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The Apostles’ Creed: Truth with Passion

By Jonathon Bayes
August 2011 | Review by Richard Atherton

Synopsis

This book expounds the Creed phrase by phrase, and seeks at every point to apply its teaching to the life of believers in the world of today. Taking the Creed as his starting point and framework, Jonathan Bayes presents a wide-ranging account of Christian theology. His reflections on the Creed lead to some challenging and stimulating meditations on various aspects of biblical teaching

  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock
  • ISBN: 978-1-60899-539-4
  • Pages: 292
  • Price: £24.00
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Book Review

The Apostles’ Creed? Isn’t that a rather unexciting statement of Christian belief, recited every Sunday in parish churches up and down the land?

Not so, after reading this book! The subtitle is ‘truth with passion’ and the author warms our hearts as well as engages our intellect as he takes each statement in the Creed and puts it under the microscope.

The first page states, ‘In declaring “I believe” I am making a commitment, I am voicing my passion. I am gladly claiming as my own that story in which all believers have always rejoiced’.

Each of the 21 short chapters mines the accumulated wisdom of the centuries as we read numerous quotations from theologians. These are skilfully knit together, with copious biblical references, to produce a convincing flow of argument as the author teases out different aspects of each truth of the creed.

In one chapter we consider ‘He suffered under Pontius Pilate’. Jesus certainly suffered injustice at the hands of that man, but ‘throughout his entire life Jesus bore the burden of sin on his shoulders. That was his constant suffering. Contact with sinful people who unwittingly made him suffer, without understanding or accepting him, hurt him time and again’.

The book has an academic flavour, exploring, for example, the precise import of the original Hebrew or Greek words of Scripture, but the style is lucid and the author’s aim is pastoral. He states in his introduction, ‘May our study of this Creed prove to be sustenance for our soul and a source of cheering encouragement in our Christian walk’. That certainly has been this reader’s experience.

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