But this was not all. Besides these writings, there was a traditional life, a complex of dogmatic and ethical doctrines, called by I Clement “the canon of our tradition.” The names of this tradition were: truth, Gospel, doctrine, commandments, tradition. All these words were used; theology points to the same thing: the living tradition beside the Old Testament, and the beginnings of the New Testament. But this was a large amount of material and it was necessary to narrow it down. First of all, for those who were baptised, it was necessary that they received and confessed a creed which made them members of the Church. So a confessional creed was created, which bore similarity to our present-day Apostles’ Creed, and which was, in its center, Christological, because this was what distinguished the Christian communities from Judaism as well as from paganism.

Baptism was the sacrament of entrance, and in this sacrament the one baptized – who at that time, of course, was an adult, coming from paganism – had to confess that he wanted to accept the implications of his baptism. He was then baptised in the name of Christ. Later on, the names of God and the Spirit were added But nothing was explained. All this was faith and liturgy, but not yet theology.

All these things are going on in the Church. Therefore the doctrine is the doctrine not of a philosopher of religion, but is the doctrine of the Church, expressing its conformity, its traditional doctrines, its baptism creed. This “Church” – derived from the Greek ekklesia, an assembly, i. e., an assembly of God or Christ: the original meaning is being “called out” of the houses, gathering together the Greek citizens to the city… etc.; similarly those who were called out of all houses and nations to form the Church Universal. Those people who are called out of the nations into the universal Church are the true people of God. They are called out of the barbarians, out of the Greeks, out of the Jews, – although the Jews anticipated it and had a kind of ekklesia themselves, namely as the people of God of the Old Testament. But they are not the true people of God, because the true people of God are universally called out of all nations.