“We are unapologetically intending a fresh start for the people called Methodist across the world,” said Dr. Billy Abraham at “Transformed! the Wesleyan Covenant Association’s Fourth Global Gathering” at Asbury United Methodist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday, November 9, 2019. “This is not simply a parochial North American matter. We are a global church and we are interested in a fresh start for a global version of Methodism… built on the rock of divine revelation in the scriptures and the reliably annunciated material given in the great creeds of the church, especially the Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed.”
In a wise, winsome, and often witty address entitled, “In Accordance with the Scriptures: the Bible and the Creeds,” Abraham, said, “Why do the creeds exist? Why did the great shapers and framers of the creeds bring them into existence? Just as they developed a list of books, they developed a canon or list of doctrines. The goal was to provide crucial basic teaching for the Church as a whole. It was our forebearers in the North African Church that developed this material and we are indebted to them.”
Abraham, the Albert Cook Outler Professor of Wesley Studies at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology (Dallas, Texas), went on to say, “When I was trained, the objection to the deep truths of the Christian faith was: It’s false, it’s irrational. How can you believe in that and science? Now, the objection is: It’s not false, it’s poisonous. These creeds were put together by people who were power-hungry and trying to impose their view of God and Christ on the whole of the church. This is just nonsense. This is appallingly bad history. The point of the creeds is not only to preserve the truth summary that’s meaty and accessible, but also as protection of the church against the elites.”
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