The Need For Creeds

Krista Tippett from Speaking of Faith in an interview with Jaroslav Pelikan.

And isn’t religion at heart about mystery, I had to ask Jaroslav Pelikan, that can never be captured in words? Can creeds ever be sufficient as a statement of faith? He left me with a wonderful statement of St. Augustine, who apparently struggled with this same question in his own theologizing as well. We resolve to speak of these things nevertheless, Augustine concluded — inspiring Jaroslav Pelikan centuries later — not in order to say something, but in order not to remain altogether silent.

The interview was of especial interest to me as we are working to pass on our faith to our next generation. Listen or read the entire interview: Jaroslav Pelikan and The Need For Creeds.


3 thoughts on “The Need For Creeds

  1. I’m drawn to the Creeds, myself. In fact, the Hollywood Church, in the 10 or so weeks leading up to Advent will be doing a sermon series called “Credo: We Believe…” where we will explore the classic Christian Creeds through the lens of the Apostles’ Creed. But we’ll also be wrestling with Krista Tippett’s question throughout. We’re calling this a “Community Theology Project.” We’re engaging all our artists to create art that wrestles with the various areas of belief. In that way maybe it won’t be just about words….

  2. Marcus Borg in “The Heart of Christianity” has an interesting chapter called “Thin Places: Opening the Heart”. He talks about the creed and how, for many, the actual words of the creed may pose some intellectual difficulties. He says, “But its primary purpose in worship is not propositional but sacramental: through these clunky words that stumble in the presence of Mystery, God is mediated. These words that we know by heart can become a thin place as we join ourselves in the sound of the community saying these words together. As we do so, we also join ourselves with a community that transcends time, all of those centuries of Christians who have heard and said these words. We become part of the communion of saints, together in a thin place.” (p. 159)

  3. Beautiful. I would love to see “low church” Christians recover the power and beauty of sacramental spirituality. This is a really nice statement. Thank you!

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