Letter to the Editor: Prayers for the Dead at Remembrance Services

Prayers for the Dead at Remembrance Services   Sir, Remembrance Sunday is an important and poignant landmark in our nation’s annual calendar, and a day to reflect, give thanks and pray for peace. We see church and civic life combine in silence and remembrance, as...

Evangelical Theological College of Asia

Evangelical Theological College of Asia Have you ever wondered if there was a sound reformed theological training institution in Asia?  The Evangelical Theological College of Asia is just such a school.  It is located in Singapore and its faculty are mostly from...

Prudence Dailey’s Commentary: Should Women Be Afraid of Men?

Prudence Dailey's Commentary Should Women be Afraid of Men? Recently, someone I used to work with shared on her Facebook page a link to an article from The Times magazine by the feminist writer Caitlin Moran. The substance of Ms Moran’s piece—rhetorically addressed to...

FIEC Updates Its “Values Statement”

FIEC Updates Its “Values Statement” The Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches recently updated its “Values Statement.”  It is well-worth your time to read.  There are FIEC affiliated congregations in England, Scotland, and Wales.   1. God-honouring and...


Lenora Hammond 1960-2021 Mrs Lenora Hammond, wife of Frontline Fellowship founder Dr Peter Hammond, died on 9 November.  She was six days short of her sixty-first birthday.  Frontline Fellowship is headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa. Mrs Hammond was born into a...

Archbishops’ Appointments Secretary to Retire

Archbishops’ Appointments Secretary to Retire “The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have paid tribute to the service of Caroline Boddington, who has announced she will be leaving the National Church Institutions (NCIs) at the end of 2021 after 17 years as the...

Book Review: The Lullingstone Secret

The Lullingstone Secret Jill Masters Wakeman Press, 2021 (ISBN: 9781913133115, 97pp, £5.95) Lullingstone Villa in Kent is a fascinating site to visit whatever one’s awareness of ancient history and is lavishly curated by English Heritage. Since its excavation in the...

Book Review: The Welsh Methodist Society

The Welsh Methodist Society The Early Societies in South-West Wales 1737-1750 Eryn M. White University of Wales Press, 2021 (ISBN: 9781786835796, 350pp, £24.99) In many respects, the church in Britain continues to live off the puttering afterglow of the eighteenth...

Eastern Rite Catholics: What Are They?

Eastern Rite Catholics What Are They? Former Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali’s recent defection to Rome has highlighted earlier efforts of the Roman Catholic Church to bring other ecclesiastical jurisdictions into its orbit.  There are a total of twenty-three which have...

The Athanasian Creed by Martin Davie

The Athanasian Creed

Martin Davie

London: Latimer Trust, 2019 (ISBN: 978-1-906327-58-3, 105pp)

‘The three creeds…ought thoroughly to be received and believed for they may be proved by most certain warrants of holy scripture’, affirms the eighth article of religion. And yet, one of these three is now, as Davie puts it, ‘the neglected creed’. For shame!

The Latimer Trust’s ‘Anglican Foundations’ series, covering topics such as the Articles, Homilies, Prayer Book, and various texts therein, is immensely valuable as a modern articulation and apology for the sound and venerable settlement of the English church. This volume of the series brings light to one of the least-known corners of that settlement.

The full-orbed Trinitarianism of the Athanasian is much needed tonic for the many churchmen who today glory in a claimed ‘credal orthodoxy’ while speaking blithely of an undefined ‘God’ rather than referring in a definitively Christian way to ‘the Lord’, or to ‘Christ’.

Particularly useful in this short book is Davie’s contextualisation of the Creed of Athanasius, locating its genesis in early sixth century southern France. Davie deftly synthesises the best available information to conclude that it was written ‘to strengthen and equip’ orthodox Christians suffering under the rule of Arian Visigoths. The struggle to maintain the confession of Christ’s divinity ‘whole and undefiled’ was fierce and demanding. 

Davie then charts the reception history of the Athanasian, including most strikingly the 1873 declaration of the Houses of Convocation defending its continued validity and use, followed dismally by the ‘radical, though unofficial, change in the status of the creed’ during the twentieth century. Universalism, modernism, rationalism, ecumenism, secularism, and clerical laxity conspired to exclude the creed from the practical life of the church.

Yet the struggle against Arianism remains for Christians today, albeit with less prominence than other points of dispute with the world. As we strive to maintain the faith on new fronts, we are not to concede ground held so gallantly by previous generations of believers. Davie’s book is a welcome exhortation to that effect.

Edward Keene, Little Shelford