I recently read the excellent book Trauma-Informed Evangelism. One of the offhanded remarks in this book really caught my attention and captivated my imagination. The comment actually was a reference to a different book, Christianity After Religion by Diana Butler Bass – which I am now very interested in reading also.
The insight was simple. It was this: try replacing the word “believe” in the apostles of nicene creed with “love and trust.” Since belief is not primarily about intellectual assent to abstract ideas, but love and trust in relationship.
I love this idea. I have tired it myself in my personal devotions and I would recommend it to you as well. Try reciting one of the creeds each day and replacing “believe” with “love and trust” as you say it. I have found it to be so meaningful. Add it it with your daily prayer or Bible reading regimen and see what it does for you. I would love to hear about any kind of fruit it bears in your life and heart.
For your help I have copied the creeds below and gone ahead and replaced the word “believe” with “love and trust” below. May God bless you in your confessional communion of love and trust.
The Apostle’s Creed
I love and trust in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I love and trust in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I love and trust in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
The Nicene Creed
I love and trust in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
I love and trust in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.
I love and trust in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father [and the Son],
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
I love and trust in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.