Oh yes, I could believe that

I remember a few years ago — about 1999, 2000? — when The Center for Progressive Christianity (and particularly their Eight Points) was all the rage in UU Christian circles. I don’t hear nearly as much interest now — I don’t hear as much griping about the Principles and Purposes either, so perhaps my sampling mechanism is at fault — but I’ve kept my ears open for other formulations that others might find useful.

So what about the Statement of Faith of the United Church of Christ, and particularly the newer “doxological” version? I’m sure its origins and use as a denominational document has kept it underrecognized, but it should get a wider hearing, especially since it is old enough to have its own literature and critique.

7 Replies to “Oh yes, I could believe that”

  1. I am partial to the Creed of the United Church of Canada. We have used it in worship at the campus ministry a number of times, and it works really well. I think we are going to use it at my ordination.

    We believe in God:
    who has created and is creating,
    who has come in Jesus,
    the Word made flesh,
    to reconcile and make new,
    who works in us and others by the Spirit.
    We trust in God.
    We are called to be the Church:
    to celebrate God’s presence,
    to love and serve others,
    to seek justice and resist evil,
    to proclaim Jesus,
    crucified and risen,
    our judge and our hope.
    In life, in death, in life beyond death,
    God is with us.
    We are not alone. Thanks be to God.

  2. I like this statement of faith – easy to understand, positive, not too bogged down in dogma / complex theology etc. I do not agree with it fully but thats not the point. As it happens, I personally find the 8 Points of TCPC much more fitting for my own personal outlook and faith.

  3. Which did you like Matt, the United Church of Christ (USA) one, or the United Church of Canda creed Chris typed out? Or both.

  4. In an effort to prove the existence of the collective unconscious, I started an online discussion (Ship of Fools) on the United Church of Canada’s Creed that ChrisT wrote out only last week. Apart from the people who were annoyed by the presumption in saying anything but the Nicene Creed, the main criticisms appeared to be that the language was too simple/simplistic, and the phrase “We are not alone” sounded too much like the X-Files.

    The United Church of Christ creed seems OK to me, though not particularily exiting. Better than the Nicene Creed, with it’s Jesus-shaped hole in the middle and carefully worded heretic detecting phrases.

    I have always found the 8 points to be rather weak, to be honest. But that may be because when I go on the associated bulletin board, no one seems to be able to coherently explain to me why those 8 points were chosen and what they mean to people who subscribe to them. (Anyone want to help me out?)

  5. Either I imagined it or am just getting confused but I’m sure I initially read one akin to that in Chris T’s post but which started with “We believe in One God” – it was this one I was referring to. As it happens, I like the ones on the United Church of Christ page as well but prefer the brevity of the United Church of Canada statement. I guess the more succinct such a statement is, the more likely it is to be inclusive (but thats not always the case). Also, whilst I enjoy more poetic (arguably archaic) language, there is something to be said for plain contemporary English (that’s the Yorkshireman in me).

    In relation to Peacebang’s point about Progressive Christian UUs, I once exchanged a few emails with a Progressive Christian UU site owner but her understanding of ‘progressive’ seemed to be in relation to US politics – not TCPC.org. I do think Unitarian Christians could gain a great deal from linking up with Progressive Christian networks – and did consider trying to embark on a project to encourage this. Far too often, Unitarian Christians I know look the Hungarian churches (esp. their catechism) for inspiration / guidance / resources but some of the TCPC resources etc (and those of other churches such as UCC) are far more suitable in my opinion.

    A problem with having Progressive Christian UU / Progressive Unitarian Christians is that it is yet another subgroup. Also, whilst the American section of the TCPC seems very open to UU input, a leading member of the UK counterpart – when I approached about links between Unitarians and Progressive Christians – firmly expressed the opinion that he was against it because it would discredit them within mainstream churches.

    I think what I have learnt from Scott’s blog and others is that there is less of this divide in the USA with the UCC, Disciples’ Church etc often having UUs within their midst. It seems more of a melting pot than in the UK where people seem to stick more to their denominations – especially in terms of Unitarians.

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