It is good to see evangelicals rediscovering the Great Christian Tradition, i.e., the broad stream of ecumenical (universal) Christian truth represented by the ecumenical creeds. The confessional Reformed churches, however, have always, from the beginning of the Reformation, been aware of and have cultivated their debt to the Great Tradition. For us, the ecumenical creeds (and the consensus they represented) were regarded as basic to Christian theology, piety, and practice. The magisterial Reformation churches, of which the Reformed churches were a part, were not radicals. We did not imagine that we were re-making Christianity from scratch or that we were getting back to the Apostolic church and bypassing the institutional church and her history. That, however, was the project of the Socinians. They were biblicists, which refers to a movement that seeks to read the Scriptures as if no one has ever read it before (as some preachers boast) and to interpret Scripture in isolation from the creeds and the church. Biblicism has also been the mode of the modern evangelical movements. This is one of several reasons why evangelicals today veer from one heresy (e.g., denying the eternal generation of the Son) to another (e.g., speaking of the “eternal subordination” of the Son), to another (e.g., denying divine simplicity). There is a remedy for all this: to relearn ecumenical Christianity as expressed in the creeds. One of those was the Apostles’ Creed. For more on the Apostles’ Creed listen to the Heidelcast series, What Must A Christian Believe?
Caspar Olevianus (1536–87) was a Reformed theologian in Heidelberg (and later, Herborn), who was raised in the Roman Communion but who, as a university student, adopted the Reformed confession. One of his projects (1576) was a commentary on the Apostles’ Creed, which has been published in a modern English translation as part of the Classic Reformed Theology series.
It is discounted now on Amazon Kindle to $2.99. The volume has an introduction to the life and work of Olevianus and the commentary is a warm, pastoral, evangelical (in the best, sixteenth-century sense of “gospel”) commentary on the articles of our undoubted, holy catholic (universal, not Roman) Christian faith.
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- Note To Evangelicals Revising The Doctrine Of God: The Socinian Vortius Denied Simplicity
- Heidelcast Series: I Am That I Am
- Resources on Biblicism
Thanks for posting this!
Agreed, thank you for the post!