Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Statement of Faith

Here is a 'Statement of Faith' that my wife and I put together recently in response to "A Brief and Simple Statement of the Reformed Faith" by B.B. Warfield:

1. The Bible is full of inspirations from God and helps show us the way to live a good life, wisely and skillfully.

2. God is good and created all things and the Holy Spirit is in all things. God makes himself known through nature, wildlife, music, art, ordinary people, saints, Jesus, and other individuals.

3. Because God created all things, the universe is inherently good.

4. Because God created all things, man is inherently good. However, we are ‘sinners’ in that we get lost in selfishness (anger, greed, fear, delusion, and so on).

5. We seek to uncover our inherent goodness by putting God first in our lives. The Prayer of St. Francis is helpful: “Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. …”

6. God’s grace is always available. At each moment, we can choose God’s righteousness, peace and love rather than our own sinful nature. For example, we can choose to give thanks and to forgive others. And we can choose to stand up for what is right and good and true.

7. Christ shows the way, the truth and the light. He can be our way-shower, walking side-by-side with us each step of the way. He can redeem us and lead us out of darkness. Note - we are using 'Christ' in the post-Easter sense that Marcus Borg uses.

8. God’s love was so strong that it manifested through Jesus who died for all of us. Nothing can separate us from God’s love.

9. The Holy Spirit is in all things.

10. We can be redeemed by surrendering. As we surrender more and more, then through prayer, meditation, reading, fellowship, and so on, Christ, working within us, will reform our thoughts, speech and actions. The Jesus prayer is helpful: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner”.

11. Good works follow from uncovering and releasing our own inherent goodness, the “Christ within” (peace, love, joy, understanding, forgiveness, and so on).

12. We need the help of others to guide and support us as we develop our own personal relationship with Christ. In return we are called to help others in any way we can.

13. God will not leave us, even after death. Life is eternal and all those we love, and who love us, cannot be separated even by death.

As you can see, the language is very different than that used by Warfield and the theology is also different, although there is also much agreement. We could probably add to this but it is a point-by-point contemplation of what Warfield wrote.

No comments: