Johnson, Terry L.
Carl Trueman Analyzes How Ancient Creeds and Confessions Protect and Promote Biblical Christianity in a Culture of Expressive Individualism
Historic statements of faith—such as the Heidelberg Catechism, the Apostles’ Creed, and the Westminster Confession of Faith—have helped the Christian church articulate and adhere to God’s truth for centuries. However, many modern evangelicals reject these historic documents and the practices of catechesis, proclaiming their commitment to “no creed but the Bible.” And yet, in today’s rapidly changing culture, ancient liturgical tradition is not only biblical—it’s essential.
In Crisis of Confidence, Carl Trueman analyzes how creeds and confessions can help the Christian church navigate modern concerns, particularly around the fraught issue of identity. He contends that statements of faith promote humility, moral structure, and a godly view of personhood, helping believers maintain a strong foundation amid a culture in crisis. This is a revised edition of Trueman’s The Creedal Imperative, now with a new section on the rise of expressive individualism.
Carl R. Trueman (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is professor of biblical and religious studies at Grove City College. He is a contributing editor at First Things, an esteemed church historian, and a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Trueman has authored or edited more than a dozen books, including Strange New World; The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self; and Histories and Fallacies. He is a member of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.
“Carl Trueman’s defense of the creedal imperative is well-known and greatly appreciated. This revised edition gives us greater insight into why the creeds and confessions of the church are so helpful—and at a time when many denominations and churches seem to be adrift. We cannot afford to act as if we are the first to ever consider the great claims of Christian doctrine and discipleship. The creeds of the early church and the confessions of the Reformation are in fact God’s good gifts to keep us from idiosyncratic individualism. This book is worth reading, and its argument worth pondering afresh.” -Mark D. Thompson, Principal, Moore Theological College
“This little gem crystallizes a message Carl Trueman has been preaching for many years, and preaching very well: orthodox creeds and confessions are biblical, practical, and crucial to the revitalization of our churches. They are derived from the Bible, they summarize the Bible, and they ought to shape our leaders’ interpretations of the Bible. They also ought to shape believers’ doing of the word in corporate worship and daily Christian practice. I commend this book heartily to all who love the Lord, submit themselves to his word, and commit themselves to making disciples.” -Douglas A. Sweeney, Dean and Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University
“In Crisis of Confidence, Carl Trueman returns to his compelling argument for creeds and confessions in light of the contested issues of our strange new world. With clarity and pastoral insight, Trueman shows how historic creeds define us and bind us to the community of faith. They identify not only what we believe but also how we act and worship. Creeds are also peculiar in that we receive them and find our meaning in their confession. Trueman laments that too many today believe inner feelings determine outward identity. For them, authenticity is not received but produced by our deepest desires. Trueman’s timely book reminds us how creeds and confessions shape and inform our identity by pointing us always to the God who brings us authenticity by his gospel.” -Carl Beckwith, Professor of Historical Theology, Concordia Theological Seminary
“In Crisis of Confidence, Carl Trueman makes a fresh case for creeds and confessions. At a time when not only individuals but also churches are unsure of their purpose and identity, Christians have reason to be thankful for this useful update of an important book.” -Chad Van Dixhoorn, Professor of Church History and Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte