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.

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!

Online
Subscription

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

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.

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.


more from the online archives

25.6—Nov/Dec 2012

Clashing Symbols

The Loss of Aristotelian Logic & the Social, Moral & Sexual Consequences by Peter Kreeft

29.4—July/August 2016

Naked Truth

on Noticing That Modern Science Has Rendered Atheism Irrational by Harry Biltz

32.2—March/April 2019

The Boy Genius

Finding Him Again Through the Patriarchal Group by Anthony Esolen

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

00