Brazos – Day Glo
I hope you appreciated Belcher’s comments on unity and new ecumenism as much as I did. He repeatedly referenced this idea of the “unity of the Gospel,” which he says is embodied in the classic Christian Creeds. Of course, not being familiar with the Creeds could pose something of a problem for us. While I have yet to memorize even the shortest of them, there have been times when I was more familiar with them than I am right now. Reading over them again, I was reminded of few things.
First, they are simple. With the possible exception of the Athanasian Creed (I’ll get to its strengths in a minute), they say what they need to say and no more. They don’t get bogged down in side issues, which of course is the point – both of the Creeds and Belcher’s praise of them. They deal with what are “core” beliefs of the faith.
Second, they are clear. There is very little ambiguity in them. While I was somewhat amused by repetitiveness of the Athanasian Creed, you have to admit… it is painstakingly clear.
But third, and perhaps most striking, they are radically Trinitarian. Really, the subject of another post entirely, but it is interesting that the early Christian Fathers put such an emphasis on this biblical truth. Lose sight of the complexity and mystery of the Trinity, and everything begins to unravel.
Ok, there’s my two-bits. How about you? Do you see a “new ecumenism” taking shape? Is it one that you see as defined by this two-tier idea of inclusive commitment to the “top tier” truths? What role do creedal confessions play in the church today? What is your favorite creed? Favorite ice cream flavor? Favorite Thanksgiving food?