The Flatlanders’ Creed by David Mills

The Flatlanders’ Creed

David Mills on Putting God in His Box

“I believe in God the Almighty Lord Creator, / I believe in Jesus the Savior of the people, / And I do believe in the power of the Spirit” runs (leaving out all the repetition) a creed now popular in some Anglican circles, indeed in some places used instead of the Nicene Creed in the Communion liturgy. Taken from South Africa, whose Anglican Church is the most westernized in Africa, it is sung to a very bouncy tune, which probably explains some of its appeal.

The tune, Louis Tarsitano wrote me, is “a critical detail here. The childish mind that hates the discipline of dogma is usually, at the same time, addicted to entertainment. Dogma is ‘boring,’ but finger painting your own ‘creed’ is ‘fun’.” The people I know who like this sort of thing intend to believe the full Nicene doctrine, if the choice is put that clearly, but simply do not know it well enough or love it deeply enough to say it when an entertaining alternative is on offer.

THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:


David Mills has been editor of Touchstone and executive editor of First Things.

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!


personal subscriptions

Purchase Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!


RENEW your print/online
subscription

Purchase
Online Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!


RENEW your online subscription

gift subscriptions

GIVE Print &
Online Subscription

Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for the reduced rate of $29.95. That's only $2.50 per month!


RENEW your gift subscription

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

kindle subscription

OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)

Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.


more from the online archives

32.4—July/August 2019

Sojourner Knight

on Single-Mindedness in Durer's Ritter, Tod, und Teufel by Anthony Costello

27.4—July/August 2014

The Things Freely Given

The Bible, Sacred Theology & the Mind of Christ by Patrick Henry Reardon

33.1—January/February 2020

Forbidden Lies

Speaking Truth About the Sexes Is Not Optional by Anthony Esolen

00