Carl Trueman’s latest book, The Creedal Imperative, makes a case for the necessity of creeds and confessions in the church. At this point, if you’re a Presbyterian, you’re nodding. If you’re a Baptist you’re likely moving on to other blogs and web articles. But, regardless of whether you’re familiar or not with creeds, Trueman’s insight is relevant.
According to Trueman, every church has creeds and confessions of some sort, even if these statements are not codified or written. Every church has values and expresses what they value in a number of ways. Trueman notes that every Christian “think[s] the Bible means something and that its teaching can be summarized.” Therefore, churches should be clear and give careful thought to historical creeds and confessions of the faith. These creeds are not inspired, but they can serve as guideposts and boundary markers for the church. Again, Trueman notes that creeds “are one of the means by which the faith is transmitted from age to age.” Paul instructs the church at Thessaloniki, “So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.”
Fred Sanders writes in his Christianity Today review of the book:
The spirit of our age ignores history, distrusts institutions, values emotions more than words, and hankers after novelty. For moderns, the loftiest goal is to be authentic, to speak spontaneously from the heart, giving voice to unique insights from our own points of view. For this mindset, the idea of reciting a set of ancient words in public agreement with a group is, if the word be allowed, anathema.
Read all of Sanders’ review here.
Check out Scot McKnight’s interaction with the book here.
Check out Trueman’s book at the WTS bookstore.