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Deeper Than Words: Living the Apostles' Creed

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  • Posted September 8, 2010

    Faulty presentation of the Faith

    A friend gave me a copy of the book because I was preparing to teach a class on the Apostles Creed to catechists in the diocese. I was, therefore, excited to read it because I was hoping to learn something new about the Creed. However, it quickly became clear to me that the book had no catechetical (in the orthodox sense of the word) value because, in my opinion, 1) the author distorts the historic Christian vocabulary by separating it from the historic Christian experience; and 2) the author advocates - most probably unintentionally - several heterodox opinions.

    Therefore, anyone interested in learning what Christ ACTUALLY teaches about the Creed through His Church should buy Catholic Christianity by Peter Kreeft, the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, the revised edition of Handbook for Today's Catholic, or the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church instead.

    Here is quick example of one of the heterodox opinions in the book. On page 28, the author correctly asserts that "the Apostles' Creed is the Christian profession of faith at Baptism." However, on page 78, he incorrectly asserts that ".the Creed is not an enumeration of facts that Christians hold to be true." Why do I say incorrectly? Because the early Church was convinced that 1) Jesus Christ was the originator of the Creed; and 2) that in the articles of the Creed Christians profess their faith in doctrines that could never be known apart from Divine Revelation (e.g, God is a Trinity of persons; God the Son took flesh and was born of a virgin; etc.). In fact, it is precisely for this reason that the Church "early on, wanted to gather the essential elements of its faith into organic and articulated summaries, intended especially for candidates for Baptism. Such syntheses are called 'professions of faith' [or 'creeds'] since they summarize the faith that Christians profess" (see paragraphs 185 to 197 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church).

    For the sake of brevity, I will simply conclude my observations with a quote from the New Testament: "For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father and the voice was born to him by the Majestic Glory, 'This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased' we heard this voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain." - 2 Peter, 1:16-18.

    As I said, I had great hopes for the book but since it distorts the Catholic Christian Faith, I strongly advise anyone interested in learning what Christ ACTUALLY teaches through His Church to buy Catholic Christianity by Peter Kreeft, the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, the revised edition of Handbook for Today's Catholic, or the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church instead.

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  • Posted September 8, 2010

    Old review

    This review has been replaced with a new review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2011

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