Christian Thought classes at SNU often begin with the class reciting aloud the Apostles' Creed.
"Next to Scripture, the statement of faith most often used to communicate the essence of Christianity is the Apostles' Creed. For the Early Church it provided a touchstone to guide both evangelism and discipleship in a vast work of diverse cultures and beliefs"
-- cover blurb on A Layman's Guide to the Apostles' Creed by H. Ray Dunning
The doctrinal statements of all evangelical Christian churches build on this ancient statement of belief. The Nicene Creed is a statement formulated a couple of centuries later than the Apostles' Creed in responses to some heretical preaching about other aspects of Jesus Christ. The Articles of Faith of the Church of the Nazarene is a good example of a modernaffirmation of faith.
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 Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;
He descended into hades;
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 living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Church universal,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.1
"Do I have to memorize this? Will it be on a test?"
That's always a key question, isn't it? No, it probably won't show up on a test. But we'll say it often enough in class to make many of its phrases stick in your long term memory.
The Apostles Creed was a clear rejection of the teaching of the Gnostics who argued that Jesus could not have been fully human.
1The Apostles' Creed was not originally written in English. Since this is a translation, several versions with slightly different wording do exist. This version is from the hymnal Sing to the Lord.
James Kiefer's annotated version of The Apostles' Creed: The Apostles' Creed and Gnosticism
How do we decide what is sin?
John Wesley's mother, Susanna, gave some excellent advice for believers wanting to decide what actions would be sinful. [ read more ]
SNU missions course materials and syllabiCultural Anthropology Introduction to Missions Linguistics Missions Strategies Modern Missionary Movement (History of Missions) Nazarene Missions Church Growth and Christian Missions Theology of Missions Traditional Religions World Religions
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