What follows is a rather “academic” and “theological” statement of faith, which I produced in preparation for ordination. This is not to say it is lifeless or without conviction. But if you find this hard to digest, the best thing is to just dialog with me about any questions you have.
The gospel is like a complexly cut diamond viewed from many angles and in different lighting. It is a living, multifaceted truth, best understood in context of and conversation with scripture, and best lived out in day-to-day reality. I invite you to join me on the journey of following Jesus together.
My faith in the Triune God begins and ends with Jesus Christ, through whom I know the Father and of whom the Holy Spirit witnesses.
It is God the Son, the Living Word, the Eternal Logos, Jesus Christ, who took on a human body, lived a human life, and died a human death: an incomprehensible mystery of true and complete divinity and true and complete humanity, together, one. By means of his sinless life, death, and resurrection, Jesus conquered sin and death, making the way for any human, including me, to be reconciled to God. Jesus models true humanity, intercedes before the Father, sends the Holy Spirit, and supplies God’s righteousness because I have none of my own. Jesus is the head and center of God’s Church. And Jesus shall preside over the end of history as all humanity’s judge, and redeemer of every believer. As one called, elected, and preserved by the sole initiative of God, I need not fear this day.
It is God the Holy Spirit, the advocate, the helper, the wind and breath of God indwelling me, who makes me truly alive, though I was dead in sin. The Holy Spirit leads me into deeper communion with God, continually speaking to me through God’s Word written, the Hebrew Bible and New Testament; God’s Word proclaimed in preaching; and God’s Word enacted in the sacraments: claiming and cleansing me in the waters of Baptism and spiritually nourishing me in the Lord’s Supper, where Christ is spiritually present to welcome me. The Holy Spirit reminds me that, as a child of the covenant, I belong to God: in life and in death, now and always. The Spirit seals me and all the elect as God’s own, adopted child. The wind of the Holy Spirit is always blowing in my life, God’s Church, and the world God loves, calling all to reconciliation with God.
It is God the Father, the divine parent and creator of all things, who is love, truth, wisdom, mercy, justice and grace. It is the Father, together with the Son and Spirit, who has brought into being all creation, and who remains Sovereign over it. It is the Father who delights in calling me “child,” who supplies my every need, and who holds me in a wise, good, firm and loving hand. Such is the Father’s delight in me that he sent Jesus Christ to live and die for me, and continually sends the Holy Spirit to enliven, uphold and counsel me, sustaining, protecting and guiding me as only a perfect mother and father could do.
The Triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—is One. God alone is God. God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent over all things, seen and unseen. Nothing is excluded from divine sovereignty, nor is there a single thing that surprises God. God is love, truth, grace, goodness, wisdom, justice, mercy, and light. God has no equal. All this God always has been, always is, and always shall be. All this God always has done, always does, and always shall do. All that God is and does is perfect, whole, complete, pure, and good.
So here I stand: a sinner prone to wander, yet redeemed and sealed by divine love, assured a place in God’s family for all eternity. How shall I respond? God gives me one more gift I do not deserve and cannot even receive apart from divine grace: the opportunity, ability and desire to participate in God’s creative activity. In gratitude to God, and in dependence upon the Holy Spirit, I seek to know God, be a conduit of God’s life to others, and steward what God has entrusted to me, pursuing truth, reconciliation, justice and compassion, that many may be drawn to God. This is the Church’s work, and my calling.
The Triune God, most fully revealed through Jesus Christ, is my end and my beginning. It is Christ whom we encounter in the scriptures and who seals and spiritually nourishes us in the sacraments. I await his return, groaning with God’s creation, awaiting the full redemption of all things, including myself. Until then, with saints past, present, and future, I participate in God’s redemptive work, together with the Church proclaiming a spiritual revolution of divine-human reconciliation, praying a prayer God has already answered, is answering, and shall someday answer fully: “Come Lord Jesus.”