10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
In the Foreword to this book, 'Exploring and Proclaiming the Apostles' Creed', edited by Roger E. Van Harn, theologian Geoffrey Wainwright recounts the early legend about the Apostles' Creed - that the twelve apostles (minus Judas but plus Matthias) joined together to reaffirmed their faith and make a simple codification so that, in their distant and disparate journeys, they would not be teaching contradictory things. Each of the Apostles is purported to have stated phrase of the Apostles' Creed, starting with Peter (Credo in deum patrem omnipotentem/ I believe in God, the Father Almighty) and proceeding down to Matthias, who delivered the last line (...et vitam aeternam / and the live everlasting).
This is a structure that suits me well - being an Anglo-Catholic, I am used to reciting a creed on a regular basis. For my first theology class in seminary, my final paper was structured to follow the Apostles' Creed (my longer systematic theology mini-thesis was structured to follow the Nicene Creed). Whatever its origin, the Apostles' Creed is one of the earliest expressions of what Christian faith is and 'should be' on an early Trinitarian basis. The Trinity is a 'derivative' concept - there is no formulation such as the Apostles' Creed or Nicene Creed in the Bible, although there are texts that lead to the development of the creed. Even denominations that object to traditions of creeds or espouse sola scriptura often recite creeds (sometimes termed 'affirmations of faith' to avoid the word 'creed').
This book divides the Apostles' Creed into fourteen sections (plus an introductory chapter that looks at the issue of the Trinity more directly). Each essay looks at a particular line or phrase of the creed, and is followed brief sermon that draws on that particular line or phrase together with relevant biblical passages. The scholars and preachers featured here are a diverse bunch in terms of denomination, theological outlook, and theological discipline (they include theologians, biblical scholars, historians, practical ministries people, Christian educators, and full-time serving ministers).
Part of me wishes that I'd had this book prior to the writing of my papers in seminary; on the other hand, I value the additional voices to show differences in formulations of ideas and interpretations - despite the relative sparseness of the Apostles' Creed, the level of interpretation possible is remarkable. I am a firm believer that education should never stop; just because I have finished seminary does mean that I should finish reading, exploring, and learning new things - in fact, I feel exactly the opposite; because I no longer have the guidance of professors and fellow classmates, it becomes all the more imperative that I find the resources with which to continue. This book is one of those resources for me. It will serve anyone who has an interest in creedal-based Christianity well.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2005
This is one of MANY great new books on the Creed: Alister McGrath's I Believe; Luke Timothy Johnson, The Creed (2003);Michael Horton, We Believe, and the last section of David Matzko McCarthy, The Good Life . This one is anthology by a variety of pretty notable neo-orthodox types, mostly from the mainline Reformed camp. Some are less orthodox than I might like, but almost every essay in here is insightful and provactive.
Each of 15 articles of the Creed is given a theological essay by one author and a sermon by another. Among the most notable contributors are: Colin Gunton; Neil Plantinga (CRC evangelical); Ralph Wood (Barthian Baptist); James Kay and George Hunsunger(Barthian Princetonian Presbyterians); Daniel Migliore (Princetonian, more liberal than Kay or Hunsinger); Richard Hays (neo-orothodox, Duke); Fleming Rutledge (neo-orthodox Episcopal priestess). Several others (Tom Long, Cynthia Rigby etc.) BTW have Princeton connections.
While somewhat uneven theologically, this is a must read for the preacher or serious student of the Creed. Probably my third choice after McGrath and Johnson.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2014
The book is well organized as far as the explanations of the Creed. The sermons are great, however, they are not always consistent with the material covered in the chapter which precedes the sermon (to be fair, you could probably write 12 sermons from the material in the explanatory notes... so the sermons provided are simply bonus material). I would recommend the book to anyone interested in a working knowledge of The Apostles' Creed.