Chapter 1: The Creedal Imperative for Bible Believers * Why Creeds? * The Ecumenical Creeds * Canon and Creed * Do We Need Creeds? Chapter 2: Believing in the Father * Faith * God the Father * Creator and Creation Chapter 3: Believing in the Son * Jesus Christ, the Son of God * The Virgin Conception * Suffered under Pontius Pilate * The Death of Jesus * The Descent of Jesus * The Resurrection of Jesus * The Ascension of Jesus * The Session of Jesus * The Return of Jesus Chapter 4: Believing in the Spirit and Belonging to the Church * The Holy Spirit * The Church Communion * The Forgiveness of Sins * The Resurrection and Eternal Life Appendix: Apostles' Creed Synopsis
The Apostles' Creed is chiseled in stone in the chapel of Beeson Divinity School, and every candidate for admission is asked to write an essay on it. Thank you, Michael Bird, for a fresh exposition of this classic expression of our Christian faith. Thank you for reminding us of what too many Protestants, evangelicals no less than liberals, have forgotten: Creeds matter! -- Timothy George, , founding dean of Beeson Divinity School of Samford University and general editor of the Reformation Commentary on Scripture You know what I love about Michael? He writes in a colorful, accessible, and engaging way even though he is a scholar of epic proportions; he writes to regular people like me. I'm going to take the Staff of Transformation Church through What Christians Ought To Believe and I will use it introduce new Christians to the faith. -- Derwin L. Gray, , Lead Pastor Transformation Church, author of The High Definition Leader We all have a tradition through which we read Scripture, and Michael Bird argues that the Apostle's Creed ought to be that tradition. Far from competing with the Bible, this ancient summary of the faith is an aid in rightly understanding the Bible. Bird approaches the creed as a syllabus for teaching basic Christian belief, and like the experienced professor that he is, guides his readers through the creed by highlighting the contours of the narrative and the convictions of the faith. Mike's books have been a constant source of encouragement for me, and in this one, the Bird soars high in showing the sweeping narrative of Scripture and the core beliefs that emerge from it. I'm grateful that because of this book many will be able to say with more conviction and clarity: 'I believe.' -- Jeremy Treat, , Pastor at Reality LA; professor at Biola University; author of The Crucified King The genius of this book is the way in which it makes profound truth a pleasure to read. The general reader will be both engaged and richly encouraged by Bird's winsome exploration of the Apostle's Creed. His direct and even chatty style makes you feel as if you are visiting an ancient Cathedral in the company of a friendly and yet knowledgeable tour guide. I would commend What Christians Ought to Believe to study groups and to individual Christians looking to deepen not just their knowledge of the Christian faith but their knowledge of the Triune God. -- Rev Dr. Michael P Jensen, , St Mark's Anglican Church, Sydney Michael Bird has done a huge favor for those whose traditions need to be reacquainted with the Apostles' Creed as more than a pedantic statement. He uses the creed as it was intended to be used - to teach and form Christians in the living way of Jesus! Well-researched and engagingly written, Bird's volume will prove valuable in both church and academy, for those considering Christian faith as well as seasoned saints. His wit, clarity, and scholarship reflect the inherent winsomeness of the theological task and of a creed-contoured faith. I'm already looking for ways to use it. -- Don J. Payne, , Associate Professor of Theology and Christian Formation, Denver Seminary What Christians Ought to Believe is more than a clear, concise exposition of the essential tenets of faith informed by the very best of biblical and theological scholarship. With deep-rooted evangelical conviction and his trademark wit, Professor Bird also makes a compelling case that even committed biblicists can appreciate the beauty, instructional value, and fidelity to Scripture found in the ancient creed. -- Rhyne R. Putman, , Assistant Professor of Theology and Culture, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
Michael F. Bird (PhD, University of Queensland) is lecturer in theology at Ridley Melbourne College of Mission and Ministry in Melbourne, Australia. He is the author of Jesus and the Origins of the Gentile Mission, The Saving Righteousness of God: Studies on Paul, Justification, and the New Perspective, Evangelical Theology, Bourgeois Babes, Bossy Wives, and Bobby Haircuts: A moderate Case for Gender Equality in Ministry and editor of The Apostle Paul: Four Views. He is also a co-blogger of the New Testament blog "Euangelion."