4 VIEWS ON HISTORICAL ADAM.
The point Machen makes concerning how controversy gave birth to
much of the New Testament, especially the letters, can be extended to
the creeds of the church. Throughout history, as significant theological
disagreements have emerged, they have constrained the church to
clarify beliefs that distinguish Chris tian beliefs from erroneous beliefs.
Painful as conf lict has been for the church, the convening of councils —
beginning with the Jerusalem Council during the days of the apostles —
to engage competing beliefs and to formulate expression of the common
faith has been necessary. Wisdom constrains us to be grateful for Christians
preceding us whose close and careful devotion to quests for truth
brought about the great creeds that Chris tians universally confess.