It is good to have such an interesting conversation to come back to.
In terms of personal reflection I was thinking yesterday about this first credal statement and the phrase 'Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things' came to mind. It seemed to me a wonderful thing that all of us humans, all angels, and all animals, birds, fish, trees, rocks, the whole universe, is united in a relation of createdness to God and with each other.
Especially in terms of other people it struck me forcefully that this first clause roots us in some sort of union with each other in God even before and apart from the Church. I wonder how much this unity of createdness really impacts my life as it is lived towards others. Yet, if we believe in the God who has created all things, then we must also believe in the shared createdness of all things.
But I have also been wondering about the origins of the creed. How far is it the product of an Imperial insistence that there be an official unity of sorts in the Imperial Church? How far is it so widely written that it encompasses a variety of theological positions - more than were allowed in later centuries? How far is it a personal and positive statement of baptismal faith? Are there two poles of personal and Imperial faith? Do these pull in different directions?
Rick, I understand what you mean about the possibility of any credal statement being exclusive, but I wonder how far it should be understood as an open invitation, a declaration of a salvific gift? This is what we have received! rather than, this is what we must believe!