This I Believe: A Public Square Confession

I believe that everything we can and cannot see is the creation of the eternal God.

I believe that our impulses to unify things are due to the fact that we were created by the God who is Himself One.

I believe that our impulses to distinguish things are due to the fact that we were created by the God who is Himself, in another sense, Three: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

I believe that community and hunger for love are built into us because God Himself is a loving community of Persons, who have eternally given Themselves to One another.

I believe that God created man good, patterned after Himself, and started him on a path of glorification, receiving better and better gifts and being transformed, simply by God's freely-given goodness.

I believe that God gave man dominion over the world, not to pillage and destroy, but to echo and image God's own benevolent dominion over the world - a dominion that includes the sending of sun and rain and all else that the creation requires.

I believe that man brought death and evil upon himself and the world under his dominion by calling the goodness of God into question, trusting and serving himself and his own judgment rather than the God who made him and showered him with all good things. He thus removed his ultimate faith from where it belonged and placed it upon his own shoulders.

I believe that God is both loving and faithful. His love is an overflow of the communion between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, upon His creatures. His faithfulness means, in part, that He will not allow man's ruinous course to transpire without judgment; it also means that His commitment to His creation will nonetheless not waver.

I believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as the One who reveals Himself in history, who sovereignly chooses His people, and walks with them through their foibles and their triumphs. The triumphs are His gifts; and the foibles He takes upon Himself, as He binds His name to His people.

I believe in Jesus Christ, the eternal Son made flesh, fully God and fully man, who entered without reserve into the human condition, living life as the truly human One.

I believe Jesus Christ was the object of culpable plots against His life, but that His death was a voluntary laying down of His life for the sake of others, and that in His death, in principle the old corrupted creation died upon His back.

I believe that Jesus Christ rose on the third day, and just as the old creation died in His death, the new creation came into being with His resurrection.

I believe that Jesus Christ ascended into heaven, where as the One who remains both fully God and fully Man, has dominion over all things, in perfect fulfillment and glorification of the original dominion God gave to man.

I believe that God the Father through Jesus Christ has sent the Holy Spirit to draw together a community united to the Trinity and to each other by way of baptism, transformed by the power of Christ's love and the energy of His Spirit, and reaffirmed in unity by participating in the festive and solemn gift of the Lord's Supper.

I believe that this community, called the Church, is made up of people who have been called into the new creation of the true Man Jesus, and are therefore holy (set apart); I also believe this community is made up of people who still share profoundly in the old creation, still live with the body of death, and are therefore still corrupt.

I believe that this community is beloved of God, not because it is sufficiently good to curry His favour, but because He is efficiently faithful to bestow it.

I believe that this community is called to pattern itself after the character of the true Man, Jesus Christ, giving itself for the sake of the world, exercising dominion, not through tyranny, but through loving service, calling upon all to worship (bow the knee to) the King of all, acknowledging in faith (trust) that the One who knows best for mankind and all the creation is the One who Himself created all things, knows all things, and orders all things.

I believe that the new creation which began in the resurrection of Jesus Christ will be completed when, at His return, all human beings will be resurrected - some to the eternal joy of those who become all that they were created to be; some to the eternal frustration, alienation, and terror of those who become that which they aimed at, namely existence without the benevolent presence of the God who gives all life and meaning.

I believe that God gave men minds to reason, emotions to feel, and bodies to act. I believe that reason is a gift, but is no more absolute than one's physicality. The man who claims to judge all things by virtue of his reason is no different from the man who judges all acts by the extent of how much they give pleasure to his body: he worships himself and thus makes himself God. I believe that the real God will not allow this false worship to take place with impunity.

I believe that the Bible is the Word of God, and trust God's own infinite, trustworthy recollection of events which He both witnessed and oversaw, rather than the suppositions of finite human beings who were not there and who, in their corruption, are not unbiased witnesses, but rather have a stake in suppressing the truth. I trust God's own infinite, trustworthy assessment of how things are, rather than the suppositions of finite human beings whose knowledge is limited and whose judgment is skewed. And I trust God's own infinite, trustworthy promise of how things shall be, rather than the speculations of finite human beings who do not know what will happen tomorrow or one minute from now.

I believe that I am small, weak, and sinful, but that God's faithful love makes me significant, empowered, and set apart; and that my alienation emerges into sonship through the death and resurrection of His own beloved Son.

— Tim Gallant, July 2009

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