Saturday, December 8, 2007
A Confession of Faith
Looking back on recent posts, I suspect I might be considered a rather curmudgeonly sort of Country Parson. I prefer to think of myself as a Christian realist firmly rooted in a classical Christianity that takes the Bible as progressively revealing the Word of God in truth without having to be taken as inerrant or literally and historically true in all things. That same classical Christianity honors thousands of years of tradition, recognizing that those who have preceded us and dedicated their lives to better understanding God may have some important wisdom to share with us. We, in our own generation, will become the next layer of tradition to help guide the way for generations yet to come. Whether our contribution to tradition is wise or foolish depends a lot on us, and there is a lot of foolishness out there. As a classical Christian I fully embrace the Nicene Creed, and delight in worship rich in liturgy that helps to create holy time and holy space. Setting all other things aside, I am convinced that the heart of Christianity is to follow as disciples where Christ has led. That means that we are to: love the Lord our God with all our hearts, bodies and minds; love our neighbors as ourselves; and love one another as Christ has loved us. As priest and pastor a part of my job is to help those in my care to come to deeper understandings of what all of that means and how it might be lived out in practical everyday ways. Finally, the right-wing challenge is always: yes, but do you believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation? The answer is an unequivocal yes, but probably not a yes acceptable to them because I leave all of that entirely in God’s hands and am unwilling to insist on certain human formularies as a test of whether one is saved or not.