Our Faith

Introduction


        Below are ten widely-accepted communal confessions helpful for explaining the Christian faith propositionally. The most basic confession is known as the Apostles Creed, provided below in a new translation for use in contemporary worship.
        The remaining confessions teach diverse doctrines we do not personally confess (such as infant baptism in the Heidelberg Catechism), but their central emphases may be easily affirmed. Moreover, even variant doctrines provide fruitful points for dialogue and development. Our personal faith is most clearly described by the Baptist Faith and Message, which was first adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 1925 then underwent clarifications in 1963 and 2000. 
        For a personal invitation to embrace the Christian faith, please consult here. For those interested, new translations of the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed may be found in the appendix to my book, God the Trinity: Biblical Portraits (Nashville: B&H Academic, 2016).

The Apostles Creed


I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; on the third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven and was seated at the right hand of God the Father, Almighty, from where he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy universal church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and eternal life.

Amen

Later Confessions 












(Note: The Apostles’ Creed is a poetic masterpiece constructed for use during worship but also properly used for theological instruction. Notice its explicitly Triune form. Notice, moreover, that the second part, which summarizes the apostolic kerygma of Jesus Christ, is the fullest of the three articles. Strikingly, Christ’s death and resurrection, the gospel in sum, thus stands at the very center of the creed.
Because the descensus ad infero clause, which may be translated as “descended to hell” or “descended to the dead,” was not found in the earliest manuscripts and currently remains a matter of dispute among evangelical Christians, it has not been included here. This is not to say the translator necessarily disagrees with that doctrine. However, its use in worship may distract the minds of some from the centrality of the cross and the resurrection.
This version of the Apostles’ Creed has been specifically designed for use in congregational worship, thus its style recalls a poetic cadence and a centralized emphasis upon the gospel. It was first used at Lakeside Baptist Church, Granbury, Texas, on Easter Sunday, 16 April 2019, where I am the Teaching Pastor. An earlier version of this translation appeared in a more traditional form in my God the Trinity.)

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