Unpacking “No Creed but the Bible”

The best scenario for Christians, therefore, is to acknowledge that all of us have creeds and confessions—all of us think the Bible means something and that its teaching can be formulated in a manner that is concise and summarizes the Bible’s position on a whole variety if important. But we should not stop there. We move from such an acknowledgment to look to the great creeds and confessions of the church to see what “forms of sound words” have been useful throughout history to keep the church faithful to the gospel message. Time is no guarantee of truth, but if a creed—say, the Apostles’ or the Nicene—has served the church for over 1,500 years, that says something about the consistency of its content with what the Bible says. Of course, a church today can produce its own statement of faith. But why reinvent the wheel when tried and tested creeds and confessions already exist?

Further, the adoption by a church of a historic creed or confession has added benefits. It is a reminder to the congregation that the gospel is not reinvented every Sunday. It also presses each Christian to identify with other brothers and sisters both across the globe today and down through the ages. The Presbyterian who affirms the Westminster Confession and the Anglican who affirms the Thirty-Nine Articles and the Lutheran who affirms the Book of Concord is also identifying with great and extensive Christian traditions and being thereby reminded that they are part of a much bigger story.

Similar Posts