The Apostles' Creed is an expression of Christian theology that was formed in a period of fascinating and creative debate. The creed is not simply a dogmatic, static, and cryptic symbol of Christian faith, but, on the contrary, a lively narrative that can still inspire imagination, critical reflection, and faith. In The Apostle's Creed, the ancient debates that led to the formulation of its twelve pronouncements are examined. The richness of early Christian thought is explored by looking at the ideas behind each creedal pronouncement and tracing the theological debates that inspired each statement. Early Christian theology is not treated as 'unanimous,' but as pluralistic. The polyphony of theological opinion, which characterized the Christianity of this period, is therefore highlighted and celebrated. In explaining the context that gave birth to the creed, this study refers to the testimony of various 'witnesses' of those theological arguments. This includes opponents of the apostolic and church Fathers: the Gnostics, 'heretics,' and Jewish and pagan critics of Christian faith.
A Collection of Early Christian Creeds and Creed-related Texts
Author: Wolfram Kinzig
Publisher: Oxford Early Christian Texts
This collection of all creeds and credal formulae of the early Church in Greek and Latin covers the period from the writings of the New Testament down to the early Middle Ages. The source texts are taken from the most up-to-date critical editions available and newly found texts have been added. They are accompanied by English translations and, where applicable, introduced individually by brief remarks on their authorship, date, and provenance.
There is a great debate going on in the church today. It centers on one question: What is the mission of the church? From culturally relevant, emerging congregations to strategic methods of organization and outreach, many claim they have the answer. They say the mission must become missional. Yet the churches of North America continue to struggle. Uncertainty is growing. What does it really mean to be 'missional'? Competing claims abound. Get the message out! Get the message right! Great confusion has set in, particularly in the postmodern North American church. The Gospel is getting lost. Yet, throughout the ages, the creedal confession of the Holy Christian Church has carried her through uncertainty and struggle. The Apostles' Creed has steadied and stayed the mission of the church for centuries. It centers on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit--the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. This book celebrates the historic mission of the Holy Christian Church, and it invites the North American church to do the same.
In Debates over the Resurrection of the Dead, Outi Lehtipuu highlights the striking observation that in many early texts the way that belief in resurrection is formulated is used as a sign of inclusion and exclusion, not only in relation to non-Christians but vis-à-vis other Christians. Those who teach otherwise have deviated from the truth, are not true Christians, and do the works of the devil. Using insights from the sociological study of deviance, Dr Lehtipuu demonstrates that labelling was used as a tool for marking boundaries between those who belonged and those who did not. This was extremely important in the fluid conditions where the small Christian minority groups found themselves. In a situation where there were no universally accepted structures that defined what constituted the true Christian belief, several competing interpretations and their representatives struggled for recognition of their views based on what they believed to be the apostolic tradition. The most hotly-debated aspect of resurrection was whether it would entail the body of flesh and blood or not. When resurrection would take place was closely related to this. Controversies died since the scriptural legacy was ambiguous enough to allow different hermeneutical solutions. The battle over resurrection was closely related to the question of how scriptures were to be understood as well as to what constituted the human self that would survive death. To demonstrate this a wide variety of texts are studied, from theological treatises (including relevant Nag Hammadi texts) to apocryphal acts and martyrologies. Acknowledging the complexity and diversity of the early Christian movement, this volume views early Christian discourse as part of the broader ancient discursive world where similar debates were going on among both Jews and the majority population.
Studies in Christian Ecclesiality and Ecumenism in Honor of J. Robert Wright
Author: John Robert Wright
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
Foreword by Frank T. Griswold One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism gathers twenty-one articles from distinguished church historians, literary historians, and ecumenists -- all written in honor of the Reverend Canon J. Robert Wright, St. Mark's Professor of Ecclesiastical History at The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church, who has been an inspiration to a generation of students and colleagues. The Most Reverend Frank T. Griswold, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, has written a foreword that complements the work of contributors such as S. W. Sykes, Richard A. Norris Jr., and George Tavard, among others. Though these articles differ in individual subject, they cohere in their relation to Dr. Wright's expertise as a theologian, a historian, a medievalist, an ecumenist, and above all a man of the church. Contributors: Victor Lee Austin Walter R. Bouman Joseph Britton Marsha L. Dutton E. Rozanne Elder C. Christopher Epting John V. Fleming R. William Franklin Patrick Terrell Gray Petra Heldt Joanne McWilliam Robert Bruce Mullin Jon Nilson Richard A. Norris Jr. Robert W. Prichard Michael Root William G. Rusch S. W. Sykes Mary Tanner George Tavard Ellen K. Wondra
Provides an elucidation of the Apostles' Creed, examining the theological and practical significance of each line and exploring such fundamental questions to Christianity as belief, faith, and the nature of Christ and of the Trinity.