The Importance of Creeds

There are 15 Comments

David R. Brumbelow's picture

 “The modern cry: ‘Less creed and more liberty,’ is a degeneration from the vertebrate to the jellyfish, and means less unity and less morality, and it means more heresy. Definitive truth does not create heresy - it only exposes and corrects. Shut off the creed and the Christian world would fill up with heresy unsuspected and uncorrected, but none the less deadly.”

-B. H. Carroll, An Interpretation of the English Bible, Ephesians 4.  Carroll was the founding president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. 

http://gulfcoastpastor.blogspot.com/2011/07/b-h-carroll-on-inspiration-o...

David R. Brumbelow

josh p's picture

Solid. Thanks for posting this one. Anyone know if other fundamentalist institutions recite a creed, whether their own or a historic one?

Bert Perry's picture

....the trick is to keep with a creed that does not make a major issue out of a minor one.  I've liked the Apostle's Creed and the Nicene Creed for this reason; it emphasizes the big issues and leaves others aside.  One could theoretically also make a point of emphasizing the Fundamentals or the Solas.  I've actually taught on them with the hope that it would help people realize "we can change Biblically if we find we've made a mistake."  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

TylerR's picture

It depends on what you think 1 Pet 3:20-21 means ... I believe that's where it comes from. 

Tyler Robbins is a pastor at Sleater-Kinney Road Baptist, in Olympia, WA, and an Investigations Manager with the State of Washington. He blogs as the Eccentric Fundamentalist

Bert Perry's picture

1 Peter 3:19 is the key verse here.  Would be interesting to discuss this in depth, and one could make a reasonable argument that this might be one place where the modern version of the Apostle's Creed does diverge from the ordinary pattern of emphasizing the important.  

Apart from that, one thing I do miss about my Methodist upbringing is creeds and the Scripture readings.  Again, if done correctly, it emphasizes important doctrines and the primacy of Scripture, and it reduces the likelihood that the pastor will be able to credibly make himself the center of preaching instead of Scripture.  I remember going to the funeral of an Episcopal coworker and thinking "these guys ignore more Scripture in each service than we fundamentalists read."  I'd be very glad if that changed--and the big thing we could improve on would be to get going on more the depth and breadth of Scripture instead of a 5 year cycle of readings that characterizes the Methodist & Episcopal churches--and misses huge portions of the Word. 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

TylerR's picture

I'm certainly not a Greek scholar, but I took my own in-depth exegetical look at this passage earlier this year. For the Greek arguments, click the hyperlink to the translation and see the ensuing discussion. 

Tyler Robbins is a pastor at Sleater-Kinney Road Baptist, in Olympia, WA, and an Investigations Manager with the State of Washington. He blogs as the Eccentric Fundamentalist

Larry Nelson's picture

"This I Believe (The Creed)":

Our Father everlasting
The all creating One
God Almighty

Through Your Holy Spirit
Conceiving Christ the Son
Jesus our Savior

I believe in God our Father
I believe in Christ the Son
I believe in the Holy Spirit
Our God is three in one
I believe in the resurrection
That we will rise again
For I believe in the name of Jesus

Our Judge and our Defender
Suffered and crucified
Forgiveness is in You

Descended into darkness
You rose in glorious life
Forever seated high

I believe in God our Father
I believe in Christ the Son
I believe in the Holy Spirit
Our God is three in one
I believe in the resurrection
That we will rise again
For I believe in the name of Jesus

I believe in You
I believe You rose again
I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord
[x2]

I believe in God our Father
I believe in Christ the Son
I believe in the Holy Spirit
Our God is three in one
I believe in the resurrection
That we will rise again
For I believe in the name of Jesus
[x2]

For I believe in the name of Jesus
For I believe in the name of Jesus

I believe in life eternal
I believe in the virgin birth
I believe in the saints' communion
And in Your holy Church
I believe in the resurrection
When Jesus comes again
For I believe, in the name of Jesus

I believe in God our Father
I believe in Christ the Son
I believe in the Holy Spirit
Our God is three in one
I believe in the resurrection
That we will rise again
For I believe in the name of Jesus
[x2]

For I believe in the name of Jesus

https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/hillsongworship/thisibelievethecreed.html

-------------------------------------

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNiYUPsHgls

-------------------------------------

So this song from Hillsong is based upon the Apostles Creed.  Since it's from Hillsong, is this song "objectively evil" (the recent argument of some in regards to CCM from a recent SI thread)?

