For my class in systematic theology this semester we are writing confessions – as in Westminster Confession, not “forgive me father for I have sinned”.
As we move through each area of study we craft a single page explaining what we believe to be the core ideas. The first section was revelation, God’s self-revealing to humanity.
For whatever it’s worth I thought I would share mine here. As always, comments and questions are welcome.
I believe that we, being finite created beings, could not hope to reach up to understand the infinite uncreated God. Instead God chose to reached down and reveal himself to us. This self-revealing is true and complete for his intentions, but not exhaustive as such a revelation of the infinite God would surely overwhelm us.
God first spoke of his presence and character to all people everywhere through his creation. His glory, power, and very existence are all testified to by what he has made. The stars in heaven and the earth below demonstrate a personal God who is worthy of our worship.
Humanity also reveals God because we are his image bearers. We were created to represent and reveal God to his creation and to each other. In our roles and relationships we reflect our creator.
Even history shows the hand of God. Our world was set in motion by the God who shows himself in it. The potential filled creation was given a direction that is governed by its creator. From the story of our lives to the broad drama of history, God is at work in space and time.
However, this sort of revealing was never enough. Our very status as creatures demanded more, and the fall only deepened our need for a more direct revelation of God. Thankfully our God has not chosen to be silent, but instead willingly entered into the drama as an actor on his own stage. From the cool of the garden and the burning bush, to the Tabernacle and the Temple, our God is for and with his people, and enacts in history the redemption of all things.
That redemption comes through the ultimate revelation of God, the Word, Jesus Christ, the Son of God the Father. No one has seen the Father, except insofar as we have seen the Son. What we know of God’s character and plan we know through Christ and his works which reveal God to us.
How the community of God’s people comes to know Christ today is through the Scriptures and the Spirit which Christ sent to us upon his ascension. The Spirit acts as a witness to Christ, and directed the writing of the Scriptures so that we might freshly encounter the historically contextualized acts of God.
These acts are then revealed in another way, by the witness of the Church. Through the preaching of that word about the Word, and through the sacraments which reenact the saving works of God, we proclaim and reveal our God to the world.
Grace and peace