Posted On June 27, 2014

Book Review – Know The Creeds and Councils

by | Jun 27, 2014 | Church History, Theology

One of the more encouraging recent trends has been the increase in books looking at a variety of councils and creeds. While most of these recent books look at the Reformed confessions and that is important, those aren’t the only confessions that are important for Christians to understand. In his new book Know The Creeds And Councils Justin Holcomb seeks to provide an accessible and relevant overview of Christianity’s most significant statements of faith.

Every generation requires Christians and the Church to interpret and restate its bedrock beliefs, answering objections and concerns of the day. In this book, Dr. Holcomb walks readers through centuries of creeds, councils, catechisms, and confessions with a focus on dates and places with an emphasis on the living tradition of Christian belief and why it matters for our lives today. The book opens with looking at the Apostles’ Creed then the Council of Nicaea and the Nicene Creeds, the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon. In chapter five the author explores the Athanasian Creed and in chapters six through eight the councils of Constantinople, Carthage, orange and Trent. Chapter nine examines the Heidelberg catechism, chapter nine the thirty-nine articles of religion and chapter eleven the Westminster Confession of Faith. Chapter twelve looks at the second Vatican council. The book concludes with a look at modern confessions such as the Lausanne Covenant and the Chicago statement of faith.

The strengths of Know the Creeds and Councils are its accessible and its relevance. Many Christians today think that the latest and greatest book is the most important thing ever written. While that view is prevalent in the Church today it is not completely true. Christians have been seeking to engage in theology since the early second century up to the present day. This means that Christians have a rich tradition of sound theology that has sought to engage the Word of God in thoughtful and God-honoring ways. The creeds, confessions and Councils that Dr. Holcomb looks at in this book are important for Christians to understand. The one weakness which Dr. Holcomb concedes in his book is that his book doesn’t explore everything about the creeds and councils. To alleviate this concern, he provides his recommendations for further study.

Know The Creeds and Councils is a very good book that will serve as a primer for those who don’t know much about the creeds. This book would also be used well in the classroom or for small groups and Sunday school classes wanting to go deeper into the Christian faith. I highly recommend Know the Creeds and Councils, it is a book that will help Christians at every stage of their Christian life to understand that the Christian life is not about the latest and greatest fad, but grounded in the old and rich heritage of the past that informs our present understanding of God’s Word and theology.

Title: Know the Creeds and Councils

Author: Justin Holcomb

Publisher: Zondervan (2014)

I received this book for free from Zondervan for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Related Posts

The Relevance of the Reformation for the 21st Century

The Relevance of the Reformation for the 21st Century

Is Reformation theology still relevant today? Absolutely! It reminds us that we have a big God and that salvation is found in Him alone. We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, for God’s glory alone. And we know this because Scripture alone...

Reformation as Rediscovery of the Gospel

Reformation as Rediscovery of the Gospel

Countless historians have gone to great lengths to explain the Reformation through social, political, and economic causes.[1] No doubt each of these played a role during the Reformation, and at times a significant role.[2] Yet most fundamentally, the Reformation was a...

‘PROVIDENCE’ by John Piper

‘PROVIDENCE’ by John Piper

This last year has been a year of chaos, confusion, and conflict. This long season has left many Christians tired and weary. If an individual only had their ears open to the world, they would soon think that everything was out of control. However, in these constantly...


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.