JohnBrian's picture

...for every drop of rain that falls, a flower grows.

but only when Elvis sings it. When others sing it I have doubts.

Please excuse the interruption, now back to your scheduled programming.

CanJAmerican - my blog
CanJAmerican - my twitter
whitejumaycan - my youtube

CAWatson's picture

I prefer Oestreich/Bauder to Hillsong...

https://hymnary.org/hymn/HTLG2017/page/218

The weakness of BJ's creed is that it isn't backed up with a confession. So the creed leaves out many "essentials" (at the very least inerrancy, proper understanding of trinitarianism, the nature of Christ, etc.). They really need to adopt a full doctrinal statement.

 

Larry Nelson's picture

CAWatson wrote:

The weakness of BJ's creed is that it isn't backed up with a confession. So the creed leaves out many "essentials" (at the very least inerrancy, proper understanding of trinitarianism, the nature of Christ, etc.). They really need to adopt a full doctrinal statement.

.....or does BJU nowhere in its Creed, Position Statements, or anywhere else (at least for/on the record) take a stand on baptism; that is, that baptism is biblically baptism by immersion?  I understand that BJU is not a Baptist institution, per se, but I've always found it curious that BJU has such a strong Baptist constituency despite its apparent vagueness in regards to such a key, foundational Baptist distinctive.  Have I just missed it, and can someone provide a link to any statement or position from BJU regarding baptism?  

Bert Perry's picture

The story I heard was that that Methodist-founded institution deliberately avoids controversy on the issues of immersion by immersion, divine sovereignty, and the like--from a friend who got his Mdiv there.  (at least some masters degree)

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

CAWatson's picture

For a number of years, a large portion of their undergrad/seminary Bible faculty was split between Baptists and Presbyterians (i.e. Mike Barrett - Joan Pinkston in the Music department was also a Presbyterian). They never made pretense of being a Baptist institution, so I forgive them for that. But there are weaknesses to creeds that have historically been filled with confessions (i.e. doctrinal statements). 

G. N. Barkman's picture

I entered BJA in 1960, and exited BJU Graduate School of Religion in 1972.  I heard Bob Jones, Sr, many times, as well as BJ, Jr, and BJ, III.  I also witnessed various shifts and changes at the school over these 12 years and beyond.

It is my understanding that BJU was founded as a Fundamentalist, Non-denominational school.  The Founder, Bob Jones, Sr, was a Methodist evangelist.  Bob Jones, Jr's doctrine was less well known.  At one point I believe he identified with the Christian Missionary  Alliance, but I could be mistaken.  Bob Jones, III, identified strongly as an Independent Baptist, and had his membership at an Independent Baptist Church in North Carolina.

In the beginning, students and faculty from many denominations were represented by purposeful intention.  The concept was to represent Fundamentalism within all major denominations.  Gradually, the school shifted to a predominantly Baptist stance, but never officially so.  Theoretically, it has remained non denominational.  Presbyterians have always been represented, more so in the earlier days, but continually so.  I have known Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists, Anglicans  among the faculty, and all these plus Pentecostals, Lutherans and others within the student body.  That's why the BJU creed is minimal.  It was designed to accommodate a wide doctrinal variety among Fundamentalists.  It fit the need of the hour in the early 20th century when it was founded.  It proved a bit cumbersome as the years rolled on, which accounts for the present predominate Baptist posture.

G. N. Barkman