Creeds and confessions will, I suspect, continue to suffer at the hands ofAnd this from Gregory Reynold's in OPC's Ordained Servant: (thanks, Nick)
friend and foe alike. The latter will always dismiss them as encroaching on
scripture’s authority; the former will continue to make them narrower and
functionally more important than they were ever intended. But on this issue I
believe there is a middle way, which gives peculiar but subordinate status to
such documents, and which also sees a place for occasional, transdenominational
statements as well. The church must never compromise the unique authority of the
Bible, must always focus on the basic essentials which cross time and space, but
must also speak thoughtfully, to the here and now. Historic creeds and
contemporary declarations thus both have their part to play in making the
church’s voice a relevant voice. Until we realize that, I fear that a good creed
will seldom go unpunished.
When Washington's troops built their fortifications in Brooklyn, he
insisted that they explore the terrain before battle in order to be surefooted
during the rapid movements often required in the fight. Likewise catechizing
should be a chief concern of the church militant...Just as no one confuses a map
with the reality of the terrain it depicts, so we understand that the Satechism
helps us understand the terrain of the Bible itself. It is not a stand-alone
source of truth. So, reading the Bible confirms the terrain, just as traveling
confirms the accuracy of a map. A map teaches us what to look for and keeps us
from getting lost.
Our mid-week small group is continuing to benefit from a slow, careful study of the doctrines of Scripture using the outline provided by the Nicene Creed. And our evening teaching services at Immanuel are structured on the outline provided by the Shorter Catechism. This is on purpose and it is not because we don't believe in Sola Scriptura. On the contrary, it is because we believe so strongly in Sola Scriptura that we value the roadmaps God has providentially provided to His church throughout the centuries.