How would you rate the book "Credo" on a scale of 1 to 5 (the higher the score, the better the book)?

20% (1 vote)
40% (2 votes)
40% (2 votes)
0% (0 votes)
0% (0 votes)
I've never seen the book
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 5


You can mark me down as the person who voted this a one. The terrible typesetting in this book was alone enough to shift it down by a star or two, but sadly that was by far the least substantial of the things that I dislike about the book.

What else did I dislike:

  1. First and foremost, while the Remonstrance of 1610 is included at the back, outlining the general consensus amongst that group, what the book goes on to define as the position of that group directly contradicts their statements. While their may have been some in the camp that might have held extreme views, such as the idea that Christ was only an example not a redeemer, that definitely appears not to have been the group consensus. One can fairly trivially reject some of the extreme views, but to reject the extreme view does not necessarily imply that the entire argument was wrong.

    To have such a glaring error recurring in the text suggests that either no peer review of the text was conducted, or that the problem is more general than that. Secondly, as the author was at some point connected with a certain theological college as a professor (IIRC), to make such a statement reflects quite poorly upon the scholarship at said theological college. And the fact that it has been and continues to be used for pre-confession classes in the churches around here, in my opinion, reflects quite poorly on the churches themselves.

  2. Secondly, some of the scripture quotations intersparsed throughout the text seem no-so-closely related to the topic at hand. Not citing scriptural evidence in a book of this sort would definitely be a bad thing, but to me to make incorrect citations is even worse and casts doubt upon one's general level of scholarship.
  3. Thirdly, the passage that the book references from the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the output of Synod of Dordt (I don't think that the result of a synod should be dubbed canon) often seem out of place and scarcely related to the topics at hand. This may simply be a result of aiming to cover them in their entirely in a pre-confession class, but a failure to list them separately if unrealted seems to hint that they do support the passages in question.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that the entire Theological College is no good just because one professor is not particularly great. Granted, there are a few other ministers I could name that I also don't think highly of, one of which never attended the Theological College here in Canada. There are plenty of very good ministers out there who know their stuff, and most of them attended the Theological College either in full or in part of their education. By the same token, I would not fault all of the churches just because some hold the book in fairly high regard. There are three factors at play here: the minister, the consistory, and the congregation. The consistory and congregation are a bit of a mixed bag, because not everyone is the same. Every congregation probably has at least a few people that aren't particularly brilliant scholars, but it doesn't take very many of these type of people to formulate a bad impression. It's important not to stereotype the entire congregation because of this. In a small group like a consistory, it's a delicate balance. You can have some very good elders in there, but if the majority aren't quite as "scholarly", things might not go the way you think is correct. I've seen plenty of decisions made that I disagree with, in various different congregations. Picking your battles in these cases isn't always easy, because no matter how right you are, the majority may not care. But definitely if you see something you think is wrong, look into it first to see if you are right, and then get the discussion going. Sometimes it can take years for change to happen, so patience and perseverance is of utmost importance. Solving a problem is better than abandoning it.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that the entire Theological College is no good just because one professor is not particularly great.

Well, the actions of the faculty do reflect upon the institutions for which they work. And given that the total number of faculty members (currently) at the college is 5, even having one professor be not so great means that a fairly large percentage of the faculty is not-so-great. And, given that it seems that one professor teaches each component of the program, it doesn't seem likely that if one professor makes a mistake it will be quite so likely to come to light in a later course with a different professor. Hence, in this case one professor who is not-so-great can have a fairly big impact, and as such does reflect quite negatively on the institution at large.

You can have some very good elders in there, but if the majority aren't quite as "scholarly", things might not go the way you think is correct.

If the argument is demonstrably false, then regardless of whether or not the majority are "scholarly" it reflects poorly on them to accept the book if there is even one who brings this forward.

I think that one thing that we really do need to be extremely caution about in our circles is groupthink, and for that reason I do prefer places like Regent College to the afore-mentioned theological college. While I definitely don't agree with everything I've heard there, at least in that environment you will get a good idea of what other viewpoints are out there and the arguments that they set out - I think that there's a little too much ignorance amongst our circles as to what others actually believe.