Ecumenical Creeds & Confessions by Christian Reformed ChurchThis little paperback contains three early Church ecumenical creeds: The Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasius Creed; followed by three Reformation-era Confessions: The Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dort. Brief historical summaries are given for each.
I have been meaning to work through these classic Reformation confessions since reading Carl Truemans The Creedal Imperative. I enjoyed all of them. They are remarkable documents. It was the Belgic confession that most consistently had me underlining striking passages. Many sections contain what Os Guinness calls warm-hearted pietism, a way of describing spiritual experience that encourages a drawing near and enjoyment of God. This makes the documents come alive and gives them an appeal beyond the doctrinal precision. At their best they encourage wisdom, charity, balance, and grateful worship.
There were some sections of these confessions which spoke directly to questions and struggles that I and others have faced and discussed. It is a happy discovery to find that people have worked out fruitful answers to these questions many hundreds of years ago. We have much to gain from familiarizing ourselves with these creeds and confessions.
Ecumenical Creeds and Reformed Confessions
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead. Whoever desires to be saved should above all hold to the catholic faith.
That is part of the first question and answer of our Heidelberg Catechism. Its primary purpose at the time was to protest against the cruel oppression by the Roman Catholic government, and to prove to the persecuters that the adherents of the Reformed faith were not rebels, but law-abiding citizens. Also known as the Five Articles against the Remonstrants, the Canons of Dort were adopted at the Synod of Dort in , and are statements of doctrine written to define the Reformed doctrine and reject that of Arminius and his followers. The Nicene Creed is a statement of the orthodox faith of the early Christian church, in opposition to certain heresies, especially Arianism. These heresies concerned the doctrine of the Trinity and of the person of Christ and were refuted at the Council of Nicea A. This creed is named after Athanasius A. The teachings of Augustine A.
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Christ Reformed is a confessional church, founded on the Scriptures alone. They also serve as a guide and a tool for the instruction of both adults and youth. Our minister and all our officers are sworn to uphold these confessions, and all our members agree to them as a faithful summary of Scripture in the first of their membership vows:. Do you heartily believe the doctrine contained in the Old and the New Testament, and in the articles of the Christian faith, and taught in this Christian church, to be the true and complete doctrine of salvation, and do you promise by the grace of God steadfastly to continue in this profession? Nicene Creed.
This theological section of the site covers all aspects of Reformed Theology, including the doctrine of God, Christ, salvation, covenant and practical theology. It is with these same goals that we approach Reformed. The glory of God and the fruit of holy living is a primary goal of our faith, Jesus being our chief cornerstone. Are we walking in that faith? Are we walking in the power and victorious living of the Holy Spirit? Would others describe us in this way?