The following are four different Christian creeds to comtemplate. What are the similarities and differences between: 1) their sprituality, and 2) their plausibility as literal fact?
If you are running a workshop it may be a good idea to split into four groups, each with a creed to themselves, and after a period of discussion have each group describe what they thought about their text to the others. But of course you could simply read out each and discuss it in the full group in whatever order you like.
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
We believe in the presence of God in the world.
She is our mother, source of deep wisdom, who:
holds and protects us,
nourishes our bodies,
comforts our pain,
hears and accepts our times of failure and success.
She is our lover and is allowed to touch our pain:
healing and recreating,
seeking out what is hidden,
revealing deep precious mysteries.
She is our friend who stands alongside us:
working co-operatively for the common good,
sharing our concerns,
fiercely criticizing our lack of integrity
We believe in the presence of God in our world.
We meet her as people met her in Jesus, in countless relationships
which are at once human and divine:
in simple encounters with men, women and children,
in office and schoolroom, home and supermarket,
in the community of her people.
We believe in the presence of God in our world,
whose truth is denied, in anguish, like that of Jesus on the cross, whenever:
food is withheld,
the earth is poisoned, abused or destroyed,
people are oppressed, denied dignity and responsibility,
tortured or killed.
Together we affirm the truth and goodness of God, our mother, lover and friend and commit ourselves to her in following the way of our brother Jesus.
The basis of the Fellowship shall be the fundamental truths of Christianity, as revealed in Holy Scripture, including:
a. There is one God in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
b. God is sovereign in creation, revelation, redemption and final judgement.
c. The Bible, as originally given, is the inspired and infallible Word of God. It is the supreme authority in all matters of belief and behaviour.
d. Since the fall, the whole of humankind is sinful and guilty, so that everyone is subject to God’s wrath and condemnation.
e. The Lord Jesus Christ, God’s incarnate Son, is fully God; he was born of a virgin; his humanity is real and sinless; he died on the cross, was raised bodily from death and is now reigning over heaven and earth.
f. Sinful human beings are redeemed from the guilt, penalty and power of sin only through the sacrificial death once and for all time of their representative and substitute, Jesus Christ, the only mediator between them and God.
g. Those who believe in Christ are pardoned all their sins and accepted in God’s sight only because of the righteousness of Christ credited to them; this justification is God’s act of undeserved mercy, received solely by trust in him and not by their own efforts.
h. The Holy Spirit alone makes the work of Christ effective to individual sinners, enabling them to turn to God from their sin and to trust in Jesus Christ.
i. The Holy Spirit lives in all those he has regenerated. He makes them increasingly Christlike in character and behaviour and gives them power for their witness in the world.
j. The one holy universal church is the Body of Christ, to which all true believers belong.
k. The Lord Jesus Christ will return in person, to judge everyone, to execute God’s just condemnation on those who have not repented and to receive the redeemed to eternal glory.
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth, of all that is,seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father,
who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.
1 – The Apostles’ Creed (2nd Century?)
2 – Eco-Feminist/Liberation Creed (Late 20th Century)
3 – The Christian Union Doctrinal Basis (20th Century)
4 – The Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed (c. 381 AD)
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