Salvation and the Rule of Faith

Over on my Google+ world a little conversation is unfolding around a question I asked regarding the Rule of Faith, and I thought I’d bring it over here as well.

In his landmark work, The Creeds of Christendom, Philip Schaff says the Ecumenical creeds contain articles of Christian faith “necessary and sufficient for salvation.”

Do they contain what’s necessary?

Are they sufficient?

I incline toward “neither.”

Did Christians without Matthew attain salvation without a virgin birth or is that not really necessary to believe in order to follow Jesus?

If a Jesus follower today believed that Jesus was raised from the dead, that he was the exalted Lord over all things, and devoted himself to serving Jesus, loving his destitute neighbors, and the like, but didn’t believe in a virginal conception and birth, would that person be excluded from the kingdom of heaven at the final judgment because he failed to believe this necessary point of the creed?

If we believe all these things but act like nincompoops our whole lives, is that sufficient for salvation or will Jesus say, “Depart from me, I never knew you, you workers of lawlessness,” thereby showing “belief” in these creeds to be insufficient?

I worry that the whole paradigm of points of doctrine that need to be believed for salvation is misguided. What do you think?

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