Stories form the foundation of a person’s worldview and influence what a person believes about the world, human nature, etc. Since I have come to believe Jesus is who he said he is, and that what is written about him is true, my faith in Jesus has grown and developed over the years.
The Orthodox Creeds
It is generally accepted, by all Christians everywhere, the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds form the historic basis for what we believe to be true and correct. These are statement outlining what must be believed in order to call oneself a Christian.1
When Christians Disagree
Of course, it would be naïve and silly to think Christians agree about everything all the time. Thankfully, we don’t have to agree about everything! But we do have to show grace toward those with whom we disagree.
In such cases, the following principles are helpful to remember:
In essentials unity,Rupertus Meldenius (ca. 1627 AD)
in non-essentials liberty,
in all things charity.
The Whole Story
The final point I want to make about Christian beliefs is we need to know the whole story!
Too often, Christians talk as if the only thing interesting about human nature is we are sinners and the only thing interesting about Jesus is he died. This is disappointing and completely false!
In order to understand the world, our lives, and to make decisions about how we ought to live, each of us depends upon some story. The Bible contains a story which is true for the whole world. Once we have a sense of that grand story, we are better able to make sense of our own place in it.
In summary, we find within the Bible a grand story in 6 acts:2
- Act 1: God Establishes His Kingdom: Creation
- Act 2: Rebellion in the Kingdom: Fall
- Act 3: The King Chooses Israel: Redemption Initiated
- Scene 1: A People for the King
- Scene 2: A Land for His People
- Interlude: A Kingdom Story Waiting for an Ending: The Intertestamental Period
- Act 4: The Coming of the King: Redemption Accomplished
- Act 5: Spreading the News of the King: The Mission of the Church
- Scene 1: From Jerusalem to Rome
- Scene 2: And into All the World
- Act 6: The Return of the King: Redemption Completed/Renewal
See, there is so much more to the story, which, frankly, makes it so much more interesting! And, ultimately, makes the story of Jesus so much more meaningful and helpful.
- You can read a version of these creeds by clicking here.
- Adapted from Craig G. Bartholomew and Michael W. Goheen, The Drama of Scripture: Finding Our Place in the Biblical Story (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2004), pg 27.