Guide The Faith We Profess: A Catholic Guide to the Apostles Creed

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  3. Faith We Profess: A Catholic Guide to the Apostles' Creed
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English versions of the Nicene Creed

Be the first to write a review About this product. About this product Product Information This fascinating summary of Catholic beliefs examines the Apostles' Creed as both a treasury of faith and an invitation to entrust oneself more completely to God. Lifelong Catholics and inquirers alike will find a simple introduction to the faith blended with scripture, wisdom from the saints, literature, and personal anecdotes.

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When we picture it this way, the value of beginning with the Apostles' Creed becomes clear. We need to learn the big doctrines first, to get the shape of the tree in place, and firmly rooted in Scripture. This does two things for us. First, it helps us see the relationship between the various different beliefs in our theological systems. And second, it helps us think about doctrines that are more remote from Scripture in ways that harmonize these less central ideas with our fundamental beliefs. Now that we have looked at the importance of the Apostles' Creed in terms of its foundational nature, we are ready to describe the universal affirmation of its teachings.

One way that we judge the truth of facts is by looking at what different witnesses have to say. The more witnesses that point to the truth of an idea, the more likely we are to believe it. Well, the same thing is true in theology. As we try to determine what we should believe, it helps to know what other people throughout history have believed, as well as what people in the modern world believe. And when it comes to the Apostles' Creed , its doctrinal statements have always been affirmed by most Christians in most places.


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We will explore the universal nature of the articles of faith in the Apostles' Creed in three historical periods. First, we will see that these beliefs are grounded in the New Testament. Second, we will see that they have been affirmed by most Christians throughout church history. And third, we will look at the ways they continue to characterize the church in the present.

Let's begin with the New Testament, and its consistent affirmation of these doctrines. From the earliest days of the church, there have been disagreements over the teaching of Christ and of the apostles. Some of these disagreements have arisen outside the church, while others have come from within the church. For instance, Paul frequently wrote against the Jewish Christians who demanded that Gentile converts be circumcised, as in Galatians chapter 5.

And in 2 Peter chapter 2, Peter warned that there would be false teachers in the church. The New Testament is full of examples of Jesus and the apostles correcting the mistaken ideas of various people. And errors in the church are dangerous when critical beliefs are at stake. This is why Jesus and the authors of the New Testament were so concerned to correct errors on fundamental points of theology.

And the remarkable thing is that as they offered their corrections, they agreed entirely with each other. Despite the many false teachings that existed in the church at this time, the New Testament exhibits unfailing doctrinal unity with itself. In light of this unity, when the New Testament affirms the articles of faith listed in the Apostles' Creed , it is fair to say that it does so universally. It consistently argues for the divinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, while at the same time insisting that there is only one God.

The Gospels present the creedal facts of Christ's conception, birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection and ascension. And the books of the New Testament entirely support the creed's statements about the church and salvation. Having looked at the New Testament, let's see how these beliefs have universally characterized Christianity throughout church history. Just like the church in the New Testament, the church of later centuries exhibited a variety of theologies.

Faith We Profess: A Catholic Guide to the Apostles' Creed

On many minor issues, there was very little unity. But the more central doctrines, such as the articles of faith in the Apostles' Creed , were received and affirmed almost universally. And in those cases where these fundamental beliefs were rejected, the church and history have largely counted the dissenters as schismatics and false teachers.

As just one example, consider the events of the fourth century A. The earliest versions of the Apostles' Creed were already in use at this time. At this point in history, several heresies arose that the church dealt with in its councils. Some of these were local councils, but others were considered to be ecumenical because they included bishops from most parts of the church throughout the world.

The Faith We Profess: A Catholic Guide to the Apostles' Creed | Aquinas and More

For instance, the Council of Nicea in A. It is largely an expansion and explanation of the Apostles' Creed , intended to clarify several of its ideas for the sake of denying false interpretations of the creed. For instance, the heresy known as Gnosticism taught that the God of the Bible that created the world had himself been created by another god.

Heresies like Gnosticism were not explicitly condemned by the Apostles' Creed , so the Nicene Creed added language to make the intent of the Apostles' Creed more clear. Specifically, where the Apostles' Creed merely said "I believe in God the Father almighty, Maker of heaven and earth," the Nicene Creed offered this expanded statement: We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. Notice four things here:. First, the Nicene Creed is based on the Apostles' Creed.


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