The Creedal Imperative

The Creedal Imperative
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Trueman, Carl R.

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Listen to a lecture by Carl Trueman entitled Theology and Everyday Life: The Reformation and Beyond. (Theology Network)




Publisher's Description

Recent years have seen a number of high profile scholars converting to Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy while a trend in the laity expresses an eclectic hunger for tradition. The status and role of confessions stands at the center of the debate within evangelicalism today as many resonate with the call to return to Christianity's ancient roots. Carl Trueman offers an analysis of why creeds and confessions are necessary, how they have developed over time, and how they can function in the church of today and tomorrow. He writes primarily for evangelicals who are not particularly confessional in their thinking yet who belong to confessional churches - Baptists, independents, etc. - so that they will see more clearly the usefulness of the church's tradition.

About the Author

Carl R. Trueman (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is professor of historical theology and church history and vice president for academic affairs at Westminster Theological Seminary. He was editor of Themelios for nine years, has written more than a dozen books, and has contributed to multiple publications, including the Dictionary of Historical Theology and The Cambridge Companion to Reformation Theology.

Book Details

205 Pages
Publisher: Crossway/Good News Publishers
Publication Date: September 2012
ISBN 10: 1433521903
ISBN 13: 9781433521904

“If the title of this book sounds boring to you, then it probably means you need it! Doctrinal aversion, radical individualism, unexamined subjectivism—these are only a few of the problems afflicting the evangelical church. In The Creedal Imperative, Carl Trueman wisely applies his vast historical knowledge to offer a remedy for such deficiencies. This book is especially important for so many believers whose Christian life, like mine, grew out of the soil of vibrant experience with insufficient doctrinal moorings. And beyond merely correcting errors, the lessons here have great potential for protecting the church, reinvigorating our cherished beliefs, and fostering greater unity in our worship. I’m grateful for Carl, and I’m grateful he wrote this book.”
- C. J. Mahaney, Sovereign Grace Ministries

“It is commonplace among many church leaders to dispute the need for confessions of faith on the grounds of the supreme authority of the Bible. In this timely book, Trueman demonstrates effectively how such claims are untenable. We all have creeds—the Bible itself requires them—but some are unwritten, not open to public accountability, and the consequences can be damaging. Trueman’s case deserves the widest possible hearing.”
- Robert Letham, Director of Research and Senior Lecturer in Systematic and Historical Theology, Wales Evangelical School of Theology; author, The Holy Trinity and Union with Christ

“Herein is a truly inspiring vision, that churches be freed from the vapid, the fickle, and the dysfunctional by a deeper enjoyment of the faith we have received. Trueman has shown that use of the creeds is both necessary and beautifully enriching. Informative and compelling, this book has what it takes to do great good.”
- Michael Reeves, Head of Theology, Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship (UCCF); author, Delighting in the Trinity and The Unquenchable Flame

“I know of few people better equipped to write this book. As both a scholar and a pastor, Trueman combines his expertise as a historian with some important biblical observations to make a convincing case for The Creedal Imperative. This book will prove to be immensely useful in today’s ecclesiastical climate.”
- Mark Jones, Senior Minister, Faith Vancouver Presbyterian Church; coauthor, A Puritan Theology

“Trueman, again, has given us a stimulating book. He manages to demonstrate the relevance of creeds by showing how new the old ones are. The book is not only a must-read for those who stick to creeds without knowing why or those whose creed it is to have no creed, but for everyone who tries to practice the Christian faith.”
- Herman Selderhuis, director Refo500, The Netherlands

“This is an engrossing survey, sparklingly contemporary yet eruditely historical. But it is also an urgent wake-up call, which, if heeded, would deliver Evangelicalism from its current isolation, shallowness, and confusion—and from the autocracy of private empire-builders. Informative, readable, and stimulating all at once.”
- Donald Macleod, Emeritus Professor of Systematic Theology, Free Church of Scotland College

“In its creeds and confessions, the church affirms its allegiance to the God of the gospel and commits itself to think, speak, and govern its life in ways shaped by the gospel. This lively books, full of vigorous argument and biblical good sense, tells us why.”
- John Webster, Professor of Systematic Theology, University of Aberdeen

“Trueman states that creeds and confessions are both necessary for the well-being of the church and are, in fact, required by the Bible. His arguments are wide-ranging and include biblical exposition, lessons from church history, and modern cultural factors that may be unconsciously influencing one’s view of the issue. In addition, there is the typical Trueman humor and odd examples sprinkled throughout the book. In the end, I agree with him and will require this book for my seminary course on creeds.”
- Robert Cara, Chief Academic Officer, Hugh and Sallie Reaves Professor of New Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary

“The apostle Paul once told Timothy that a minister was to be kind, able to teach, patient, and gentle (2 Tim. 2:24). In The Creedal Imperative, Carl Trueman demonstrates that he is not only able to teach the Word and how it has come down to us throughout history, but also how to do so with kindness, patience, and gentleness—precisely the qualities that are needed to convince in our creedless, ahistorical, and shallow age. As one whose entire ministry of preaching, teaching, and writing has been taken up with the Word as confessed in the great creeds and confessions of Christendom, I wholeheartedly recommend this book.”
- Daniel Hyde, Pastor, Oceanside United Reformed Church, Oceanside, California; author, God in Our Midst; Welcome to a Reformed Church; and Why Believe in God?

“Today there is a challenge to the authority of the church including the authority of Scripture. The Creedal Imperative speaks to the necessity of creeds and confessions, which tend to save us from attempts to privately interpret the Scripture. Trueman demonstrates how creeds and confessions are strategic checkpoints, intended not only to enable us to express our beliefs, but also to keep us from misunderstanding God’s truth. Properly used, creeds and confessions, under the authority of God’s Word, enable us to hear God’s voice—they are our speaking what we understand God has spoken to us in Scripture. For those who maintain, ‘We have no creed or confession but the Bible,’ this book is a must-read. For those who understand the place of creeds and confessions in the life of Christian faith, this book is also a must-read. It is all about understanding God’s truth. I commend Trueman for his careful demonstration of clear exegesis, sound theology, understanding of church history, and, consequently, his ability to understand the times in which we live. You will be blessed by this book.”
- Charles H. Dunahoo, Coordinator, PCA CEP; author, Making Kingdom Disciples; Changing Trends in Missions; and Foundation and Authority

“Though it might sound a bit hackneyed for a book commendation, this is a book I would love to have written! Carl Trueman’s case for what he terms ‘the creedal imperative’ of the Christian faith is spot-on. Trueman not only identifies but also deftly rebuts a number of traditional as well as more recent objections in contemporary culture to creeds and confessions. On the one hand, he shows the untenability of the ‘no creed but Christ, no book but the Bible’ position of many evangelical Christians. And on the other hand, he defends the use of creeds and confessions that summarize and defend the teaching of Scripture without supplementing Scripture or diminishing its authority.”
- Cornelis P. Venema, President, Professor of Doctrinal Studies, Mid-America Reformed Seminary