Among all the statements and confessions in the history of the church, the Apostles’ Creed stands above them all, R. Albert Mohler Jr. writes in a new book seeking to rekindle a love for the creed nearly 2,000 years after its writing.
Recited in churches of all traditions and varieties across the world — and in every commencement ceremony at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary — the Apostles’ Creed has long been considered the basic teaching of Christianity.
It is much more than a historical document but a deeply compelling and transformative link between Christians old and new, Mohler, president of Southern Seminary, writes in “The Apostles’ Creed: Discovering Authentic Christianity in an Age of Counterfeits,” released by Thomas Nelson publishers.
As the oldest creed in Christianity, The Apostles’ Creed represents the church’s earliest attempt to summarize the Christian faith expressed across the whole counsel of God, Mohler said in an interview. It was not just an abstract statement of faith, however — it was often the final recitation of Christian martyrs in the earliest days of the church.
“There is something incredibly reassuring and comforting — courage-providing and heart-molding — about confessing the Christian faith as Christians have confessed it for two millennia,” Mohler said. “Christians have died for this. Every one of these words has been hammered out in biblical reflection, serious theological study, and the worship of Christ’s people throughout the centuries.”
The book is the third installment in Mohler’s series of works about three central expressions in Christian faith and practice: The Ten Commandments — 2009’s “Words from the Fire”; The Lord’s Prayer — 2018’s “The Prayer that Turns the World Upside-Down”; and now The Apostles’ Creed. These have long been three legs of a stool in Christian teaching, he said, and have commanded the attention of the greatest theologians throughout church history.
“Every generation of the Christian faith has to be absolutely certain that we are not saying something new, that we are not inventing, developing, evolving, negotiating a new Gospel — a new theological structure,” Mohler said. “[The apostle] Paul told Timothy that one of his main responsibilities was to maintain the pattern of sound words. Now, the most important way we do that is by latching ourselves to the Word of God. In so doing, we have to summarize what the Bible teaches.”
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Source: Baptist Press