Recent years have seen a number of high profile scholars converting to Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy while a trend in the laity expresses an eclectic hunger for tradition. The status and role of confessions stands at the center of the debate within evangelicalism today as many resonate with the call to return to Christianity’s ancient roots. Carl Trueman offers an analysis of why creeds and confessions are necessary, how they have developed over time, and how they can function in the church of today and tomorrow. He writes primarily for evangelicals who are not particularly confessional in their thinking yet who belong to confessional churches—Baptists, independents, etc.—so that they will see more clearly the usefulness of the church’s tradition.
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About the Author
Carl R. Trueman (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is the Paul Woolley Professor of Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary and pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Ambler, Pennsylvania. He was editor of Themelios for nine years, has authored or edited more than a dozen books, and has contributed to multiple publications including the Dictionary of Historical Theology and The Cambridge Companion to Reformation Theology.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In a post modern time, the Creedal Imperative is really a pre modern work, for it argues that the historic Christian faith is linked by common creeds, passed down through the ages. The audience for this book is largely western evangelical Protestants who either are unaware (which is common) or even dismissive of the creedal strength of the Christian faith. The author takes seriously the objections of those who do not use creeds to develop their theology, and considers common arguments against them. His primary audience should certainly feel understood. Trueman, an Orthodox Presbyterian pastor, and historical theology professor at Westminster Seminary, writes in a witty, historically informed way, that seeks to challenge and ultimately strengthen the reader. While he does write from a perspective regarding creeds, of historic Reformed theology, his basic goal is to get the reader to understand and comprehend the importance of how much personal faith and the church is driven by adherence to creeds. The Biblical foundations for creeds, their role in developing and protecting the early church, and their fleshing out in the Reformation time period are considered at length. Perhaps the book's strongest chapter deals with how creeds, things often casually dismissed as dry and at times faith stifling are very useful for the Christian believer to praise and worship his Creator, in conjunction with fellow saints. The practical purposes of creeds in the day to day life of a local church and believer are considered as well. Living in an age, where even many conservative Christians are dismissive of answers to questions that have been answered by the faithful seeking, through the years, I do think this book is necessary for the broader Christian community. It takes concepts, that too often get relegated to the academy, and makes them useful to the local church officer, teacher and member, and this work should help them all live their faith more intentionally and gratefully.