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A Statement of Faith From a Christian Intellectual

  1. The Fundamentals

    • I believe in God, Creator and sustainer of all things, the source and destination of the universe.
    • I believe God’s personal love for me was demonstrated and incarnated in God’s material presence within the fabric of history in the person of Yeshua Messiah (Jesus Christ).
    • I believe in God’s ongoing communication and agency within the universe in the form of the Holy Spirit.
  2. The Relationship With God

    • I believe in the reality of a personal relationship with God through Christ, and I believe that relationship to be more primary and fundamental than any specific dogma, doctrine or ritual.
    • I believe all persons are equal in the sight of God through Christ, and that no church hierarchy or clergy member can or should stand between an individual Christian and God.
    • I believe the relationship with God through Christ transcends all borders and boundaries of nation and denomination.
    • I believe the relationship with God through Christ supercedes all constraints of law, morality, tradition and identity.
    • I believe the ultimate foundation of all human morality is in the relationship with God, and that no system of morality can successfully persist in isolation from that relationship.
    • I believe faith is less about simple belief in God and more about devoting oneself in service to God as founded in an attitude of absolute trust.
    • I believe that gaining and maintaining a relationship with God is the most important thing one can do in life.
    • I believe the moment of accepting Christ is the beginning of the Christian journey, not the end of it.
    • I believe we are called to seek God’s Kingdom on Earth as well as in Heaven
  3. The Bible

    • I believe that Old and New Testaments of the Christian Holy Bible contain our best written guide to understanding God and our relationship with God.
    • I believe it represents a severe abuse of the Bible to interpret everything it says in the most literal fashion possible.
    • I believe any meaningful reading of the Bible must be shaped and informed by the relationship with God.
    • I believe the best way to read the Bible is to take the canonical Gospels as the central message, and to interpret the rest of the Bible in relationship to the message of Gospels.
    • I believe that reading the Bible in this way reveals service to other human beings, with particular emphasis on the most disadvantaged, as the chief God-given task of any human life.
  4. Social Issues

    • I believe Christians have significant duties beyond evangelism.
    • I believe the calling of the church in this and all other eras is to seek social justice and to serve the most disenfranchised.
    • I believe the church has a special calling in this specific era of history to promote responsible stewardship of God’s creation.
    • I believe it is wrong and un-Christian for the church to neglect such duties in favor of legislating and enforcing codes of individual sexual morality.
  5. Science and Intellectual Understanding

    • I believe that God is in constant communication with all parts of the universe at all times, but that due to our limitations, we are only ever able to perceive only the tiniest fraction of that communication.
    • I believe the life of the mind is one of the chief gifts of God, and that the development and utilization of the mental faculties, with particular reference to service to others, is one of the chief duties of being human.
    • I believe the current state of animosity and hostility between the Christian and intellectual communities is detrimental to both.
    • I believe we do not, and cannot understand everything of importance about the universe, and that we do not and cannot understand everything of importance about God, and therefore that it is crucial to maintain an attitude of intellectual and theological humility.
    • I believe God calls us to bring our intelligence and sense of reason to bear in matters of faith. I also believe, however, that the paradoxes and inconsistencies we perceive within our religious conception of the universe are the result of unavoidable limitations in our understanding. I further believe the ability to approach such paradoxes in a spirit of intellectual humility is a key requirement for combining a life of faith with the life of the mind.
    • I believe that morality should lead science, rather than science leading morality. However, I also believe there is an inherent moral value to any truthful and accurate understanding of the world, and to the process of seeking that understanding.
    • I believe that scientific explanations of the world’s mechanisms do not conflict with religious understandings of the universe, except in the most shallow conceptions of each.

One Comment

  1. Indigo Sage wrote:

    As in the Bible, the Holy Spirit is mentioned very little in your statement of faith. To me it seems that the question of whether the Parent or Jesus deserves to be called “God” and worshiped as God depends entirely upon whether they are personifications of the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, I do not think that the divinity of the Holy Spirit depends upon its connection with either the Parent or Jesus. The Holy Spirit would be God (or in other words, would be worthy of worship) even if neither Jesus nor the Parent existed. Holy Spirit is the essence of God. Everything else about God is open to question. Perhaps that is why Jesus called lack of faith in the Holy Spirit, the only unforgiveable sin. Conservative Christianity’s insistence that faith in Jesus is the key seems to be at odds with Jesus’ own understanding of the importance of faith in the Holy Spirit.

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

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