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What Christians Believe

For those interested in knowing what Christians believe, here is where you learn more about the creeds, statements of faith and confessions that have defined the Christian faith in times ancient and modern.

Apostle's Creed
Developed between the second and ninth centuries as an affirmation of faith for new Christians this is the most widely accepted statement of faith used in worship by Western Christians. Any discussion of what Christians believe should begin here.

The Nicene Creed
Written during the 4th century A.D. in an attempt to unify the Christian church under emperor Constantine. Second only in familiarity to the Apostle's Creed, it is the only statement of faith that is accepted by all three major branches of Christianity including Protestant, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox.

Confession of 1967
Written during the troubled 1960's, this was a bold attempt to bring the Christian faith into conversation with the concerns of that period.  Edward A. Dowey, Jr. then teaching at Princeton Seminary, headed the committee which composed it.

A Brief Statement of Faith -- Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
After the two largest streams of Presbyterianism in the United States reunited to form the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in 1983 a committee was appointed to draft a brief summary of the Christian faith. Their draft was adopted in 1991.  Short and concise, it is suitable for use in public worship.

The Theological Declaration of Barmen
Written by Karl Barth and the confessing church in Nazi Germany in response to Hitler's attempt to politicize and control the church. Many of those involved in writing and promoting this document were killed along with six million Jews.

Scots Confession
Written by John Knox and colleagues at the conclusion of the Scottish civil war in response to medieval catholicism and at the behest of the Scottish Parliament. The Scots Confession is considered as one of the charter documents in Presbyterian history and tradition.

The Augsburg Confession
This is the first of the great Protestant Confessions. Most Lutheran church bodies base their teachings upon this document.

Church of England
The Anglicans have a very attractive website, but you have to explore rather deeply within it to find out what "Cof E" members believe.

ELCA Confession of Faith
This confession appears in the Constitution of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

The Heidelberg Catechism
Written by Zacharias Ursinus and Caspar Olevianus in Germany at the time of the breaking of the peace of Augsburg in response to the Lutherans and at the direction of Frederick the Elector. It is one of the principal documents of the Reformed tradition.

The Westminster Confession of Faith
Written by the Westminster Assembly at the call of Parliament. It was written in the context of the English Civil War and as a response to high church Anglicanism.

Luther's 95 Theses
One of the most important documents in western history, this is the defining statement of Martin Luther's dispute with the Roman Catholic practice of selling indulgences. What came to be known as the Protestant Reformation got underway big time starting right here.


Charles Henderson

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The Rev. Charles P. Henderson is a Presbyterian minister and author of Faith, Science and the Future, published in 1994 by CrossCurrents Press. He is also the author of God and Science (John Knox / Westminster, 1986) which he is now rewriting to incorporate more recent developments in the conversation taking place between scientists and theologians. He has also written widely for such publications as The New York Times, The Nation, Commonweal, The Christian Century and others.

For further information about Charles Henderson.