I am starting a new series of blog posts focusing on the release of my new book Primal Credo: Your Entrance into the Apostle’s Creed (2011) which will be released this week. Each post will focus on a chapter from the book. With 13 chapters, 1 introduction, and 1 epilogue, I have committed myself to blog at least fifteen times in the next 21 days.
I do not come from a tradition that gives much attention to the creed. Honestly, in my teens and early 20s I had a prideful bias against the creeds of the church. I proudly chanted: “No creed but the Bible” along with all the others. I assumed at 18, 19, and 20 years, I had it all figured out—God, truth, salvation, humanity; oh yeah, I had it all figured out by the time I was 21. I had no use for the creeds, I had the Bible and the Holy Spirit after all!
This was not passion for the Word and Spirit. This was youthful arrogance.
As I have grown in faith over more than two decades, I have repented of my arrogance and accepted that there is a whole lot out there I do NOT understand. What I have come to see is how important the creeds are, particularly the Apostles’ Creed. Now I can see how the creeds help keep me grounded in the rich soil of historic Christianity.
What is a “creed” you ask? The historic, orthodox Christian church has complied a certain set of Christian beliefs to establish a standard for what we believe as followers of Jesus. There are many different creeds, but the oldest, the most ancient, is the Apostles’ Creed. There is no exact form of this creed. Different Christian denominations have adopted different versions of the creed, but they all say essentially the same thing.
The creed we call “The Apostles’ Creed” gives us the DNA of our faith as believers in Jesus Christ. This new book, Primal Credo, guides you through this creed. Each chapter in the book leads you through a new section of the creed giving you footholds and places to grip as you continue to explore and grow in your faith. Here is an excerpt from the “Introduction”:
The more I have grown in the knowledge of God, the more I have discovered my lack of understanding. I do not have it all figured out. These days it seems I have more questions about God and his work upon the earth than answers. If I am being completely honest, I am less comfortable with my faith today than when I was a freshman in college. My thought dreams about the God we worship typically leave me asking for more and wanting more of God’s truth and grace. The Apostles’ Creed has become one of the stabilizing agents in my spiritual journey. While I still serve in a church where we do not recite the creed every Sunday, I have come to see the wisdom of my college advisor. The Apostles’ Creed serves as an extremely useful confession of the essentials of the Christian faith. The ancient church has given the creed to the modern church as an indispensable gift. We would be well-served to spend some time unwrapping it. I have written this book to help us do just that. (Primal Credo, pg. 3)
Primal Credo uses the form of the Apostles’ Creed used in the Common Book of Worship, a prayer and worship guide used by the Presbyterian Church (USA). Here is the creed, our creed, our first and primal credo:
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.