He was manifested in the flesh,
vindicated by the Spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed among the nations,
believed on in the world,
taken up in glory
This first-century creed is brought to you by I Timothy 3:16.
Learning of these small “creeds” in the NT, and finding them, and knowing what they have meant to current NT studies, has been a very sweet thing for me.
Wait, are you implying that Creed and scripture go together? Don’t you know that things like creeds and confessions and catechism’s are the traditions of men and “paper popes”? I say no creed but Christ…of course, “In the beginning was the Word… and the Word was with God…and the Word was God,” so maybe since words are what make up the Bible, and since Jesus is “the Word”…oh no, I am turning into a creedalist.
1 Timothy 3:14-16 was actually our sermon text this past Sunday.
Coincidence, or CONSPIRACY?!
Rube, I sent spies to your church. 😉
How would Paul have responded to “No Creed But Christ” -?
Hey, new bracelet: HWPHR?
Some think that those words actually made up an early church hymn.
Creeds are nice, but pale next to the Word of God.
I’d like to analyze your last statement. I recently took a personality test that said that I like to analyze things, so sorry for amusing myself.
You said: “Creeds are nice, but pale next to the Word of God.”
1. That’s a creedal statement of what you believe.
2. Do you really think creeds are nice?
3. I know you have a creed, but what is it? Creeds don’t have to be written down, but everyone has one. Everyone knows what they believe. You certainly know what you believe. Have you written it down?
4. Since you have a creed, do you check it against the Word of God? For example, the OPC’s confession, the Westminster Confession of Faith, comes with proof texts from Scripture attached. So it’s all based on the Bible, at least according to how we interpret it.
5. The Word of God has to be interpreted. Creeds serve to demonstrate how we’re interpreting the Scriptures, since they’re derived from the Scriptures. Lots of people believe that they are in agreement with the Word of God. But if that’s all they have to say, how can we make any distinction among them? Mormons even think that they believe the Word of God, and so do Muslims and Roman Catholics. But neither you nor I would affirm that they actually DO believe the Word of God. More needs to be said. Thus, creeds are a necessary thing, in order to believe the Word of God properly.
Zrim, I could be wrong about this, but I think it was Paul Barnett’s “The Birth of Christianity” which traces some of these small “creeds” (oral traditions about Christ) which were well-known in Apostolic times, and traces their entry into Scripture. These were the earliest “Christological” statements, which eventually went into the Scriptures, and which then served as the foundation for the Nicene Creed and definition of Chalcedon, for example.
Zrim, yes, I checked, and it is Barnett, who traces these “mini-creedal statements” from their pre-Scripture sources, and into Scripture. This shows an incredible orthodoxy of teaching right from the very beginning.
You’ll never convince our local biblicist though. Watch what happens between he and Echo, as the latter chases the former round and round and round. I can never decide which is funnier, the biblicist who never listens to himself, or the proto-creedalist who hasn’t grasped just what a biblicist essentially believes–despite whatever relative inconsistencies–and how that keeps him from accepting a collar in the first place but keeps trying to get him to take a collar. (For high-octane kicks, I love when the biblicist starts talking about the 5 points and claims he has found a whole number between four and five or two and three, not realizing that nobody on either side of the historical Dordt battle knows what the heck he’s talking about; good Arminians and Calvinists alike, who have even the most basic handle on the argument, can spot increduality and supreme inconsistency fairly quick. Then the proto-confessionalist comes round the corner, not seeing the pietist-biblicist forest for the soteriological trees, dropping collars left and right because he has so many of them. Good times, good times.)
Do people think Zrim is the only author of this blog?
Sorry – He is the guy most involved with it.
John, you’ve just put another book on my list. Thanks!
Not that I have illusions about collaring Al, but I think part of what ails a biblicist about creedalism is something he correctly intuits about us: listen to us long anough and we are saying they are more than “necessary, useful,” they are actually binding and authoritative. The biblicist wants to reserve those categories for Scripture. But he conflates the category of “infallible,” which is for the Bible alone, with these categories.
A high view of the forms is more than a high opinion. Certainly, a high view sees the forms as “necessary and useful,” and has a high opinion of them. But we should be forthright when we engage biblicists and freely admit that we go beyond a high opinion and have a high view, stopping at infallible; a high view is not an infallible one. And an infallible view has a high view and high opinion about the Bible, of course.
In my opinion (so to speak), this is exactly the sort of thing happening in my CRC with regard to the FOS. The biblicists within want to give the forms a high opinion but retreat from a high view. Scott Clark is right to diagnose the CRC as being “on a trajectory toward broad Evangelicalism” insofar as she shows more and more signs of being more biblicist than confessionalist.
Rick, I should point out that where Barnett does describe that process happening in several sections of the book, it is primarily an argument for a strong (very high, very early) Christology, contra some of the more liberal theories that a “high Christology” evolved somehow. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did!
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