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Apostles Creed

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The Apostles Creed starts out with the declaration 'I believe', which though only declared three times, is affirmed a total of eight times within the body of the creed: In God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth; in Jesus Christ, his only son; in the Holy Spirit; the holy catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. The creed is anchored in the soteriology of the person of Jesus, as a narrative of his life is included in the creed as evidence of his identity. The declaration 'I believe' means that the person who makes this profession of faith is committing themselves to these beliefs, and as a result placing their trust and faith in them.

The first declaration is made to this God - the Father almighty, the creator of heaven and earth. This declaration incorporates both the definition of God as a supreme and infallible God, as well as the deity that is conceived as the sovereign SOUL or demiurge who molds and fashions the world in the light of ultimate principles or forms.1 This definition of God presents an array of problems when addressed from a theologically prospective, as terms often attributed to the being of God such as omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience make this introduction an exercise in contradiction. First, by choosing to use the title Father to describe God the writer of the creed appears to be adding some level of assured compassion to the being of God, as a Father, from a human perspective, would be compassionate towards his children. To believe is to have confidence or faith in the truth of a thing, so by including the title Father the professors of this creed are ultimately putting their trust in this God similarly to a child who jumps into the arms of their farther from a ledge.3 This however presents a problem for the professors of the Apostles' Creed, as they must deal with the trust of a being that they have never physically seen, and that their finite minds can not put limits.4 In retrospect, how can trust be placed in a God that is not bound to time and space, and whom no one has ever seen? Further, the question of how a timeless, changeless being could be compassionate, similar to a father, is left unanswered. Van Harvey describes God as the one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe, but this still leaves the question of how man came to this notion unanswered.5 It is easier for some to comprehend a dictionaries depiction of God, but harder to understand an omnipotence God limitless in regards to power, as the title creator of heaven and earth implies.6 Whether man creates God in his own mind or not God would have to exist outside of his mind to be limitless. To be the creator of the universe would by default make God able to exist outside of the limits of the universe, which for man is physically intangible or visually invisible. So the professors are believing and trusting in an intangible and invisible being with the hopes that the being will sustain them. For this being to create Heaven and Earth there has to be the belief that worlds exist outside of the reach of man and that man is a part of this Supreme Being mind. The professors of this creed must deal with this in order to truly believe this God to be Father almighty, and creator of the heavens and earth

The second declaration is made to Jesus Christ, his only son. The link between trust and the proviso of belief is indicated in the Apostles' Creed by the way in which the persons of God and Jesus, whom the believer acknowledges, are more closely defined through explanatory references. Thus the God towards whom faith is directed is described and identified as the Father, as the Almighty, and as the creator of the world, while Jesus is described as his only son. God's only Son, Jesus Christ, is characterized by the whole series of statements about his earthly path down to the resurrection, the ascension, his sitting at the right hand of God, and his coming again to judgement. However, what comes before this series of events unfold must be dealt with first. The Creed says that Jesus was not only conceived by the Holy, but that he was born of the Virgin Mary, which theologically presents many questions. First, who was this Holy Spirit, and how could it cause the conception of a child in cooperation with a fleshly being? These closer definitions are not merely pointers designed passing reminders of who Jesus was, without any further importance in themselves. On the contrary, for the Apostles' Creed Jesus is the person whom faith clings only because he was crucified and rose again and will come again in judgment. Thus the Christian trusts the Father of Jesus Christ because he is the creator of all things; he trusts Jesus Christ because he has overcome death and grants a communion with himself which extends beyond death.

After the brief description of Jesus' birth the next three stages of his life are carefully listed: crucified, died, and was buried. The choice to include the suffering under Pontius Pilate pointed to the fact that Jesus's trial and crucifixion was public and meant to be documented. No mention is made of Jewish leaderships involvement in the trial though scripturally it was paramount, but none the less the Jewish authorities did not themselves order Jesus' execution. The creed does not go into much detail of the reason that Jesus was to be tried at this level, nor is there any description



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