Book Review: Know the Creeds and Councils, Justin S. Holcomb

For Each Day

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Know the Creeds and Councils, by Justin S. Holcomb, Zondervan, 2014

This small volume covers the ecumenical councils (synods of the church undivided, and accepted as foundational throughout the churches); important denominational councils,the significant creeds such as the Apostles’, Nicene and Athanasian; and the major catechisms. Holcomb acknowledges the political forces behind these documents, both secular and sacred, while steering carefully away from expressing support of any of the political views, historic or contemporary.

A concise reference that is orthodox and even-handed has been needed for decades. While not entirely ecumenical, nor neutral, it is concisely factual. Holcomb refers to the scriptural basis of the orthodox choices made by councils and synods. I can detect a subtle bias in Holcomb’s viewpoint. He is an Episcopalian (the American version of Anglican, part of the world-wide Anglican Communion) and although he teaches at a seminary in the Reformed tradition, he does…

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