Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Creed

One of most meaningful pieces of my Advent preparation is our Advent book study. We have a group of a dozen or so that meet to read and discuss a text. This year, I chose The Creed, by Luke Timothy Johnson.

The are a number of reasons for using this particular book. The presenting reason is the subject and recent discussion, in Episcopal circles, about the Nicene Creed. Several months ago, a couple of letters appeared in Episcopal Life, questioning the usefulness of the creed in the liturgy. If I remember correctly, one author opined, the Nicene Creed seems like an interruption, and one lacking comprehensiveness. In this context, I thought a discussion of the history, use and purpose of the Creed, could be profitable.

It has been a lively and interesting group. Johnson does a very nice job of sketching the history, and connecting the biblical witness. There are too many great quotes and helpful gems to list. The main point, I took away, is the Nicene Creed is a condensation of the Biblical witness, the resurrection experience of the first believers, and the reflection of the Church.
I like Johnson’s emphasis on the revealed faith of Israel, the experience of the faithful with God, and the role of ongoing revelation. So, the Creed is a complete text, yet it suggests a dynamic process, for now incomplete. We are living the Nicene Creed, now.

It is a very useful and helpful read.

Lastly, I have a link to an interesting Christmas Post. It is about changing perspectives and development, but recognizing that there is truth.

Hat tip/The Lead