Monday, July 7, 2008

Jesus Christ: God's proposition of faith

Faith is not based on infallible propositions. For example, when we recite the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, or the Apostles' Creed for that matter, we do not profess belief in these formulas, but in the God we seek to worship and to some extent describe in these symbols of faith. In other words, our faith finds expression in credal formulae. Hence, they are theological, putting our understanding in the service of our faith in Christ Jesus, which is from God and always has the priority. So, we are not so-called "people of the book," we are the people of the resurrected and living Lord, animated by the Holy Spirit.

Hans Küng, in writing about St. Paul's Christological formulae, puts it this way:

"Persecution very often provided the testing situation for the profession of faith. In this connection it is again important to note that for Paul particularly it was obviously not primarily a question the formula- positive or negative- but of affirming or denying Jesus: not of a faith in propositions, but of a proposition of faith" (Infallible? 153).
Of course, Jesus is God's proposition of faith. Paul makes this clear in many places, but I begin from my own lectio this morning:

"When I came to you, brothers, proclaiming the mystery of God, I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, and my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive (words of) wisdom, but with a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God" (1 Cor. 2,1-5).

Yes, I just figured out how to employ block quotes.

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