Creed or Chaos

Creed or Chaos

A recent trend has been causing me significant unease. The fixation with “contemporary” has caused many churches to retool themselves to attract young people to their sanctuaries.  I applaud the goal. All of us would love to see our churches flooded with teens and young families.

But the methods often chosen to attempt this, however, have resulted in the removal of all that had been inherited from the long past. The diminishment of scripture reading to a brief text, rare reciting of creeds, declining frequency of the sacraments, an aversion to hymnody and written prayers, have been increasing in momentum. This trend has been in aid of making us as up-to-date as 24/7 news channels, the newest technology, and in step with new social media.  One of the consequences has been to sacrifice content to style, mind to emotion, and deeds to devotion.

These recent trends make me want to taste the wares of that form of faith that preceded the current fixations.  It is one of the reason that causes me to re-introduce an ancient creed for a post-modern age.  I confess my attraction to the doggerel,  “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” (though I’m not sure what “blue” could mean in this context.) But if you are interested in something old and borrowed and yet ever new, I recommend you visit this website and explore the lines of the Apostles’ Creed under the heading “Creed or Chaos”.

David N. Ashton
January 2013

About prodigalprof

Professor of Christian Studies
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4 Responses to Creed or Chaos

  1. Wade Fitzpatrick says:


    Just wanted to respong to your phrase “…all that had been inherited from the long past’. I see that you are still trying to raise eyebrows with extreme statements! Actually, I mostly wanted to say’Hi’

    Marilyn and I are in Haiti till June. This is our fourth trip. Everyone gets longer than the last one. It is quite possible that there will be another one and it may be very long. All is well in Hait.

    Wade and Marilyn

  2. prodigalprof says:

    Nice to hear from you Wade (& Marilyn) You are even further south that Amy & I are. We winter in Florida, but as absolute hedonists, not as people-helpers like y’all.

    I hope that things are well with you and yours. I will mention you before God tonight as I “sign out”


  3. Kevin Greenshields says:

    I agree with your points. I attend a Baptist church here in Whitehorse. In the last 5 years we have gone through a few changes. Our children’s Sunday School now takes place during the service. An excellent change. The service is changing as well but being a relatively small city and church we are going slowly. Through the process we have been aware keeping biblically focused and Christ centered. Music has been the biggest change and we are learning that content and not age or not even the rhythm is the “key”. Music needs to help support the the flow of the service. Anyway good to read some common sense on the topic.

  4. Nick Tenham says:

    Could retooling to attract people maybe have a potential pitfall in that it can put the people you are trying to attract in the position of consumers, and allows worship to degenerate into entertainment?

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