What are Christians known for in our day? If you ask people on the street this question, you’re likely to get answers that relate to particular moral or political concerns, but though they may be important, do these issues get to the heart of our faith?
In her book Creed or Chaos (1940), Dorothy Sayers observed that “it is worse than useless for Christians to talk about the importance of Christian morality, unless they are prepared to take their stand upon the fundamentals of Christian theology.” On this program the hosts will discuss Sayer’s profound observations as they begin a new series on the importance of recovering creeds and confessions in contemporary Christianity. Join us for this edition of the White Horse Inn.
“This is the thing that troubles me about a lot of evangelical engagement in the public square. ‘The really important thing for us to stand for that people should know us for is our position on…’ — and then you go down the list of the public moral issues. The latest report that I saw from Pew said that evangelicals are the only group in America that went significantly up in the level of dislike in the American public. All other religious groups kind of either stayed the same or had a higher approval rating than they’ve had in the past. Only evangelicals went down in their approval rating. You don’t get the sense that it’s because CNN figured out that, wow, these people believe in the two natures of Christ united in one person. They’re crazy. Rather, it’s because there’s something about the moral campaign that has just turned people off. You ask people what is an evangelical and the first thing you hear out there is not the articles of the Nicene Creed. This is what Dorothy Sayers means by it being worse than useless to talk about morality without the theology that undergirds it.” – Michael Horton
“Creeds and Confessions”
A creed is a confession of faith; put into concise form, endowed with authority, and intended for general use in religious rites, a creed summarizes the essential beliefs of a particular religion. According to this definition, there are three Christian creeds: the Apostles’, the Nicene, and the Athanasian. The Protestant confessions of the Reformation era were intended to restore to the church its true image and identity, which, it was widely agreed, had been obscured by the abuses of the later Middle Ages. The heart of the Reformation creeds is the rediscovery of the Gospel as, in Luther’s memorable phrase, “the real treasure of the church.” The church, Luther held, is the creation of the gospel; it is the word of God in Jesus Christ that makes the church the church.
Lutheran Confessions: The Book of Concord containing Luther’s Large and Small Catechisms, the Augsburg Confession, Melanchthon’s “Apology for the Augsburg Confession,” Luther’s Smalcald Articles, Melanchthon’s “Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope,” and the Formula of Concord.
Reformed Confessions: The Westminster Standards containing The Westminster Confession of Faith, the Larger Catechism, and the Smaller Catechism (primarily used in Presbyterian Churches). The Three Forms of Unity containing The Belgic Confession of Faith, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Canons of the Synod of Dort (primarily used in Reformed Churches).
Reformed Baptist Confession: The London Baptist Confession of 1689. (Adapted from The Encyclopedia of Religion s.v. “Creeds.”)
(This podcast is by White Horse Inn. Discovered by Christian Podcast Central and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Christian Podcast Central, and audio is streamed directly from their servers.)