My Statement of Faith
Arie Uittenbogaard - Statement of Faith
I believe all kind of things, but about God I believe that He is real. I also believe that He is imaginary. My belief is very complicated.
With tying the word 'imaginary' to God, I am definitely not saying that the existence of God depends on the imagination of man (that would mean that God is a human production and that is at odds with Genesis 1). I mean to say that reality-including-God can only be understood if we incorporate an imaginary element to our science, precisely in the same way as the imaginary number i (the number that when multiplied by itself yields a negative result: i x i = -1) does to the number sequence.
The term 'imaginary' was coined by the great mathematician Descartes who didn't believe in imaginary numbers and meant the phrase derogatory. Now that we know better - now that we know that i is utterly real - and use imaginary numbers in every complex calculation, including those that investigate very real and observable events, we know that Descartes was wrong. I believe that the most pressing task of theology today is to devise a form of complex science that stands to regular science the way complex numbers stand to the natural number sequence.
I believe that God has a great imagination and that reality is the fiction that He is writing. I'm a writer, just like God. That's because He imagined me in His image. I reckon everyone is a writer, in some form or other.
I believe that the Bible is unfathomable, but that imagination helps. Sometimes I like to say that I believe that the Bible is infallible, but most of the time I admit that I don't know what that means. Me reading the Bible is like running a Windows application on a Mac. The syntax errors that occur are probably my fault, but I can't properly asses the issue because I am a Mac trying to run Windows.
I understand that God is personal and that He wants to be known by us, save us, and finally engage us in a way that closely resembles a human marriage. I believe that He allows us and even urges us to study His ways and nature by studying what He has created (Rom 1:20). I think that quantum mechanics and chaos theory can shed an extraordinary bright light on our understanding of God and the Bible.
I believe that God is One but still Father, Son (a.k.a. Word of God) and Spirit, and all this in the Hebrew sense (and I think that the Trinitarian dogma convolutes this paradox and offers no real solution; yet this is a semantic matter and not a matter of faith; faith partly overlaps and partly supersedes theory - Hebr 11:1).
I experience the Holy Spirit. I believe He's forming me into completion and teaching me truths despite my bungled understanding of Scriptures. I believe I'm a sinner, which means that I'm great at missing the point, especially the point of my life. Without God's continuous guidance I'd be a complete waste of space.
I believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ and I trust that the Biblical character was based on a historical character. I believe that Jesus was the Word of God in human form, and that the inaugural appearance of this Word in the Bible occurs in Genesis 1:1. I also believe that after His death, resurrection and ascension, Jesus continued to exist in observable reality, and that He exists separate from the Church and is also incarnated in the Church.
I believe that the boundaries of the Church can not be established by the human mind, and that any organization that calls itself church, even the entire religion of Christianity at large, can not contain or restrict the real Church. I eagerly expect the event generally known as the Second Coming, although I disagree with that term. Jesus, after all, never left (Mat 28:20). I believe that at some point in the future Jesus will be recognized by everyone, and that suddenly it will be clear who is part of Him and who is not. The fate of the innies is glorious; the fate of the outies is too grim for words, but I have no idea what exactly will happen to them. I am unable to imagine what it is like to not know God, and I also can not imagine what it would be like to be an outie (although sometimes I guess that it would be a bit like the fate of the universe according to the Heat Death Theory).
I believe that the only way to God is through Jesus, but that the salvific workings of Jesus are not limited to the methods generally defined by Christianity. I believe that the possible salvation of human beings was brought about by the resurrection of Jesus but I only have a rudimentary understanding of how that might work. Most salvation theologies follow the vagaries of enthusiasm and utilize underdefined phraseologies. In my own theology I've found it beneficial to treat this element as an axiom.
I believe that cleverness is not a requisite for salvation, and for this I am very grateful. Heaven would be rather empty if it was, and I wouldn't have made the cut for sure. I believe that God is the only active partner in the covenant that brought about salvation (Gen 15), and that our job is to trust Him to do the doing.
I believe that He's bringing me home.