A couple weeks back I had the chance to meet Peter Rollins while he was in LA for a few days. My friend Barry invited me and some classmates from Fuller over to his church for a conversation with him as we tried to process through some of our ongoing theological thoughts. I really enjoy Pete and what he’s doing. He’s a refreshing voice in what can often become a perpetual spew of vanilla theological jargon. Here is a little clip of him talking about the use of creeds in the emerging movement:
I think that one of the main reasons for this viewpoint is that the church is no longer a place of authority or perceived as the guardian of truth and so people have a hard time accepting statements of certainty. Faith itself is an uncertain practice and so anything that claims definitive answers is seen has misguided if not disregarded. Where I think creeds are helpful, and Pete gets at this a bit, are as conversation starters and historical markers of faith through the ages. It’s unrealistic to expect a person of faith to ascribe to something written and adopted in the forth century without questioning it and testing it against one’s own experience and contemporary theological thought. Unfortunately the church has fallen so far from the public consciousness that anything seen as traditional or dogmatic has been stained in the eyes of emerging believers. The statement “I’m spiritual but not religious” speaks to this mindset… people are interested in exploring the divine but are unsatisfied with the tools and institutions that claim that purpose. I appreciate creeds and their thoughtful search for the divine and I believe that their use in our context is to further the conversation of how faith is being expressed as we pursue the unknowable.