Original Research

Rethinking the reciprocity between lex credendi, lex orandi and lex vivendi: As we believe, so we worship. As we believe, so we live

Mary-Anne Plaatjies-van Huffel
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 76, No 1 | a5878 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v76i1.5878 | © 2020 Mary-Anne Plaatjies-van Huffel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 November 2019 | Published: 17 August 2020

About the author(s)

Mary-Anne Plaatjies-van Huffel, Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa


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Abstract

The Catholics order is from the way they worship to the way they behave (lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi). Protestants, on the other hand, commence with the question, ‘What are we to believe?’ The Protestant order would therefore be lex credendi, lex orandi, lex vivendi. Lex credendi is the law of belief (what we believe). Lex orandi, lex credendi, literally means the law of prayer (the way we worship) is the law of belief (what we believe) or the law of praying (lex orandi) constitutes or establishes the law of believing (lex credendi). As we believe, so we live (lex credendi) forms the basis and foundation of both the Catholic doctrine and the Catholic moral life. Lex orandi, the law of prayer (the way we worship) has to do with the enactment of the liturgy itself. In this article, I argue that the liturgy of life (lex vivendi) makes apparent what we believe. Lex vivendi [the rule of life] therefore pertains to how one should conduct oneself in a specified way, especially in relation to others regarding the teachings of the church as well as to ethical and social questions. Lex vivendi has to do with the faithful living of the Gospel. This article will therefore attend to the following: the meaning of lex credendi, lex orandi, lex vivendi; expansion of adage to lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi; justice and lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi; interplay between lex credendi, lex orandi, lex vivendi in Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA).

Contribution: From the perspective of Protestant dogmatics, this article aims to contribute to the reflection on the notion fides quaerens intellectum [faith seeks understanding].


Keywords

lex orandi; lex credendi; lex vivendi; lex (con)vivendi; liturgy; life and conduct; liturgy of life; prayer; preaching; worship

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