The Early Creeds
Philip Schaff, John Williams Proudfit, John Williamson Nevin, et al.
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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Religion/Theologie
This volume is a collection of essays on the early creeds by John Nevin and Philip Schaff, the two principal representatives of the Mercersburg Theology that was birthed in nineteenth-century Pennsylvania. It also contains a critical response by John Proudfit, a more traditionally scholastic Calvinist. In these essays Nevin and Schaff argued that the early creeds provide an indispensable lens through which the Bible should be interpreted and an essential bond to preserve the unity of the church through the centuries. According to these Mercersburg theologians the liturgical and confessional use of the early creeds is crucial for shaping the identity of Christians and mediating the life of Christ to believers. Nevin and Schaff's enthusiasm for the creeds was a function of their understanding of Christianity as an evolving tradition, the Christian life as growth in Christ-likeness, the church as the nurturing body of Christ, and the sacraments as conduits of Christ's vivifying personhood. These convictions stood in sharp contrast to the a-creedal sensibilities of most nineteenth-century American Protestants who emphasized the sufficiency of Scripture alone, the church as a gathered community of like-minded individuals, dramatic conversion experiences, and the direct presence of Christ to the individual soul.