My Question: RZIM Statement of Faith

(Jules) #1

I was wondering how come in the RZIM Statement of Faith (i.e., the Apostels Creed) it states “…suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried; the third day he rose from the dead;…” and leaves out “He descended into Hell” part.

Is that part something Theologians do not agree over? I grew up in a Presbytarian church so we were taught the Creed with that sentence included.

Thank you!

(Jimmy Sellers) #2

@tudojoia, there is an on going discussion in the Daily Evangelism thread. @anthony.costello is doing a series on the Creeds. Here is a link and I am sure that your input and thoughts would be welcome.

Hope this is of interest to you.

(Kathleen) #3

Hello, @tudojoia! You have a good eye, and I’m glad you spotted that. I can’t speak for speak to the reasons behind it being left off the RZIM statement of faith, but @CarsonWeitnauer may be able to.

But I do know the meaning of that phrase is often debated. Most mainline Protestant churches who use the creeds in worship will include the phrase ‘he descended into Hell’. I’ve also heard some use the phrase ‘he descended to the dead’ or leave it out entirely. I’ve heard it said that John Calvin wondered if the phrase itself should be placed in between ‘was crucified’ and ‘died, and was buried’ since Jesus absorbing the wrath of God on the cross was essentially hell, or separation from God.

This Christianity Today article was an interesting read on some of the history behind it, and I’m sure a google search will produce a number of others. :slight_smile:

(Jules) #4

Thank you to both @Jimmy_Sellers and @KMac !!
Both the thead and link were helpful.

(Trina Dofflemyer) #5

Hi @tudojoia,

Over the centuries, theologians have debated the interpretation of the biblical phrase “preached to the spirits in prison” in 1 Peter 3:19. Although there are many different thoughts as to exactly what this phrase means, one view (in light of other scripture verses) is that Jesus literally descended into hell after his crucifixion. This view found its way into some versions of the creeds.

Parts of RZIM’s Statement of Faith were adapted from the Apostle’s Creed. As an evangelism ministry undergirded by apologetics, the scope and purpose of our ministry is to evangelize and to help train Christians in their witness with credible reasons for the hope they have in Jesus Christ. We seek to stay true to that mission and calling. Hence, we have carefully chosen to address the crucial non-Christian assumptions that particularly keep a person from faith in Christ rather than detailed doctrinal issues of debate within the Evangelical framework. Therefore, in following our ministry focus, we did not include the version of the Apostle’s Creed with the phrase “descended into hell” into our Statement of Faith.

I hope this might help clarify our Statement of Faith.

(Jules) #6

Yes! @Trina_Dofflemyer , great, thank you :v::raised_hands: