Sunday, May 25, 2014

Know the Creeds and Councils by Justin Holcomb

book cover
Know the Creeds and Councils
by Justin Holcomb

ISBN-13: 9780310515098
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Zondervan
Released: April 29, 2014

Source: Review copy from the publisher through

Book Description from Back Cover:
In every generation, the Christian church must interpret and restate its bedrock beliefs, answering the challenges and concerns of the day. This accessible overview walks readers through centuries of creeds, councils, catechisms, and confessions - not with a dry focus on dates and places, but with an emphasis on the living tradition of Christian belief and why it matters for our lives today.

Know the Creeds and Councils is designed for personal study or classroom use, but also for small groups and Sunday schools wanting to more deeply understand the foundations of the faith. Each chapter covers a key statement of faith and includes a discussion of its historical context, a simple explanation of the statement’s content and key points, reflections on contemporary and ongoing relevance, and discussion questions.

My Review:
Know the Creeds and Councils is a summary of the historical discussions around what Christians believe. This wonderful, short book very effectively communicates the information. A layman--even a teenager--can understand the issues being discussed and why they were and are important. The author did an excellent job at defining (and continuing to define) theological words and explaining complex theological issues in an understandable way. I think this would be a great study for high school- or college-age church groups.

The book description very accurately describes the book. The author moved through history, from the first known creed ("I believe...") to recent meetings that issued statements of belief. He doesn't cover every council, but he picked important ones that give an idea of the discussions going on at the time and how they were resolved. He explained the main issues being discussed, why it was an issue, what statements of belief came from the meeting, and why it's relevant to us today. He also included some discussion questions at the end of each chapter.

I'd recommend this resource to those interested in knowing more about the history behind certain doctrinal statements, especially those people intimidated by "theology" or "doctrine" books. (Note: This book doesn't cover the Scriptural basis for the various beliefs, which probably should be studied first so you know why you believe what you believe.)

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

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