It has been a fun summer working through The Apostles Creed in the evenings. I never really had an appreciation for the depth of wisdom contained in this little document, but throughout the summer I was amazed at the implications of these little statements. There are some great resources that helped me to understand what it meant when I said, “I Believe”, these are some of those resources.
The first and most obvious one is the Heidelberg Catechism (HC). We used these 41 questions to aid us in directing our thought on what we were confessing. I love the HC for it’s straightforward Christ centered explanations. If you do not own a copy of this little catechism I would strongly encourage you to get one.
Here is a link to a free copy of the HC: http://www.reformed.org/documents/index.html?mainframe=http://www.reformed.org/documents/heidelberg.html
The second book that I used extensively was Affirming the Apostle’s Creed by J. I. Packer. At 149 pages this book is deceptively simple. I thought at first blush that this book may just go on the shelf and not be used much in my preaching, but I was dead wrong. I often found myself leaning on Packer’s explanations and argumentation to aid in my preaching of some complex issues. The beauty of this book though is that Packer does not overwhelm the reader with complexity, but instead dazzles with his simplistic approach.
To buy on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Affirming-Apostles-Creed-J-Packer/dp/1433502100/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1378762641&sr=1-1&keywords=affirming+the+apostles+creed
A third book that was helpful was The Heidelberg Catechism: A Study Guide by G. I. Williamson. This book was helpful in unpacking what the Catechism saw as the important points in the Creed. As usual Williamson can be counted on for clear cogent teaching as wells as helpful questions.
To buy on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Heidelberg-Catechism-Study-Guide/dp/0875525512/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1378762712&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=WIlliamson+Heidelgerg
In the same vein as Williamson’s book Kevin DeYoung’s book The Truth we Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism was a helpful aid. Some have found this book to be very helpful and I would agree, although I would read Packer and Williamson before this book. DeYoung writing style is clear and the way he applies the truths of the Creed is helpful.
To buy on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Good-News-Almost-Forgot-Rediscovering/dp/0802458408/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1378762783&sr=1-1&keywords=the+good+news+we+almost+forgot
It is my hope that the summer sermon series piqued your interest and that you were challenged to know what you believe and why you believe it. I think that you will find these little tools helpful in that regard.