Here’s a condensed version of my Statement of Faith:
- On God:
- Jesus Christ, fully human and fully God, lived, died for our sins, and was resurrected.
- All of us fall short, and our salvation was purchased for us by Jesus’s death on the cross.
- We do not earn our salvation and we cannot take any credit for God’s grace.
- On free will and sin:
- Made in God’s image, we were created with free will.
- We continually sin as we exercise free will.
- We cannot hold God responsible for evil; endowed with free will, “the buck stops with us.”
- On Scripture:
- Scripture was inspired by God, and God did not cause Scripture to be so esoteric as to be intelligible only to a few.
- The earth could not shield Moses from even a portion of God’s glory. Who are we to presume that behind human language we might withstand God?
- On political power:
- Christianity cannot justify any particular style of government.
- How can any historical earthly power claim to have been been irrevocably invested with God’s authority any more than its successors?
- On action:
- We are obligated to work for good and against wrong.1
- When we work, we must not do so in the hopes of receiving some reward from God. Salvation is neither a contest nor something to be bought.
- Instead, the reason we must work is this: how could we do otherwise, having been given the greater gift?
If you find anything vague, I would be happy to chat about it in person! I’ve been a Christian my whole life, but the first time I wrote down these beliefs was in 2021, when I formally became a member of a church in the Presbyterian Church (USA).
I first made this webpage in January 2024 and hope to keep it updated over time. I wasn’t confident about making it public but decided that I would rather not risk appearing to agree with things with which I disagree.
In my opinion, the most significant passage from Gospels is:
39And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. 40But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 41And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 42And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.
— Luke 23:39-43, KJV
The beginning of my favorite Psalm, Psalm 73:
1Truly God is good to the upright,
to those who are pure in heart.
2But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;
my steps had nearly slipped.
3For I was envious of the arrogant;
I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4For they have no pain;
their bodies are sound and sleek.
5They are not in trouble as others are;
they are not plagued like other people.
6Therefore pride is their necklace;
violence covers them like a garment.
7Their eyes swell out with fatness;
their hearts overflow with follies.
8They scoff and speak with malice;
loftily they threaten oppression.
9They set their mouths against heaven,
and their tongues range over the earth.
10Therefore the people turn and praise them,
and find no fault in them.
11And they say, “How can God know?
Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
— Psalm 73:1-13, NRSV
And a final verse:
20Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.
— Psalm 9:20, KJV
I am skeptical of the existence of supererogatory actions.