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Publication Date: 2016
Modern Christians have often hesitated to embrace the ancient creeds because of our "nothing but the Bible" tradition. In What Christians Ought to Believe Michael Bird opens our eyes to the possibilities of the Apostles Creed as a way to explore and understand the basic teachings of the Christian faith.
Bringing together theological commentary, tips for application, and memorable illustrations, What Christians Ought to Believe summarizes the basic tenets of the Christian faith using the Apostles Creed as its entryway. After first emphasizing the importance of creeds for the formation of the Christian faith, each chapter, following the Creeds outline, introduces the Father, the Son, and the Spirit and the Church. An appendix includes the Apostles Creed in the original Latin and Greek.
What Christians Ought to Believe is ideally suited for both the classroom and the church setting to teach beginning students and laypersons the basics of what Christians ought to affirm if they are to be called Christians.
Michael F. Bird (PhD, University of Queensland) is lecturer in theology at Ridley Melbourne College of Mission and Ministry in Melbourne, Australia. He is the author of Jesus and the Origins of the Gentile Mission; The Saving Righteousness of God: Studies on Paul, Justification, and the New Perspective; Evangelical Theology; Bourgeois Babes, Bossy Wives, and Bobby Haircuts: A moderate Case for Gender Equality in Ministry and editor of The Apostle Paul: Four Views. He is also a co-blogger of the New Testament blog "Euangelion."
gcw1York, PAAge: Over 65Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5The Apostles' Creed and why its importantJuly 16, 2016gcw1York, PAAge: Over 65Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5WHAT CHRISTIANS OUGHT TO BELIEVE
An Introduction to Christian Doctrine Through
The Apostles Creed
By Michael F. Bird
The Apostles Creed has been part of the Church for centuries and even forgot by some of the Churches. The Apostles Creed is a very important part in exploring and understanding the basic teachings of the Christian faith. This book will help give the creed the attention that it deserves. Michael Bird gives a complete history of the Apostles Creed and an in-depth definition of each part. He has divided the definition into fourteen chapters that will give you a new understanding what the Creed says and why it is importance in the Church. There is a comparison of different creeds and how each one came able, the Church history that may have affected the creed and most important of all he uses scripture to prove the importance of the creed. The author uses some humor in his explanation and some stories that help get his point across. At the end of the book is a section listing the scripture verses for you to use as reference. A list of recommended additional readings is offered at the end of each chapter.
I found the book to be very informative and worth the time to read, even if you know the creed and had memorized it in Church. The book would be a good source for study and discussion groups and a great addition to any library.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255
HappyElf MomMetro Kansas City5 Stars Out Of 5Something to Think AboutJune 29, 2016HappyElf MomMetro Kansas CityQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5What Christians Ought to Believe introduces us to Christianity through the lens of the Apostles' Creed. Why is the Apostles' Creed important? How was it written? What was its purpose? Why do we need the creed in these modern times when everyone has a Bible? Author Michael F. Bird walks us through the history and the theological lessons of the Creed - that is to say, what he feels Christians ought to believe.
The Apostles' Creed itself is meant to succinctly present the Christian faith in an easy-to-understand and memorise format. This protects the Christian, Bird seems to argue, from the more obvious heresies out there.
I'm not so sure that that's true today in a modern world. I've seen plenty of charismatic preachers building empires for "Jesus" who would ascribe to the theology of the Apostles' Creed. There are also people of variant lifestyles from "gay Christians" to Westboro Baptist Church adherents who would agree that Jesus died and rose again. And yet most mainline Christians would not count either camp as being "Christians" at all!
But I'd definitely agree that there are some basic doctrinal truths contained (if one is not a Oneness Pentecostal, another day perhaps!) in the Apostles' Creed and Bird's book worthy of a good look. I will say that because he delves into history and theology that it would make an excellent Bible study book for small church groups. Worthy of a look if you want a book to think about this summer!
I received this book for free from BookLook bloggers, but was not required to write a positive review.
ciciAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5InsightfulJune 28, 2016ciciAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0I believe that many of us can always be given the latest and best information on a spiritual awakening no matter our age. The latest book from Michael F. Bird is probably the most insightful book I have read in quite awhile. I immersed myself amongst the pages of What Christians Ought To Believe will give the most information of the Apostle's Creed. And to be completely honest I had little or no real definitive knowledge of the Creed's so Bird's words were totally devourable. Bird devotes many powerful words describing or more to the point explaining the power and importance of the Creed's to anyone wanting to have a fresh interpretation. It was eye-opening and clearly created a great resource for those needing a better understanding which can and will not hurt to have in life. It also does not hurt that Bird included an expansive collection of books that will enlighten readers as well. Bird created a domino effect for my reading and I thank him profusely because more books can only mean more knowledge and knowledge is power. I received a copy for this review from book look bloggers and all opinions are my own.
