Input: Kirchliche Bekenntnisse und die Botschaft der Moderne

Die Botschaft der modernen Welt scheint nicht zur Botschaft der Kirchlichen Bekenntnisse zu passen. Sie seien nicht unwahr, aber veraltet und unplausibel.

The stories the modern world tells us are powerful: the future-oriented promise of science, the technology that privileges the young, the materialistic paradise offered by consumerism, which is always just around the next corner, the dying of confidence in words, the fragmentation of human nature, the distrust of traditional structures and notions of authority, and the wicked results of saying that somebody else is wrong and does not belong.

All of these in their different ways make the idea of doctrinal Christianity, expressed in creeds and confessions, both implausible and distasteful; and all of them are part of the cultural air we all breathe. This leads to a very important distinction. Modern culture has not really rendered creeds and confessions untrue; far less has it rendered them unbiblical. But it has rendered them implausible and distasteful. They are implausible because they are built on old-fashioned notions of truth and language.

They make the claim that a linguistic formulation of a state of affairs can have a binding authority beyond the mere text on the page, that creeds actually refer to something, and that that something has a significance for all of humanity. They thus demand that individuals submit, intellectually and morally, to something outside of themselves, that they listen to the voices from the church from other times and other places. They go directly against the grain of an antihistorical, antiauthoritarian age. Creeds strike hard at the cherished notion of human autonomy and of the notion that I am exceptional, that the normal rules do not apply to me in the way they do to others.

Carl Trueman. The Creedal Imperative. Crossway: Wheaton, 2012. (Pos. 710-721)