The word “creed” means “I believe.” A creed is typically a short statement of faith summarizing a set of agreed-upon Christian beliefs. We see examples of ancient confessions in the Bible. The Jewish Shema (Deut. 6:4) grounded the identity of God’s people in God Himself. More creedal formulas may be observed in the New Testament. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 1 Timothy 1:15, 3:16; Philippians 2:5-11)
Ancient creeds are countercultural, helping us stand with generations across the ages against present-day cultural pressures to conform. They also set out theological boundaries, protecting believers from false teachings.
The two most popular and commonly used creeds of western Christianity are the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed. Both are ancient creeds tracing back to the birth of the Church. Church Renewal affirms both Creeds.
These creeds are so early and have been used so widely across Christian denominations around the world, that it is one of the rare things that unites all Christians in common belief. The words of these creeds link us with the historical Church in its many cultural and linguistic expressions dating back 2000 years.
In October 1978, the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy sponsored a conference in which several hundred Christians representing forty-one churches and thirty-eight Christian denominations met to study, pray, and deliberate over the inerrancy of Scripture. The delegates formulated the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. Over 300 Evangelical, including J.I. Packer, Francis Schaeffer, R.C. Sproul, and Josh D. McDowell, signed the document.
The Chicago Statement contains both A Short statement and Articles of Affirmation and Denial. The Short Statement is Included in this document, following the two Creeds below.
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic (universal) Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic (universal) and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
God, who is Himself Truth and speaks truth only, has inspired Holy Scripture in order thereby to reveal Himself to lost mankind through Jesus Christ as Creator and Lord, Redeemer and Judge. Holy Scripture is God's witness to Himself.
Holy Scripture, being God's own Word, written by men prepared and superintended by His Spirit, is of infallible divine authority in all matters upon which it touches: it is to be believed, as God's instruction, in all that it affirms; obeyed, as God's command, in all that it requires; embraced, as God's pledge, in all that it promises.
The Holy Spirit, Scripture's divine Author, both authenticates it to us by His inward witness and opens our minds to understand its meaning.
Being wholly and verbally God-given, Scripture is without error or fault in all its teaching, no less in what it states about God's acts in creation, about the events of world history, and about its own literary origins under God, than in its witness to God's saving grace in individual lives.
The authority of Scripture is inescapably impaired if this total divine inerrancy is in any way limited or disregarded, or made relative to a view of truth contrary to the Bible's own; and such lapses bring serious loss to both the individual and the Church.