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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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  • « Free Will or Free Grace? | Main | Happy Reformation Day! »

    An Updated Niceno-Protestant Creed

    I had the idea of updating the Nicene Creed with the doctrine of justification by faith alone, using wording from standard Reformed documents. What does everyone think? Good or bad idea? If good, what do you think of my chosen additions?

    Interested in hearing feedback.

    Update:

    Thanks for the feedback, everyone. It's good to be able to bounce ideas off a diverse sounding board.

    I've considered all the comments, and I think it has confirmed that the idea is overall a poor and unnecessary one. The Creed can (and should) stand alone, whether or not it is (and should be) supplemented by Reformation-era documents, from the creed-like five solas to the more detailed confessions and catechisms.

    Thanks again, all.

    Nathan

    An Updated Niceno-Protestant Creed
    in which the full text of the Nicene Creed is affirmed
    with additional material consonant with standard Reformed and Lutheran documents

    I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

    And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

    Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

    And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

    And I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church, in which alone is the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one under Christ the head; who are all justified by an act of God’s free grace, wherein he pardons all our sins, and accepts us as righteous in His sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone; and who are all likewise sanctified by God’s free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.

    I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins, and one table at which we are nourished, two only sacraments which become effectual means of salvation, not from any virtue in them, or in him that doth administer them; but only by the blessing of Christ, and the working of his Spirit in them that by faith receive them. And I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

    Posted by Nathan on October 29, 2011 03:41 PM

    Comments

    In light of three, Daniel, Paul and John, where God tells them to seal up something they knew or that they should anticipate receiving revelations about what is to come, and the admonition at Rev 22:10, I say, go for it if the Spirit of Grace and Truth is leading you to amend that creed now that there is a better understanding that you have!

    Dan 8, 9 and 12 ... Acts 26:18 and Rev 10.

    Love the addition. keep up the good work. Grace & peace.

    It would be great to combine a Nicean-like or Athanasian-like creed with the five solas of Reformation.

    Personally I prefer the Athanasian creed over the Nicean, because it's clearer.

    I would say that since the doctrine of justification is plainly spelled out in all of the various confessions of the reformed church, we should leave the creeds alone. Also, since we don't use the creeds as the basis of our teaching, but rather as a succinct statement of our belief about the person and work of Jesus Christ, we should, again, not tinker about with it. The theological distinctives of the reformed churches are clearly supported by scripture and as such, I feel that we should proclaim that doctrine through the clear preaching of God's word.

    I like the Nicene trinitarian structure. Maybe some of your additions could be added within that structure, so that the bulk of the creed is still within the trinitarian framework?

    Very good and inspiring idea. Thanks. I will use this text too, if you agree.

    I predict, though, one reaction only by people of other churches: altering or adding up to the Creed is "an infringement of the unity of all Christians" who use this Creed as a common basis. They would say it is "an infringement" of Ecumenism, bringing in a statement of unity expressions of division.

    I would not agree with this reaction, because the Creed in itself is not really sufficient to describe the contents of Biblical Christianity, but what I described could be the likely reaction of many.

    Blessings, Paolo

    This is a horrible idea... the Creeds are a cornerstone of our faith, and although they are not scripture they should not be simply added to or subtracted from at will.

    The Reformed traditions have their own creeds that spell out the doctrines that you are trying to express.

    Beyond that, you are not just changing a creed, you are doing violence to a historic document that was given in a specific historic context. To add the doctrines you have added not only ignores the purpose of the Nicene Creed, it imports an anachronistic understanding of Justification Sola Fide that the framers of the Creed would not have understood.

    Thanks for the feedback, everyone. It's good to be able to bounce ideas off a diverse sounding board.

    I've considered all the comments, and I think it has confirmed that the idea is overall a poor and unnecessary one. The Creed can (and should) stand alone, whether or not it is (and should be) supplemented by Reformation-era documents, from the creed-like five solas to the more detailed confessions and catechisms.

    Thanks again, all.

    Nathan

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