Visible Catholicity

The Center for Baptist Renewal continues explaining its Evangelical Baptist Catholicity Manifesto, this time addressing consensual creeds.

We encourage the ongoing affirmation, confession, and catechetical use of the three ecumenical creeds and the scriptural insights of the seven ecumenical councils. We believe these confessional documents express well what Thomas Oden called the “consensual tradition”—the deposit of faith taught in Holy Scripture and received by the church throughout space and time.

Growing up in the Baptist tradition, I rarely heard the ecumenical creeds.  One of the things I appreciate about Presbyterian worship is repeating the Apostles’ Creed weekly.  I remember the first time my Roman Catholic friend visited church with me, afterward saying that it was joining in the Apostles’ Creed made her feel at home.

I agree with this:

[C]reedal and confessional adherence is one of the most ready-at-hand means of expressing visible catholicity: our unity with the broader body of Christ throughout space and time. The whole Church together confesses the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds and submits to the doctrinal pronouncements of the ecumenical councils. And, denominationally, Christians of similar convictions are united by confession and adherence to common beliefs, despite differences that may be found in tertiary issues.

And this:

In other context, Russell D. Moore has suggested that American Christians are “Americans best when they are not Americans first,” highlighting our ultimate allegiance to the kingdom of Christ. We would suggest a similar principle at work here: Baptists are Baptists best when they are not Baptists first.

Related to this, as a Seventh Day Baptist, I am best when I am not a Sabbath keeper first.

Read more here.



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