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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
224 pages
Nov 2005
Crossway Books

Credo: Believing in Something to Die For

by Ray Pritchard

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


The subtitle to this book is, “Believing in Something to Die For.” And so, in nineteen short chapters, the author elaborates upon those words. He unfolds the gospel in all its glory through the Apostles’ Creed, that ancient and most widely accepted of all Christian doctrinal summations. Although one may not agree with the methodology of the book (i.e., using the creed rather than Scripture itself as the primary text), the content is thoroughly biblical and Christ-exalting. From the very first chapter on, Pritchard emphasizes the authority of God’s Word by stating it as such, by quoting it, and by explaining it in order to support the points that he is making through the creed.

Since the creed is very basic and orderly in its presentation of the gospel, the book, by following the creed’s own structure, flows quite nicely from God the Father to Jesus Christ to His death, resurrection, and ascension, and lastly to the church. Along the way, the author has informative and insightful chapters on biblical creationism. He takes hard-line conservative stances on issues such as the creation vs. evolution debate: “That’s why compromise positions such as theistic evolution never work. They attempt to join two things—creation and evolution—that are fundamentally incompatible” (p. 45). The first four chapters bore into the reader’s mind the centrality of the God of the Bible to the Christian faith and to any viable worldview. However in chapter 4, he quotes Pope Benedict XVI, who by no means is an evangelical conservative. He also demonstrates some theological fuzziness when he elaborates on how God designed him to have “a passionate love for pepperoni pizza, chocolate pie, and chicken-fried steak” (p. 49).

Throughout the book, Pritchard does a solid job of compactly delineating truths about Christ, salvation, and the church. The pieces on the virgin birth and the use of “Lord” for Jesus Christ are well done. Unfortunately, his take on, “He descended into Hell,” lacks exegetical and theological precision that would have cleared up much confusion. His interpretation of 1 Peter 3:18-19 leaves much to be desired, as he does not delve into the Greek grammar. His choices of illustrations such as belief in the resurrection and going “all in” in a poker tournament make the point, but could have been stated in a less lighthearted manner. On p. 161, his story about “Catholic Joe” leaves the reader confused as to his stance on Roman Catholicism’ compatibility (or lack thereof) with Protestant Evangelicalism.

Overall, the book does a good job of presenting the gospel. It is more than just a brief survey of the Apostles’ Creed. He uses a wealth of quotes from pastors and theologians, vivid and personal illustrations, and excerpts of Scripture that reinforce everything he is stating. Yet one comes away from the book wondering if the shelves really need a book like this one. Surely the church never tires of hearing old truths. But there are so many works, both older and newer, that perform a similar task. The book does honor Christ and His Word. And for that, this reader is thankful. – Jason Park, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

The Apostles’ Creed is the most widely accepted creed of the church. Brief but powerful, it is so clear and biblical that all branches of Christendom enthusiastically embrace it. When we stand up together and say the creed that begins with, “I believe,” we are expressing many of the core beliefs of the Christian faith.

But have you ever thought about what you’re saying? Whether you recite the Apostles’ Creed every week or hardly ever, all Christians should understand what it means and why it’s important. Pastor Ray Pritchard examines this great creed line-by-line, point-by-point. His explanations are vibrant, thorough, accessible, and firmly rooted in Scripture.