In The Creed: What Christians Believe and Why it Matters, renowned New Testament scholar and catholic theologian, Luke Timothy Johnson clarifies and expounds the meaning of the Apostle's Creed, discussing its evolution from the first decades of the Christian Church to the present day. By connecting the deep theological conflicts of the early Church with the conflicts and questions facing Christians today, Johnson shows that faith is a dynamic process, one not based on a static set of rules. Written in a clear and graceful style, and appropriate for Christians of all denominations, The Creed. is destined to become a classic among modern writings on spirituality. Luke Timothy Johnson is one of the premier biblical and historical scholars in the world today. His writing, while theologically loaded, and while reflecting strong scholarly acumen, also betrays an uncanning spiritual sensitivity to the life of the church. This, along with all his works, are highly recommended.
This thoughtful, fully accessible exploration of the creed, the list of beliefs central to the Christian faith, delves into its origins and illuminates the contemporary significance of why it still matters.
During services in Christian communities, the members of the congregation stand together to recite the creed, professing in unison the beliefs they share. For most Christians, the creed functions as a sort of “ABC” of what it means to be a Christian and to be part of a worldwide movement. Few people, however, know the source of this litany of beliefs, a topic that is further confused by the fact that there are two different versions: the Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed.
In The Creed, Luke Timothy Johnson, a New Testament scholar and Catholic theologian, clarifies the history of the creed, discussing its evolution from the first decades of the Christian Church to the present day. By connecting the deep theological conflicts of the early Church with the conflicts and questions facing Christians today, Johnson shows that faith is a dynamic process, not based on a static set of rules. Written in a clear, graceful style and appropriate for Christians of all denominations, The Creed is destined to become a classic of modern writings on spirituality.
LUKE TIMOTHY JOHNSON, a former Benedictine monk, is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of New Testament at the Candler School of Theology, Emory University. He is the author of several books, including The Real Jesus and Living Jesus, as well as two Anchor Bible Commentaries, The Letters of James and I & II Timothy.
Praise for The Real Jesus
“More than simply being a critique of the historical Jesus enterprise, Johnson’s book provides a positive statement about what it means to have a genuine, contemporary faith in the living Jesus.” —Philadelphia Inquirer
“The best of the recent flow of books [on Jesus].” —Newsweek
“One of the most exhilarating religious books published in this decade.” —Christianity Today
“Passionately argued . . . Highly recommended.” —Library Journal
Praise for Living Jesus
“Johnson demonstrates that the “living Jesus” of the biblical traditions is immensely more fascinating and significant than any of the “dead Jesus” that the quests for the historical Jesus keep producing.” —Miroslav Volf, Yale University Divinity School
“A stirring book…Informative and challenging”—The Bible Today