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The Faith We Confess: A 21st-Century Look at the Meaning and Relevance of the Apostles’ Creed cover photo

The Faith We Confess: A 21st-Century Look at the Meaning and Relevance of the Apostles’ Creed 2009

Recommended

Distributed by Films Media Group, 132 West 31st St., 17th Floor, New York, NY 10001; 800-257-5126
Produced by T.N. Mohan
Directed by T.N. Mohan
DVD , color, 88 min.



Jr. High - General Adult
Religious Studies, Christianity

Date Entered: 01/22/2013

Reviewed by Barbara J. Walter, Longmont Public Library, Longmont, CO

…the Creed carries the ideas and understandings, the concepts and visions of life that underlie Christian spirituality. These are the convictions for which the apostles gave their lives to pass on to the Christian community. The ideas changed in form and purpose from age to age to suit the questions and cultures of the time, yes, but the essence of them remained: There is a God; Jesus is the Way: the Holy Spirit lives in each of us. Those are the givens, the things that do not change.
-- Joan Chittister, In Search of Belief
The Apostles’ Creed is a statement of faith—a clear, concise, Biblically-based summation of the fundamentals of Christianity—formulated in the earliest days of the Church that continues today to aid Christians in study and worship. T. N. Mohan here assembles a notable panel of experts to discuss the origins of the creed, concepts it asserts alongside their scriptural roots, with an overarching focus on its meaning and relevance for the modern believer.

Timothy George, dean of Beeson Divinity School and host of The Faith We Confess, introduces each section of this seven-part series which examines in turn all twelve phrases in the Apostles’ Creed. More than a dozen theologians and scholars, including N.T. Wright, Alister McGrath, Kallistos Ware, Susan Schreiner and Martin Marty, bring a remarkable diversity of viewpoints to bear on the subject, along with a refreshing sense of humility and awe as they grapple with profundities found in the creed. One theologian, describing how on the cross Jesus suffered not only physical agony but spiritual anguish at being separated from God his father, exclaims, “I can’t explain this—it’s mystery! God separated from God’s own self…”

Each phrase of the creed receives careful attention, with plentiful reference to passages in both the Old and New Testaments from which the concept arises, often with explanation of the roots of key terms; one scholar,for example, explains the nuances of the Hebrew word ruach and its Greek equivalent pneuma, both referring to wind, breath or spirit. Each episode is further enhanced with interludes of classic hymns and other sacred music, along with fine examples of classic and contemporary Christian art and architecture.

Technical quality is very good throughout the series, though captioning appears to have been done with voice-recognition software, with occasionally amusing results. Like the creed itself, The Faith We Confess is an excellent introduction to the fundamentals of the Christian faith. Ideal for use in confirmation or inquirers’ classes, the DVDs are chaptered for easy navigation to any topic. Appropriate for church or Christian school library/media centers, for academic libraries supporting courses in religious studies or programs in theology, and for public libraries looking for a thoughtful treatment of the basic tenets of Christianity.