Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Reading is Believing

David Cunningham has been a recent discovery over the past few years for me, beginning with his These Three Are One, one of the most accessible and relevant books on Trinitarian theology I've ever come across. (How often do you find a theology tome that includes words for a new hymn?).

Cunningham has a profound interest in the reception of theological doctrine, not just its formation (see his Faithful Persuasion).

This work, Reading is Believing, sees him trying to explore the Apostles' Creed for the general laity in the form of a book/film-club.

Interesting idea; I've just finished his section on the incarnation which (rightly) cooks a snoop at unwitting modern Christian docetism by holding up The Last Temptation of Christ as a profound meditation on Jesus' full humanity.

I'll post the best bits (as I see them). But to start with I loved his charming advert to the legendary origins of the Apostles' Creed:

Apparently, so the story goes, it began with the 12 disciples (Matthias replacing Judas) sitting together when Peter pipes up, 'I believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth...', to which Andrew adds, 'And in Jesus Christ, God's only son, our Lord'.

I fondly imagine each apostle pitching in one at a time with their reflections. Most poignant of all, to whom is the fifth article of the creed ('Descended into hell, on the third day rose again from the dead') ascribed in the legend? Why, who else but that great doubter: Thomas.

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