Instead, regard Christ as holy in your hearts. Whenever anyone asks you to speak of your hope, be ready to defend it. (I Peter 3:15 CEB)
Yesterday on the other blog I posted a link to a book review at The Little Friar, the blog of Julius McCarter. Further down the page I noted this statement of faith which I found so very refreshing. The link is in the title below — think about that title for a minute — which I hope you’ll click and read this at source. (If you know Latin, you’ll like the blog tabs.)
Every now and then, I’m asked to produce a personal statement of faith. I always find statements like that difficult to write, though I’ve written on that before.
But, in an effort to say what I believe, here’s what I’ve put down this morning. I’m sure it’s incomplete, as all statements of faith must necessarily be. And I’m sure that, given the varieties of life that will be tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, I’ll say it much differently. Any way …
I believe in one God who created the universe for good, who sustains it in wondrous order, and who calls it to fulfill its purpose in God.
I believe that God created human beings, male and female, in God’s own image, for communion with God and with one another. I believe, therefore, that God, whom we experience as personal, intends authentic personhood and relationship as the highest purpose for human beings.
I believe that the manifestations of God’s active benevolence toward creation are manifold, including:
- God’s character revealed in the beauty, order, and majesty of the universe;
- God’s revelation of a moral order, mysteriously the common heritage of all humanity;
- God’s special relationship with Israel, later to include the Church;
- God’s unique revelation in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ;
- God’s steadfast and continual involvement in human affairs to this day.
I believe that, since human beings fail to respond fully to God’s call to live out the purpose for which we were created, and since God is ever faithful to God’s purpose, God has always eagerly forgiven and restored all of his creation. I believe, further, that as the clearest statement of God’s love for creation, God in Christ reconciles the world to God’s self.
I believe that sacred scriptures, the Old and New Testaments, bear trustworthy witness to God’s character, God’s intention for creation, and God’s unshakable determination to effect God’s good purpose, especially as scripture bears testimony to God’s relationship with Israel, with the church, and quintessentially with all creation in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ.
I believe that God calls those who trust God and seek to fulfill God’s will to relate to individuals and to society in ways which reflect God-likeness as taught in the Torah, exhorted in the Prophets, and modeled in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ: namely, to demonstrate authentic personhood, to act toward others with steadfast benevolence, and to work for rightness in all spheres of life.
I believe that God, who created for good purpose, who patiently and unwaveringly loves even the most errant with love surpassing that of human mothers and fathers.
I believe that God – who has not left any age or any individual without evidence of that good purpose and faithfulness nor without the testimony of the Word who comes to all as light, life, and truth – will not cease working out that purpose for which God created and to which God calls all.
I believe that my hope for the world, for our lives in it, and for eternity rests on God’s faithfulness shown to all humanity throughout all ages, in particular to Israel and the church, and most especially as evidence in the faithfulness of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ.