Review of “The Creed” by Dr. Scott Hahn
The Church; One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. But it has never been the exact same. New dogmas have arisen, such as The Immaculate Conception. New problems that the world and the Church have had to deal with, such as not living up to our stewardship of the world. Even our Creeds have undergone transitions and changes, as evident by the two creeds most commonly in use at Church and at home. Can the Church still claim to stem from the same tradition set in motion by the Apostles? Yes. Without a doubt. And our Creeds, though they may be diverse, give evidence to this fact.
In the East, Creeds were known as “measuring sticks” because they were universally recognized marks of faith. But this “measuring stick” analogy works well for our creeds as well. Not only can our Creeds be used by an individual to see that their faith measures up to all persons of our tradition, but also the Creeds are a measurement of the journey of our Church.
Think, if you will, of a young girl, standing by a door post, being measured by her father and mother. They mark her height on the door-frame, and they do so regularly, so when they are all older, they can see her progress and rejoice in her growth. In the same way, there are notches on the measuring stick of the Creeds, showing the growth and changes that have occurred, especially in her early years.
Scott Hahn’s book, The Creed, not only highlights the historical changes the Creeds have gone through, beginning from the simplest “I believe, help my unbelief” from the Gospels, to the Nicene and Apostles Creeds that are in most common use by the children of God that make up the Catholic Church, but Hahn also explains why these changes occurred, what theological issues erupted, and why these Creeds were better defined to fight the heresies or discrepancies of those times.
But this book is not merely a documentation of the history of the Church and Her Creeds, Hahn offers a distinct and easy to understand explanation of all that we profess in the Creed, which we tend to overlook in the many times we say it, almost without thinking about the words, which were each carefully placed, and defended by our Church Fathers.
Of course, this is a theologian’s description of the Creed, and not many Catholics are recognized theologians, so Hahn speaks to his readers as a father, a husband, and a faithful Catholic, offering his knowledge and wisdom in a easy to understand manner, which will be informative and a pleasure to read by the curious non-Catholic, and the great teachers of the faith and every person in-between.
This is surely a great testament to the Creeds which define each of our faiths, and at the end of their reading experience, the reader can more surely say, “I believe”.
Shane Littleton for Forming Faithful Families