For my systematic and biblical theology class last semester, I got to write up a personal credo as well as a catechism. The intention of both the credo and the catechism was for me to develop material from which I would be able to teach others about a particular topic in theology. I chose to focus on questions of gender as it relates to theology (since I was working on other projects on a related topic) and came up with this credo which I have dubbed ‘A Cruciform Christian Feminist Credo’.
It’s a work in progress, and much of it needs to be refined and/or flushed out, but I think it’s a good start. I really enjoyed this project because it forced me to begin refining my own thinking, especially when it came to the catechism and proposing specific questions and crafting specific answers.
I based the structure of my credo off of the Nicene Creed. I sat down to write this without any sources, except for the Nicene Creed for reference, but as you can tell I’m largely influenced by the work of Michael Gorman, particularly with reference to his work on cruciformity. While this credo reflects my own personal beliefs (hence, “I believe…”), I am thankfully indebted to others who have shaped my own thinking. In addition to my own reading of Scripture, this credo represents years of thinking influenced by a number of teachers, authors, bloggers, etc. Additional influences (as it pertains to the topic of this credo) include Elsa Tamez, Sarah Coakley, Rachel Held Evans, Philip B. Payne, Beverly Gaventa, Carolyn Custis James, Christians for Biblical Equality, N.T. Wright, Richard Hays, my fellow Cataclysmic bloggers and friends, a number of other bloggers, and more… and of course my extremely gifted and learned HBU profs, past and present!
A CRUCIFORM CHRISTIAN FEMINIST CREDO
I believe in the triune God of Scripture, three in one and one in three.
I believe in one God, maker of all creation,
whom we call Father and who is also to us like a mother;
God is our heavenly parent.
God made humankind in his image, both male and female God made them,
to be equal bearers of God’s image and equal caretakers of God’s creation.
I believe that man and woman are equally responsible for Sin,
and both experience the corruption of the Fall.
Woman is no more prone to sin than man, nor man than woman.
The Fall resulted in broken relationships between God and humanity,
woman and man.
Patriarchy is a reflection of a fallen world and
not Godʼs original design for creation.
All of creation is in need of redemption.
I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Humankind,
who for men and women came down from heaven
to bring salvation, redemption, reconciliation, and restoration.
I believe both genders, male and female, are fully represented in the Incarnation.
I believe Jesus is the revelation of God, and in him all the fullness of deity dwells.
God is like Jesus, for when we see Jesus we are seeing God.
Jesus demonstrated the character of God
in his cruciform living, cruciform loving, and cruciform dying.
God vindicated Jesus, our cruciform Lord,
by raising him from the dead–we now await the resurrection to come.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, who gives life to all
and power to those who are ʻin Christʼ
to live life ʻin Christʼ which is to live as he lived–
cruciformly, cross-shaped, self-denying, radically-loving, God-glorifying.
I believe that Godʼs new creation– inaugurated by the Son and activated by the Spirit–reestablishes the equality of all women and men.
Within this new creation, Godʼs people, the church, actively seek out justice
for the oppressed and reconciliation for all
through the proclamation of and participation in
the gospel of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
I believe that cruciformity, that is, living and dying like Christ,
can and will transform this world through the power of the Holy Spirit.
1. See also my earlier post Kenosis, Cruciformity, and Feminism.
2. This idea comes from Thomas C. Oden’s discussion on “Was the Incarnation Sexist?” in his Systematic Theology. See my earlier post Gender and the Incarnation.
3. Michael Gorman, Cruciformity: Paul’s Narrative Spirituality of the Cross (p.48).