In a recent lecture Richard Hays argued that the creeds guide imagination while the Gospels inspire our imagination. While I agree to a limited extent, the creeds are pieces of paper. They are a testimony to the Gospel but it is the people behind the creeds, the church leaders, the women and men, who affirm the creeds and defend them that are the “guides” for the imagination. It is the community of faith that serve as forces of discipline which determine of how people receive, read and interpret the historic creeds. Like a parent telling her/his child the truth about Santa Claus, “THE CHURCH” teaches the young convert (not young as in age but spiritual maturity) that the life of faith is also a tradition to be handed down to each generation. I think stating the obvious upfront and being truthful about this fact is the best way to approach creed-affirming Christianity.
For more on Hays’ lecture, see Peter Leithart’s notes at First Things. I hope there’s an audio file for this that’ll be made available. Hays is still responding to his debate with NT Wright. Speaking of Wright, Rachel Held Evans is hosting: Ask NT Wright. Check it out!