it proclaims
    …I wrote this book so that others might be drawn into
    the same gospel ocean that has refreshed me.
    The gospel summarized in the Heidelberg Catechism is glorious,
    it’s Christ gracious,
    it’s comfort rich,
    it’s Spirit strong,
    it’s God sovereign,
    and its truth timeless.
    You can meet Christ here, if you will simply come and see.
    If you’ve ever found understanding the Bible
    a bit like exploring America on foot,
    interesting but
    overwhelming and slow-going,
    why not use the Heidelberg Catechism as a map?
    The Catechism can help show you
    the main attractions others have discovered in the Bible
    and lead you to the best, most important truths of our faith.
    As the saying goes…you can see farther when standing on the shoulders of giants.
    And the Heidelberg Catechism is a giant of
    soul-inspiring devotion.
    Stand on its shoulders and see more of Christ
    who saves us from our guilt by His grace
    and makes us, through His Spirit,
    wholeheartedly willing and ready to live for Him.

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