I live in Southern California, am married with three kids. I am an author, educator, and freelance business/marketing consultant.
I am Christian and my convictions are rather eclectic. I was raised in an independent church with Baptist roots, and migrated to the Reformed/Calvinistic tradition over time. However, as life always goes, the journey never stops – I remain within the Reformed tradition and belong to a Presbyterian church. But, I have deep sympathies historically and theologically with Eastern Orthodoxy as well as certain strands of Pentecostal/Charismatic Christianity. So, in some senses this makes me an oddity no matter which church I visit when I am not attending my own, or which Christians I happen to be relating with. At the end of the day, what matters most is that I bear Christ’s name, and this is why I carry with me the unspeakable honor of simply being a Christian. What this practically means is my own Christian convictions are quite simple:
I believe in One God, Creator of Heaven and Earth – all things visible and invisible, whose essence is simple, impassible, eternal, infinite, and holy.
I believe that the One only true God is three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, united perfectly by their common essence.
I believe in Jesus Christ, the unique Son of God our Lord, eternally begotten of the Father, sharing in his one substance, as does the Holy Spirit. For our sake he was sent by the Father, incarnate by the Holy Spirit and born by the Virgin Mary, the God-bearer, forever blessed. He took on human flesh, bearing in his person two natures, human and Divine, neither mixed nor divided nor confused. For our sins he was crucified by Pontius Pilate to obtain salvation for our souls. Dead and buried, he descended into hell. On the third day he rose again from the dead, having an immortal, incorruptible body – the Firstborn of the new creation. He ascended into heaven, even now sitting upon the throne of God at the Father’s right hand in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father and was sent by the Son upon the church that they might participate in the Trinitarian life of God and bear faithful witness to the great salvation he has wrought. He will return again, descending from Heaven to Earth to judge the quick and the dead and make all things new, consummating his eternal Kingdom, ruling the new Heavens and Earth forevermore.
I believe in the Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit, communicated to the church in the Old and New Testaments. This canon of truth has been recognized by the Church through the work of the Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth that we might know God, love him, and worship him rightly.
I believe we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ, not by works of our own. Our participation in this great salvation has been secured by the Holy Spirit who empowers his people to good works and so vindicates the very righteousness we have obtained by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ to the glory of God the Father.
I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church, united in Christ’s love in one faith and one baptism through the Holy Spirit. We partake of one communion: The Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, eagerly awaiting his return and the indestructible, everlasting life of the world to come.
Postscript: If all of this sounds like I have pillaged ancient creeds and Christian statements of faith, it is because I have unashamedly done so. I don’t see this as a binding statement as much as a description of the Christian faith that I am willing to bear witness to. It is simpler than some formulae, because I do think that dogmatizing elaborate belief systems is a source of great harm in the Church, but definite enough to let the discerning reader know where I stand on the most essential matters that the Church has grappled with down through the centuries. I probably could confess more, but certainly not less than this. The better part of humanity is our willingness to discover beauty, goodness, and truth wherever it is found. One of the most profound inheritances I have received from my Reformed Christian heritage is Calvin’s conviction that all truth is God’s truth.