The Gospel in Christian Traditions
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Throughout the history of Christianity, there have been theological disputes that caused fissures among the faithful. There were the major ruptures of the Great Schism of 1054 and the Protestant Reformation. Since the Reformation, though, there has been an eruption of new denominations. The World Christian Database now list over 9000 worldwide. And new denominations are created every day, often when a group splits off from an established church because of a dispute over doctrine or leadership. With such a proliferation of denominations, could there possibly be one core Christian message that all churches share? That's the question that Ted Campbell sets out to answer in this book. He begins his examination of Christian doctrine where it started: in the gospels. He then shows how the gospel has been received and professed by Christian communities through the centuries, from the first "proto-Orthodox" Christian communities right through the modern evangelical, Pentecostal, and ecumenical movements. Campbell shows that, despite all the divisions, there is indeed a single unifying core of the faith that all Christians share. In the process, he offers a brief, well-written, and acceptable history of Christian doctrine that will be ideal for courses in the history of Christian thought.
customary for Catholics to bow as a sign of reverence for Christ’s incarnation during the words “by (the power of) the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man.” The Catholic Church also utilizes the Apostles’ Creed at baptism, as a means of teaching the faith, and at mass in some countries. Thus by the solemn recitation of the creeds, the ancient churches reafﬁrm the core of the Christian gospel that had been proclaimed from the earliest moments of the Christian
the gospel in christian traditions Christ’s incarnation, suffering, death, and resurrection. The gospel in the ﬁrst place continues to denote in ancient churches the simple narrative of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. But what else does the gospel mean as it is received and transmitted in the ancient Christian churches? Embedded in the creeds, the simple narrative of the works of Christ took on additional meaning as a norm by which heterodox teachings could be addressed by the churches.
associated with sin offerings or the paschal sacriﬁce, it is crucial to understand that in the context of ancient sacriﬁcial cultus, not only in Israel but in the ancient world more broadly, sacriﬁce had a very wide range of meaning including the simple act of making an offering to God, signs of the divine acceptance of the offering, and restored fellowship represented in a shared meal. Sacriﬁcial language would become problematic later in the church’s experience when sacriﬁce itself became a
Basiliscus, given in Evagrius Scholasticus, Ecclesiastical History III:4 (in Michael Whitby, tr., The Ecclesiastical History of Evagrius Scholasticus [Translated Texts for Historians series, vol. 33; Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2000], p. 134). The decree refers to “the creed composed by the 318 holy Fathers who in company with the Holy Spirit were assembled in Nicaea long ago . . .” Although this could be construed as a reference to the original (325 c.e.) text of the Nicene Creed,
(Monumenta Germaniae Historica series, vol. 9; Berlin: Weidmann, 1892), p. 72. 50. Latin text in Clemens Blume, SJ, ed., Sequentiae Ineditae: Liturgische Prosen des Mittelalters, vol. 4 (Analecta Hymnica Medii Aevi series, vol. 34; Leipzig: O. R. Reisland, 1900), no. 23, De Sancto Sepulcro, pp. 27–28; my translation is based on the received text in the Western church, where the second line of the verse 1 is immolent Christiani and the second line of verse 2b (as it is identiﬁed in Blume) is