Crisis of Confidence: Reclaiming the Historic Faith in a Culture Consumed with Individualism and Identity

By Carl R. Trueman

... Show All

Crisis of Confidence: Reclaiming the Historic Faith in a Culture Consumed with Individualism and Identity

By Carl R. Trueman

... Show All

Carl Trueman Analyzes How Ancient Creeds and Confessions Protect and Promote Biblical Christianity in a Culture of Expressive Individualism

Historic statements of faith—such as the Heidelberg Catechism, the Apostles’ Creed, and the Westminster Confession of Faith—have helped the Christian church articulate and adhere to God’s truth for centuries. However, many modern evangelicals reject these historic documents and the practices of catechesis, proclaiming their commitment to “no creed but the Bible.” And yet, in today’s rapidly changing culture, ancient liturgical tradition is not only biblical—it’s essential.

In Crisis of Confidence, Carl Trueman analyzes how creeds and confessions can help the Christian church navigate modern concerns, particularly around the fraught issue of identity. He contends that statements of faith promote humility, moral structure, and a godly view of personhood, helping believers maintain a strong foundation amid a culture in crisis. This is a revised edition of Trueman’s The Creedal Imperative, now with a new section on the rise of expressive individualism.

  • Updated Edition of The Creedal Imperative: Includes fresh cultural insights on modern individualism
  • Written by Carl Trueman: Author of The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self (100,000+ copies sold)
  • Theological and Historical: Explains why creeds and confessions are necessary, how they have developed over time, and how they can function in the church of today and tomorrow
  • Ideal for Pastors, Professors, and Those Interested in Liturgical Tradition

Read Chapter 1


Carl R. Trueman

Carl R. Trueman (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is professor of biblical and religious studies at Grove City College. He is a contributing editor at First Things, an esteemed church historian, and a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Trueman has authored or edited more than a dozen books, including Strange New WorldThe Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self; and Histories and Fallacies. He is a member of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

Product Details

Title: Crisis of Confidence
Subtitle: Reclaiming the Historic Faith in a Culture Consumed with Individualism and Identity
Published: February 06, 2024
ISBN-10: 1-4335-9001-8
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-9001-6
Category: Theology
History & Biography
Church Ministry
Retail Price: $27.99
Binding: Hardcover w/ Jacket
Trim: 6.0 in x 9.0 in
Page Count: 216

Table of Contents

Old Creeds versus the New Creed
Chapter 1: The Cultural Case against Creeds and Confessions
Chapter 2: The Foundations of Creedalism
Chapter 3: The Early Church
Chapter 4: Classical Protestant Confessions
Chapter 5: Confession as Praise
Chapter 6: On the Usefulness of Creeds and Confessions
Appendix: On Revising and Supplementing Confessions    
For Further Reading


“Carl Trueman’s defense of the creedal imperative is well-known and greatly appreciated. This revised edition gives us greater insight into why the creeds and confessions of the church are so helpful—and at a time when many denominations and churches seem to be adrift. We cannot afford to act as if we are the first to ever consider the great claims of Christian doctrine and discipleship. The creeds of the early church and the confessions of the Reformation are in fact God’s good gifts to keep us from idiosyncratic individualism. This book is worth reading, and its argument worth pondering afresh.”
Mark D. Thompson, Principal, Moore Theological College

“This little gem crystallizes a message Carl Trueman has been preaching for many years, and preaching very well: orthodox creeds and confessions are biblical, practical, and crucial to the revitalization of our churches. They are derived from the Bible, they summarize the Bible, and they ought to shape our leaders’ interpretations of the Bible. They also ought to shape believers’ doing of the word in corporate worship and daily Christian practice. I commend this book heartily to all who love the Lord, submit themselves to his word, and commit themselves to making disciples.”
Douglas A. Sweeney, Dean and Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University

“In Crisis of Confidence, Carl Trueman returns to his compelling argument for creeds and confessions in light of the contested issues of our strange new world. With clarity and pastoral insight, Trueman shows how historic creeds define us and bind us to the community of faith. They identify not only what we believe but also how we act and worship. Creeds are also peculiar in that we receive them and find our meaning in their confession. Trueman laments that too many today believe inner feelings determine outward identity. For them, authenticity is not received but produced by our deepest desires. Trueman’s timely book reminds us how creeds and confessions shape and inform our identity by pointing us always to the God who brings us authenticity by his gospel.”
Carl Beckwith, Professor of Historical Theology, Concordia Theological Seminary

“In Crisis of Confidence, Carl Trueman makes a fresh case for creeds and confessions. At a time when not only individuals but also churches are unsure of their purpose and identity, Christians have reason to be thankful for this useful update of an important book.”
Chad Van Dixhoorn, Professor of Church History and Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte

“In this remarkable book, Carl Trueman addresses the crises that plague both church and culture in the light of historic confessional formulations of our faith in the triune God. He offers a prophetic and apostolic call to return to the creedal confession of Christ and the Creator’s design for human living, which provides new life and guidance for how to live out the faith in our modern world. This book is a valuable resource for believers as they think through their own lives and the life of Christ’s church. It will help them remain faithful to Scripture and our Christian heritage as well as witness to the Lord in the twenty-first century.”
Robert Kolb, Professor of Systematic Theology Emeritus, Concordia Seminary

“I know of few people better equipped to write this book. As both a scholar and a pastor, Carl Trueman combines his expertise as a historian with some important biblical observations to make a convincing case. This book will prove to be immensely useful in today’s ecclesiastical climate.”
Mark Jones, Senior Minister, Faith Presbyterian Church, Vancouver, Canada

“Carl Trueman, again, has given us a stimulating book. He manages to demonstrate the relevance of creeds by showing how fresh the old ones are. This book is not only a must-read for those who stick to creeds without knowing why, or for those whose creed it is to have no creed, but for everyone who tries to practice the Christian faith.”
Herman Selderhuis, Professor of Church History, Theological University Apeldoorn; President, The Reformation Research Consortium

“Church leaders often dispute the need for confessions of faith on the grounds of the supreme authority of the Bible. In this timely book, Carl Trueman demonstrates effectively how such claims are untenable. We all have creeds—the Bible itself requires them—but some are unwritten, not open to public accountability, and the consequences can be damaging. Trueman’s case deserves the widest possible hearing.”
Robert Letham, Senior Research Fellow, Union School of Theology

“Carl Trueman’s case for what he terms ‘the creedal imperative’ of the Christian faith is spot-on. Trueman not only identifies but also deftly rebuts a number of traditional as well as more-recent objections in contemporary culture to creeds and confessions. On the one hand, he shows the untenability of the ‘no creed but Christ, no book but the Bible’ position of many evangelical Christians. And on the other hand, he defends the use of creeds and confessions that summarize and defend the teaching of Scripture without supplementing Scripture or diminishing its authority.”
Cornelis P. Venema, President and Professor of Doctrinal Studies, Mid-America Reformed Seminary; author, Christ and Covenant Theology and Chosen in Christ

"At a time when not only individuals but also churches are unsure of their purpose and identity, Christians have reason to be thankful for this useful update of an important book.”

Chad Van Dixhoorn

Professor of Church History and Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte