In a society in which counterfeit gospels, false doctrines, and diluted theology are becoming rampant, Albert Mohler Jr. is calling on the Church to define Christianity in its historical biblical terms for true spiritual fulfillment.
In his new book, The Apostles’ Creed: Discovering Authentic Christianity in an Age of Counterfeits, Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, argues that the Apostles’ Creed, although written nearly 2,000 years ago, remains a powerful summary of the Christian faith as revealed in the Bible for the 21st century Church.
“We live in a day where there’s ‘spirituality,’ but not Christianity,” Mohler told The Christian Post. “That’s not a category found in Scripture. There’s no Christianity that isn’t doctrinal Christianity. Christianity is based on events that took place in space and time in history. It’s a faith of definite, essential beliefs. The Apostles’ Creed is a way of summarizing the Christian faith so that Christians can be grounded in the truth and be able to detect false doctrine and false Christianity.”
The oldest known creed in Christendom, the Apostles’ Creed is a faithful summary of what Christians believe and holds an unparalleled level of doctrinal authority, beginning with the statement, “I believe in God.” Those simple words, Mohler said, contain the basis of the entire Christian faith.
“You have so many people who say, ‘I have belief’ or ‘I have a faith,’ but according to Scripture, these people are only Christians if the focus and foundation of that belief is Christ. We don’t believe we’re saved by faith; we believe we’re saved by faith in Christ,” he said.
“There are many people who know accurate truths concerning Christ, but they aren’t trusting Christ, they aren’t placing their faith and confidence in Christ. They don’t believe in Christ as a Savior who died on the cross for their sins and was raised by the power of God. True Christianity is a personal belief — and those words go back to the Apostles believing Jesus’ declaration, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.’”
Mohler acknowledged that some churches disregard the Apostles’ Creed, instead adopting the slogan “No creed but the Bible.” He told CP that while he understands the impulse behind that statement, it was often used by liberal church leaders to deny the essential truths of the Gospel.
“Jesus gave His disciples the ability to maintain that faith which was first of all delivered to the saints,” he explained. “We have to summarize what the Bible teaches, to determine whether or not someone is teaching the whole truth. Paul wrote to Timothy that one of his main responsibilities was to maintain the pattern of sound words. This is an essential responsibility of the Church. We have to know the essential doctrines that will mark real Christianity wherever it’s found.”
In his book, Mohler addresses common misunderstandings regarding the Apostles’ Creed, such as the line that states, “I believe in … the holy catholic church.”
“The Creed declares a belief in the ‘holy catholic church,’ but the word ‘catholic’ is not the name of a religious body, but rather a definition of the Church; Jesus said His Church was ‘catholic,’ meaning over all people, over all places, over space and time,” he said. “It speaks to the singularity of the Church, and there’s not another word that fits there. The affirmation ‘I believe in the holy catholic church’ is the belief that Christ died for His Church and it is united to Him in the sense that the Church includes those who, at any place and at any time, come to saving faith.”
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SOURCE: The Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett