Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Apostles' Creed

Lately, I’ve run out of things to talk about besides what I’ve been doing, which I’m sure can get just a bit boring. So I’ve decided to write a bit on what I’ve been reading for my Systematic Theology online class. I have just started reading “The Foundations of Social Order” by R.J. Rushdoony. The first chapter is called “The Apostles’ Creed and Creedalism”.
The word creed comes from the Latin “credo”—I believe. Therefore, a creed is any confession of faith by the members of a church. As there is no church that does not require some sort of assent as condition of membership, there is no church that does not have a creed. Even those people who say “No Creed but Christ” do not realize that this statement is actually a creed; a statement of belief.

The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God the Father Almighty
Maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord;
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary;
Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried
He descended into Hell;
The third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven; and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost;
The Holy Catholic Church
The communion of saints;
The forgiveness of sins;
The resurrection of the body;
And the life everlasting.

The Apostles’ Creed is different from other creeds of other religions in that it offers a synopsis of history. As Rushdoony said, “The whole creed therefore is a declaration concerning history.” The creed immediately establishes that God is the creator of all things. This means that God is the source of all ethics, morality, law, etc. If God is the true and only source of everything, then the Word of God must be applied to not only the church, but the school, state, family, etc. Here we must notice as Biblical creedalism has declined, so has the Biblical canon of law.
“Biblical creedalism…is passive because it affirms an act of redemption by the triune God of which man is simply the recipient by grace” Man, under God, lives his life in terms of true law. Thus, Christian creedalism is basic to Christian (and till of late Western) society.
I hope I have made sense to everyone. If you have any comments, questions, critique, please feel free.


  1. As I recall Rushdoony spends some time distinguishing how the Eastern Church confessed the Creed from how the Western Church confessed it. The East confessed it as "We believe..."

    while the West confessed it as "I believe..."

    Am I remembering that right? Does Rushdoony discuss that?

    You are correct to point out that everybody lives by a Creed. Even those who say "No creed but Christ" have confessed a creed. The problem though, is now they have to tell us which Christ they confess when they say no creed but Christ.

    The advantage with the Apostles creed is that in the recital we have set out which Christ we confess.

    The refusal to be creedal means that people have no core upon which to find a common identity.

    Keep your reading.

    Pastor Bret

  2. Yes, you're right, Rushdoony does go into that. I just decided not to go into that in this post. Thanks for commenting!

  3. Rushdoonyite site; please visit/comment.


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