Floyd JohnsonUpstate NYAge: 55-65Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5The Apostles Creed For StudyJune 21, 2016Floyd JohnsonUpstate NYAge: 55-65Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Sometimes a book arrives bit too late. Such is the case for Michael F. Birds newest book - a discussion of the Apostles Creed - both its roots and its meaning. Being late, does not mean that it will not be useful, only that it arrives six months after I finished a series of sermons based on the Apostles Creed during the weeks between Advent and Lent during the winter of 2016. I wish this book had been available six months ago.
Michael Bird brings an interesting perspective to his writing, in that he attempts not to merely represent his own views, or that of the Anglican church to which he belongs, or the Australian church within which he ministers; rather he speaks, as per his statement, for the worldwide evangelical church. This is useful given the almost universal acceptance of the Apostles Creed as a theological foundation for the church worldwide.
Beginning with a history of the creeds in the early church, including those simple credal statements found in the scriptures (e.g. Philippians 2:5-11). He also discusses the role that creeds played in the early church in passing on the truth to the later generations of believers and its role in the church today.
The biggest portion (75%-80%) of the book is a complete exegesis (is that the right term?) of The Apostles Creed. I would suggest that the reader keep a copy of The Apostles Creed open and in front of him or her as he reads the book, especially if reading an e-book version. Bird occasionally moves from discussing one phrase to the next without alerting the reader, having a copy of the Creed available makes it easy to follow these transitions, its absence adds an increased level of difficulty. Scripture references are used throughout the text to assist the reader in understanding the Biblical underpinnings of The Apostles Creed.
I appreciated the use of a wide range of sources in the text - representing the churchs existence across the centuries. The author has also included, with each chapter, Recommended Reading for each chapter. Most of these (I did not do a complete check) appear to be from more modern sources (post 1960). The book could be improved by having, as the author himself has done, the reader follow-up using material from different eras of church history.
The book could easily find its place in the church library. It should be available (as I hinted earlier) available to the pastor doing a study The Apostles Creed, whether from the pulpit or within a small group setting. This book would also not be a bad resource for the lay person choosing to read and understand The Apostles Creed for their own use. I am concerned that the price for a 200+ page book may be excessive for the lay person. The e-book is significantly cheaper, but still high for a 200+ page book. It iis probably too costly for use as a Sunday School text, though its contents may be suited for that environment. Perhaps a paper copy may become available at some point at reduced cost.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are my own.
TimIllinoisAge: 45-54Gender: Male5 Stars Out Of 5What Christians Ought to BelieveJune 21, 2016TimIllinoisAge: 45-54Gender: MaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The author of this work is Michael Bird, a PhD from Queensland, Australia who is a lecturer in theology. As one might imagine, as an individual with a doctorate in theology, Bird does a very nice job of bringing the reader into an understanding of the importance of the scope and impact of the Apostle's Creed in our modern world.
Bird begins by building his case for the importance of the creeds from a historical standpoint, but then quickly moves into how the creed can impact even individuals who do not attend churches which practice more liturgical worship. Essentially, this work is aimed at helping the many evangelical and/or fundamentalist Christians who have typically distanced themselves from liturgy and creeds as being "too Catholic".
Having grown up in evangelical churches, I was never exposed to the creeds in my youth. As I grew to adulthood and became a pastor, I began to learn about the creeds, but it wasn't until I worked on a master's degree in ministry that I actually came into intimate contact with the creed. My history places me directly in line with the target audience of Bird.
I find the book to be well written and quite informative. In my studies, I have been exposed to much of the content in this book through a variety of other avenues. However, this work does a nice job of compiling the insights. Distinct phrases are dissected, analyzed and applied to the modern life of the believer. A strong emphasis is placed on the unity the Apostle's Creed brings to adherents of the Christian faith, with a decidedly Trinitarian point of view. If you are a reader who does not believe in the Trinity, you will not like this work. However, if you do believe in the Trinity, you will find great insight in this book.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers for review purposes in exchange for a fair and honest review of the material contained. A positive review was not required and all thoughts on the book are my own.