TODAY'S MILEAGE: 5 miles
Recently, a friend passed along a podcast of eminent historian Jaroslav Pelikan's 2003 interview with Krista Tippett on the radio program Speaking of Faith. Pelikan made lots of interesting insights into the importance of creeds in faith, but one statement has stuck with me for several days:
"Creeds act a bit like our flags. We look to them as representation of what we believe."
That quote may not be 100% precise, but that was the idea conveyed by Pelikan. Creeds may not capture or communicate all of the intricacies of our personal beliefs, but they do unify us to some degree. They are a bit of a rudder as we sail the seas of faith and life. They are a bit like flags. When Americans sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" or as hundreds of Mexican flags go up when Mexico scores a goal in the World Cup, the flag is a representation of history, present, and future. They represent where those countries have been in times of peace and war, joy and sorrow, unity and division. The creeds function in a similar way for Christians.
Unfamiliar with creeds? Two of the most recited creeds are the Nicene creed and the Apostle's creed. Millions of Christians around the globe affirm these creeds every day.
Get more podcasts from SpeakingofFaith.org. Read another Pelikan interview on Credo on Beliefnet.com.