Exploring and Proclaiming the Apostles' Creed

Exploring and Proclaiming the Apostles' Creed

Exploring and Proclaiming the Apostles' Creed

Exploring and Proclaiming the Apostles' Creed


Doctrinal preaching has fallen on hard times in recent years. "Exploring and Proclaiming the Apostles' Creed" seeks to stimulate renewed interest in -- and provide useful models of -- Christian proclamation that is truly rooted in the central tenets of the faith. Using the Apostles' Creed as a template for doctrinal, confessional preaching, this book draws together an ecumenical cast of respected biblical scholars and preachers who explain the creed and demonstrate its preaching possibilities. Each of the book's fifteen chapters consists of an essay that explores and illuminates one of the creed's articles of faith, followed by a scintillating sermon that models how that article can be preached as good news today.

Contributors: Walter R. Bouman

Richard A. Burridge

Philip W. Butin

Gabriel Fackre

David F. Ford

Colin Gunton

Richard B. Hays

Craig C. Hill

Scott E. Hoezee

Leslie J. Hoppe

George Hunsinger

Scott Black Johnston

James F. Kay

Richard A. Lischer

Thomas G. Long

Lois Malcolm

Daniel L. Migliore

Richard A. Norris Jr.

Steven D. Paulson

Cornelius Plantinga

Cynthia L. Rigby

Fleming Rutledge

William M. Shand III

Marguerite Shuster

Wm. C. Turner

Robert Louis Wilken

Ralph C. Wood

Susan K. Wood

Frances M. Young

Robin Darling Young


When, in a student’s essay, I come across the solecism “Apostle’s Creed,” the misplaced apostrophe always provokes me to inquire in the margin: Which apostle? More importantly, I take the next opportunity to tell the class how the Apostles’ Creed came to be. Having received at Pentecost the necessary linguistic gifts, the apostles set out to propagate the gospel in all the world: “As they were on the point of taking leave of each other, they first settled an agreed norm for their future preaching, so that they might not find themselves, widely separated as they would be, giving out different doctrines to the people they invited to believe in Christ. So they met together in one spot and, being filled with the Holy Spirit, compiled this brief token of their future preaching, each making the contribution he thought fit; and they decreed that it should be handed out as standard teaching to believers.”

That was the story making the rounds at the turn into the fifth century when Rufinus of Aquileia wrote his commentary on the Creed. J. N. D. Kelly, in Early Christian Creeds, recalls that tale and then recounts how the details were filled in, so that from an eighth-century sermon that traveled under the name of Saint Augustine we can attribute each creedal clause to a particular figure, with the association between the man and his phrase not lacking a certain biblical plausibility. Peter, as usual, spoke first: “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth” (cf. Matt. 16:17). Then Andrew: “And in Jesus Christ his Son our only Lord” (cf. John 1:41). And so on, down to Matthias, the replacement for the dead and doomed Judas: “And the life ev-

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