Wednesday, January 22, 2014

"Lost in the Translation": An Essay on the Christian Creed

By Cate McDermott
Special to Virtueonline
January 22, 2014

The Apostles' and Nicene Creeds have "served, and I believe continue to serve, as tokens or badges of Christian identity"1 for the past seventeen hundred years. Without the Creeds, "the church can preserve neither its unity in Christ nor its identity as Christian."2 Christianity is an essentially "creedal religion," dedicated to "a sense of right belief . . . from which deviation means heresy."3 Accordingly, the creedal doctrines are indispensable for the Christian faith, and indivisible from Christian truth. The ability of the Church to communicate the truths contained in the Creeds is an important part of its evangelical mission. Is it also necessary, therefore, that the Church "translate" the Creeds so that they may be better understood by Western society today, so far removed from the circumstances and cultural worldview of the early centuries of the church?

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