The Creed by Luke Timothy Johnson
What Christians Believe and Why it Matters

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This thoughtful, fully accessible exploration of the creed, the list of beliefs central to the Christian faith, delves into its origins and illuminates the contemporary significance of why it still matters.

During services in Christian communities, the members of the congregation stand together to recite the creed, professing in unison the beliefs they share. For most Christians, the creed functions as a sort of “ABC” of what it means to be a Christian and to be part of a worldwide movement. Few people, however, know the source of this litany of beliefs, a topic that is further confused by the fact that there are two different versions: the Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed.

In The Creed, Luke Timothy Johnson, a New Testament scholar and Catholic theologian, clarifies the history of the creed, discussing its evolution from the first decades of the Christian Church to the present day. By connecting the deep theological conflicts of the early Church with the conflicts and questions facing Christians today, Johnson shows that faith is a dynamic process, not based on a static set of rules. Written in a clear, graceful style and appropriate for Christians of all denominations, The Creed is destined to become a classic of modern writings on spirituality.

About Luke Timothy Johnson

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LUKE TIMOTHY JOHNSON, a former Benedictine monk, is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of New Testament at the Candler School of Theology, Emory University. He is the author of several books, including The Real Jesus and Living Jesus, as well as two Anchor Bible Commentaries, The Letters of James and I & II Timothy.
Published December 18, 2007 by Image. 338 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Creed

Publishers Weekly

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Johnson's studied vagueness on some controversial questions (such as the historical nature of the resurrection and the uniqueness of Christianity) will put off some readers, but many others will find this a compelling introduction to the essence of Christian faith.

Jun 16 2003 | Read Full Review of The Creed: What Christians Be...

Publishers Weekly

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Catholic theologian Johnson knows that the creed, although it is recited by millions of worshippers every Sunday, is far from being well understood. He also knows, clearly from personal experience,

Jun 16 2003 | Read Full Review of The Creed: What Christians Be...


Furthermore, praying to our “Father-Mother” doesn’t at all clarify the truth that God is neither male nor female--it instead implies that God is somehow or other both male and female.

May 11 2009 | Read Full Review of The Creed: What Christians Be...

The Neff Review

Not all of Johnson's comments are to my liking. His passing remarks on creationism and millenarianism, for example...But I found Johnson always bracing. He treats the core theological truths of the Christian faith not as abstractions but as foundations for revolutionary living.

Nov 01 2003 | Read Full Review of The Creed: What Christians Be...

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