Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Jaroslav Pelikan on Creeds and whether or not they are outdated today:

...In my book, I raise the question "Do creeds have a future as well as a past?" I invoke the analogy of a CD. There's nothing more static than a CD: they stack up on a shelf, get dusty. They can go from year to year without ever touching anyone. But anytime you want to, you can put that CD in a player and all of a sudden out comes the Credo from the B minor mass of Bach. It's been there all along.

So it is with creeds and their history. At crucial times, when you can no longer count on your own strength of will, character, conviction, and guts, you simply say "I don't know where I am right now, but I want to be part of the company that says 'I believe in one God.'"


What Jaroslav says here is the precise reason that I find liturgy and fixed cycle prayer so meaningful. There are times that I don't have the words to express what I feel, or think, or times that I feel so distant from God and my faith that I simply don't know what to pray. But to be able to connect with and say liturgy that has sustained "OUR STORY" of who we are continues to shape and form me, even when I can't rely on my own will to do so.

I suppose that creeds, and liturgy of the church becomes a powerful means of grace when those moments come up.

that's all for now.



Zoomdaddy said...

Love your thoughts on liturgy. Perhaps Pelikan and you have hit on something, looking at doctrine via the creeds as means of worship as opposed to dogmatic debate and wall-building.

St.Phransus said...

ABSOLUTELY!!! The early church fathers did make the dogmatic/worship split that we do tend to do today.

Instead it was all interwoven into one fabric that contained both aspects and was embodied.