The Point: Why Creeds?

Christian, what do you believe? For the Colson Center, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

A creed is a statement of belief that for Christians have historically helped define and defend orthodoxy, which means “right belief.”

The best known creed is the Nicene Creed, a product of the Council of Nicaea in the year 325. This council met to answer a heresy about Jesus, and produced a concise statement of the Christian faith that’s been recited in churches worldwide for almost 1,700 years.

The Nicene Creed didn’t establish Christian doctrine. But it did recognize what had been received from God through Scripture, through His Son, and through the Apostles—the very core of the Christian worldview.

The Creed takes the shape of the Trinity. Its sections describe who each Person of the Godhead is and what He has done.

When we confess our faith together using the Creed, we display our unity with Christians around the world and throughout time. And tomorrow on The Point, I’ll talk about the first subject of the Creed—God the Father.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.


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  • Phoenix1977

    “The Nicene Creed didn’t establish Christian doctrine.”
    It actually did. It described which gospels are to be considered true and which are to be considered false. It established the founding of the Catholic Church and the beginning of canon law. It established the authority the church would have under Roman law, just as it established Catholicism as the state religion in the Roman Empire (the West part, at least. In the East it would take Christianity another 1200 years to take root).
    Those, and other essential issues in Christianity, were decided during the First Council of Nicaea. Without it there would not have been a Christian faith or Christian doctrine. Not the bible, your Jesus or all the apostles together created Christianity as you know it today. The one person mostly responsible for that is Constantine the Great, no one else.

    • netprophet

      “Without it (the Nicene Creed) there would not have been a Christian faith or Christian doctrine.” If that is true, then where did the Christian doctrine that existed at the time come from?

      • Phoenix1977

        “then where did the Christian doctrine that existed at the time come from?”
        That’s the point, there wasn’t any set doctrine. Anyone calling themselves a Christian believed in his or her own version of it. There was no unified Christian church until that moment, when the Roman Catholic Church was founded. There was no set doctrine until the content of the bible was determined during the First Council of Nicaea. Until the Nicene Creed there were over 25 gospels instead of the 4 that would end up as the New Testament. Jesus wasn’t uniformly believed to be divine but was believed to be a prophet like all the others in the bible by quite a lot of people.
        All the doctrine Christians today believe in was set in 325 AD, during the First Council of Nicaea, called together by the Roman emperor Constantine the Great. Without Constantine no First Council of Nicaea and no First Council of Nicaea no Christianity.