8/4/13 Why Weren’t We Told? Compiled and edited by Rex A. E. Hunt & John H. W. Smith: Why I Can No Longer Say ‘The Nicene Creed’ … by Noel Preston and This We Can Say by Rex A. E. Hunt

Two contrasting thought pieces on the difficult topic of writing what one should or does, believe.   The Nicene Creed was established in 325 CE and amended 381 CE as a kind of test for potential members to join the Christian church increasingly aligning itself with the fading Roman Empire.   It’s aim was to ensure a particular viewpoint/belief (in this case that Jesus was equal in standing with the Father) was regarded as ‘correct’ and therefore all other views were wrong.  The resulting legacy for the church has, at least at times, shown that an emphasis on orthodoxy stifles orthopraxy!  We doubt that there is any need for the Nicene or the Apostle’s Creed nor any benefit in trying to develop one for today.  Beliefs are very diverse and we don’t need to develop ‘hurdles’ to ‘test’ people’s commitment.  As we’ve noted before, actions display the true self not giving abeyance to a set of doctrinal claims.

Rex Hunt puts forward the Canberra Declaration as an attempt to record what progressive Christianity can affirm.  It’s quite wordy but steers clear of definitive statements of belief. We also considered other modern affirmations of faith which some of us could ascribe to parts thereof!  This just illustrates the difficulties in writing such statements compared with letting one’s living make the statement.  May our living be the expression of our affirmation of faith!

Ian Harris