First, before I get going, I've got to say that it's Brennan's birthday today - he just turned a year old. Whoa! Check out our photo album for more pics.
Anyway, I finally sent off my paperwork for Final Assessment, which included my Sermon (on Mark 10:35-45), Exegesis work on the text and my Statement of Faith - what I believe I believe. Or at least what I believe I believed when I wrote it, not that its changed or anything, but I'm still convinced that a Statement of Faith is a living document that would probably be re-worded and re-worked at different points in a person's life, and really should be. I mean, would you really use the same language to describe your faith at 12 as you would at 32 or 52? Not to say that you cease to believe what you believed or that you now believe something new, but you would probably articulate it differently. I think that's a good thing. Anyway, in case you were wondering or bored, I figure I'll share what I wrote. And that way you can also confirm in your mind just how heretical I really am, 'cause I know that some family and friends often wonder about me, now that I've gone to Princeton and all - ha!
Statement of Faith – Don Coleman
I believe in God who is one, in three. Father, Son and Holy Spirit, perfect unity in divine and holy community, always having existed and always to exist.
I believe in God who created the universe and who is continually at work nurturing and transforming everything to God’s eventual and perfect will.
I believe in YHWH whose manifest presence was revealed to Abraham, Sarah and Hagar, to Isaac and Rebekah, to Jacob, Leah and Rachel, to Moses and to Pharaoh, to the Israelite people and to the nations they conquered and were conquered by.
I believe in God whose voice both calls out in love and whose ear listens for our cries, whose eyes both watch us in our sleep and in our waking and whose hands both reach out in loving compassion and in righteous judgment. God who proclaims and enacts good news for the poor, sight to the blind and freedom for the captive.
I believe in God who I cannot control, cannot contain, and cannot even fully explain – but God who desires to make all creation complete by worshipping YHWH alone.
I believe in Jesus Christ, the only Son of God the Father, who from the beginning being fully God, was born some 2000 years ago in Palestine of the Virgin Mary, fully human in order to restore humanity to right relationship with God.
I believe in Jesus Christ who living rightly before God and humanity, died on a Roman cross in obedience to the Father, providing salvation to humanity, was resurrected on the third day, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for humanity.
I believe in Jesus Christ, the Word, the full revelation of God to humanity, sent by the Father as the perfect example of humility in service.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, sent by God the Father, upon the ascension of Jesus the Christ into glory, as the living and powerful presence of God in the world and in every believer, enabling us to lead lives of holiness and drawing us into communion with God and our fellow humanity.
I believe that humanity is created in the image of God; due to the fall it is under the effects of sin, but due to the work of Jesus, no longer subject to its power.
I believe that the Church is God’s chosen instrument to bring about the Kingdom of God on earth, good news for the poor, sight to the blind and freedom to the captive.
I believe that the Church is a sent community, called to relationship with God and sent to testify to and serve on account of the reconciling work of God in Jesus Christ.
I believe that the Bible is the reliable and infallible witness to God’s Word, inspired and authoritative in all matters of life and faith.
I believe that the Sacraments are divinely instituted signs, enacted by the community of faith whereby we testify to God’s reconciling work through Jesus Christ both in the world and in our lives. In Baptism, by the washing of water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we are welcomed into the community of faith, signifying and sealing our in-grafting into Christ. In the Lord’s Supper, we receive bread and wine, by faith taking part in the body and blood of Christ, whereby we are spiritually nourished so that we may grow in grace.
Let the debates on my orthodoxy begin...