No Creed But The Bible?
A colleague of mine loves to tell the following story about a church he used to visit. The pastor there had a habit of standing in the pulpit, seizing his Bible in his right hand, raising it above his head, and pointing to it with his left. “This,” he declared in a booming voice, “is our only creed and our only confession.”
“This. . . is our only creed and our only confession.”
Ironically, the church was marked by teaching that included the five points of Calvinism, dispensationalism, and a form of polity that reflected in broad terms its origins as a Plymouth Brethren assembly. In other words, while its only creed was the Bible, it actually connected in terms of the details of its life and teaching to almost no other congregation in the history of the church. Clearly, the church did have a creed, a summary view of what the Bible taught on grace, eschatology, and ecclesiology; it was just that nobody ever wrote it down and set it out in public. That is a serious problem.
As I shall argue in subsequent pages, it is actually unbiblical; and that is ironic and somewhat sad, given the (no doubt) sincere desire of the pastor and the people of this church to have an approach to church life that guaranteed the unique status of the Bible.
". . . creeds and confessions are vital to the present and future well-being of the church."
The burden that motivates my writing of this book is my belief that creeds and confessions are vital to the present and future well-being of the church.
Carl Trueman, The Creedal Imperative, 12.