When I was asked to review Scott Hahn’s newest book, The Creed, a piece of music started running through my head. I’m a huge fan of Rich Mullins, and one of my very favorite songs of his is “Creed.”
I wasn’t surprised when I opened the book to find that Hahn referenced that song–in the first two pages of the book.
“A creed marks the way of conversion for a pilgrim Church on earth and for each of its members,” Hahn observes (4). It’s not just something we say; it’s something that changes us. Hahn quotes from the Rich Mullins song, “I did not make it; no, it is making me.” That statement is at the heart of what Hahn wants readers to know about the Creed.
I want to show that creeds don’t just make you who you are and I who I am; they also make us who we are. They are one of the ordinary means God uses to unite his people. God takes wayward tribes and makes them a nation–and, more than that, a family! He takes all the lawless, rebellious nations of the earth and makes them a Church–and, more than that, his own body! It begins with that cry from the heart: I believe! (12)
In this very readable book, Hahn traces the history of, first, the Jewish covenants and then the Christian creeds. The reader will learn that every single word of the Creed is important. Every word is there for a reason. The Creed proclaims both mystery (God becomes man) and history (Jesus was born, walked the earth, died and rose.) As Hahn observes, it also “professes not only the fact of God’s Incarnation, but also the reason” (117).
As we dig into the Creed, aided by Scott Hahn in this book, we marvel at the historical heroes who defended it; we affirm the mystery proclaimed within it; we are challenged to live transformed by it. Living as we do in a climate where Jesus has been co-opted to fit various social and political molds, Hahn urges readers to “go forward, fortified by the creed” (159). Heresies will fade, but the creed will always remain.
Here’s the song Scott Hahn mentions at the beginning of the book. Let it inspire you as you settle in to learn about how and why we profess our faith in this way.
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Copyright 2016 Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS