Monday, March 20, 2006

A WEEK WITH... JAROSLAV PELIKAN day 2

JAROSLAV PELIKAN ON THE FUNCTION OF THE HISTORICAL CREEDS:

"Creeds function the way a constitution functions in a political society--as a statement of shared principles and convictions, and a celebration of those convictions. Just as we, in the American political order, cherish and value individual freedom but believe that freedom is protected both from external force and from its own internal threat by a constitution and the bill of rights, so a creed is a way of enshrining faith in such a way that people can go on affirming it..."

MY THOUHGTS:
Reading this quote from Pelikan makes me think that the creeds could be an invaluable source of common ground for a very polarized American church. The creeds, especially some of the ancient ones such as the Nicene and the Apostles Creed, can be common ground for a church who so desperately is in need of unity. As I read them I see the very basic tennents of faith that I would hope all Christians agree upon. It's once we begin to add the "hows... whys... who... etc...." to the creeds that we begin to get devisive. It reminds me of all the many and superfluous rules and laws that evolved over time for the Jewish people in the Bible. Have we made it too difficult to agree with one another in the church? I don't think so, since all things are possible with God, but I do think we make it way too difficult and cumbersome.

shalom all,
j.

4 comments:

daniel greeson said...

good choice with Pelikan. I am saddened that you are not available this week.

St.Phransus said...

yup, it's a bummer indeed. no spring break for me and classes/papers are looming.

j.

gmw said...

I'll look forward to this "week with" edition. I've been wanting to read some Pelikan and the "Credo" book has been on my wish list for a while. I'm also interested in the his new book: "Who bible is it?" that I've seen at B&N.

Zoomdaddy said...

If only everyone who calls themself a Christian could rally around a creed, there would be common ground. As it is, many even in denominations with creeds do not really hold to them.