Comment to 'How did we get from the Sermon on the Mount to the Nicene Creed?'
  • I embrace the ancient creeds and the scriptures as a disciple of Jesus. I am probably not as focused on "the simplicity" of discipleship as is popular today. Discipleship was comparable to the modern concept of graduate school. It was the institution at the time of Jesus that dealt with training in the most complex roles in society. Jesus did describe in detail in his teaching important ways that his disciples would be unique but he did not change the nature of the institution. The simplest way to understand the scriptures and creeds is to LOOK AT THE Scriptures and the creeds through the lens of what Jesus taught and from the perspective of being filled (continually and increasingly) with the Holy Spirit. This is what the expectation is for a disciple. When the New Testament was being developed the culture was an oral culture. This means that most of the people that it was intended to reach could not read,thus Paul's emphasis on public reading of his letters and scripture (Septuagint). This doesn't mean that the people were ignorant. Oral cultures are quite remarkable in the abilities that the people develop in passing down stories and teaching accurately. Jesus's style of teaching and use of parables was extremely learnable to these people. The early disciples were completely immersed in the teaching of our Lord Jesus first and foremost. They looked at the rest of the scriptures and creeds through the lens of what Jesus taught. Today in the western church this has been subtilty turned around and most Protestants actually tend to try to understand the teachings of Jesus through the writings of Paul. Think about it we use "the Roman Road" to start off new believers not the teachings of Jesus on counting the cost or hearing his voice as his sheep. This is a difficult time for many to understand this. I came to the Lord as a Jesus Freek we understood that the teachings of Jesus were radical and counterculture. Today there is a strong temptation to take part in the culture war. You can't fight the culture war and embrace the counterculture teachings of Jesus. That is why John teaches us to love not the world or the things in the world.