Monthly Archives: March 2017

  • Know the Creeds, Councils, Confessions, and Catechisms Part 2: Apostles’ Creed

    Last week we introduced creeds and confessions and catechisms generally. Today we begin to think about them more specifically. The logical place to start is, of course, the Apostles’ Creed, because of its historic pride of place. To say that the Apostles’ Creed is old is an understatement. Forms of it date back to the middle of the second century (ca AD 140)! Its age no doubt gave rise to the myth—and it is a myth—that the Creed was written by the apostles themselves. Twelve lines, each written by one of the apostles. It’s better to see the appellation “Apostles’” as a reference not to authorship but to content. That is, this Creed summarizes the Apostles’ teaching.

    Back to age for a moment. To put that in perspective, those who crafted this document likely had contact with those who had direct … Read More »

  • Know the Creeds, Councils, Confessions, and Catechisms, Part 1

    This morning we use the Apostles’ Creed as a means of confessing (Creed comes from the Latin credo meaning “I believe”) our faith in Christ. Sometimes the use of creeds and confessions and catechisms gives some folks pause. Why not just use the Bible? A fair question, for sure.

    Originally used as baptismal professions and as instruction for new converts, historic creeds and confessions and catechisms give us the opportunity to “…learn alongside the saints and doctors and martyrs how to give ear to the gospel” (John Webster). In other words, they allow us to attach ourselves to the church’s doctrinal development over the course of the centuries. They invite us to be Christians in the best and broadest sense. We are not alone here. We are not the creators of our dogma. Rather, we are united in the great stream … Read More »

  • The Great Dialogue

    Liturgies are like excuses: Everybody’s got one. Simply put, liturgy is what people do when they worship. So no matter how much a church may insist that there is no liturgy, one will inevitably emerge. It has to be this way because, as James K.A. Smith has noted, we are liturgical animals. This is how God has wired us—for life and worship.

    Equally important to recognize is that liturgies are shaped by a theological paradigm. What is it that shapes, most fundamentally and at the most basic level, our worship? The answer, it would seem is grace.

    Liturgies are like excuses – everybody’s got one.

    At the heart of God’s graciousness toward us is his voluntary condescension wherein he bridges the great gulf which exists between us and him. In other words, he comes to us as evidenced most clearly in the incarnation … Read More »

    Posted in: Pastor Brian's Blog
  • Lent

    You probably noticed the bulletins changed colors again. That is not an attempt to be stylish or even to mix things up. Rather, it reflects the changing of the church calendar. Last Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, the day when millions of Christians attend church and were reminded of their mortality—the dust that marks their foreheads reminding them that they too are dust and that it will be to dust that they will return (Genesis 3:19). More importantly, though, Ash Wednesday is the first day of the forty-day season called Lent. Actually, it’s really not forty days but forty-six. Don’t believe me? Go to the calendar and count. Begin with Ash Wednesday and end with the day before Easter. It’s forty-six days. Why all this talk about forty days then? Go back the calendar and count the Sundays of Lent. Begin … Read More »