Creeds and confessions throughout Christian history provide a unique vantage point from which to study the Christian faith. To this end, Donald Fairbairn and Ryan Reeves construct a narrative that captures both the central importance of creeds and confessions over the centuries and their unrealized potential to introduce readers to the overall sweep of church history. The book features texts of classic creeds and confessions as well as informational sidebars. Its thorough treatment of the historical and theological contexts surrounding the creeds makes this book essential for courses in historical theology and church history.
For theology to be ecclesiastically and historically responsible, a knowledge of the creeds and confessions of the church is vital. Yet those unfamiliar with church history often find the field confusing and intimidating. It is therefore a pleasure to recommend this book by Fairbairn and Reeves, which is both a fine guide to creeds and confessions and an engaging narrative of church history from the perspective of doctrinal development. Of special note is the material on the early church, which will help fuel and inform current Protestant interest in the patristic discussions of the doctrines of God and Christ.
—Carl R. Trueman, Grove City College
This volume provides a wonderful introduction to the creeds and confessions of the Christian church. It attends carefully to the various historical contexts within which these diverse texts were written and deployed and offers insightful comment on the theological claims that they advance. The result is a work that spurs the reader to greater appreciation and deeper understanding of the tradition of the church and the way in which its official texts have served at different points to express unity, continuity, and disruption. Above all, Fairbairn and Reeves witness to the desirability of taking these documents seriously not only as historical artifacts but also as ongoing witnesses, insisting that what binds Christians together is of much greater significance than what separates them.
—Paul T. Nimmo, King’s Chair of Systematic Theology, University of Aberdeen
This welcome study combines detailed attention to the foundation of creedal Christianity (especially Nicaea and Chalcedon) with authoritative accounts of later confessional traditions. It is especially effective in showing how early Christian worship of one name, Christ the Lord, led over the centuries and in different local contexts to elaborate accounts of Christian faith. The Story of Creeds and Confessions is a good book for beginning theologians and an excellent review for those who have traversed this ground before.
—Mark A. Noll, editor of Confessions and Catechisms of the Reformation
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
Donald Fairbairn (PhD, University of Cambridge) is the Robert E. Cooley Professor of Early Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He has also taught at Denver Seminary, Evangelische Theologische Faculteit in Leuven, Belgium, and numerous other institutions. His books include Life in the Trinity, Grace and Christology in the Early Church, and Eastern Orthodoxy through Western Eyes.
Ryan M. Reeves (PhD, University of Cambridge) has taught at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, and the University of Cambridge. He is the author of several books, including Know How We Got Our Bible.