A Christian...

What do I mean when I say I'm a ``Christian''?

I believe that...

The historical man known as Jesus of Nazareth was both human and God, he defines right and wrong regardless of my feelings or desires, and I have accepted his free offer to pardon me for doing, thinking, and saying things that he says, and I accept, are wrong.

The bible, the Christian scriptures, are God's words to men, designed ultimately to help us know God, which God desires. God has a personality and made us for companionship not only with each other but with him.

All people are naturally unfamiliar with God, but God has designed us to want to learn about him. Our sense of right and wrong is not quite the same as God's -- part of getting to know God is learning about what he wants. Despite the fact that we don't always agree with God (in fact, we seem to disagree with him often about practical everyday matters), God places more value on each individual human than any of us is capable of understanding, and more than we place on each other. We value human life because God values human life.

That Jesus was "human" I understand to mean that he was as much a human as you and I; that he is "God" I understand to mean that he is the ultimate source of the existing universe, the person who designed the universe and its laws, who knows everything, can control our entire universe, and has no peer and no superior.

After Jesus became human, he was killed, came back to life, and then physically left our universe. He did this because he is perfect, and we are not, and he chose to do this as a way of making us compatible with him -- to make it possible for us to communicate and live together.

I do not believe that I can "logically prove" God's existence, or that Jesus is God, or anything else I state here about God -- I think that God designed the universe so that we could have an honestly free choice whether or not to accept him and his existence, so that if we do choose to follow him, we can do so freely and without constraint.

I am personally convinced of the truth of what I have written here by two things: the fact that the bible seems to me to more accurately describe how people work than any other document I know of, and from comparing the people I know who do believe these things with those who do not.

Notes: I use the male gender when speaking and writing about God because it is the most commonly used gender used in the bible when talking about God, not because I think he is a male creature. Also, this statement of my faith is not a comprehensive description of Christian belief. If you have questions about what I believe, and are interested in discussing it with me, please feel free to send me email at a1237@danlj.org. I won't intentionally be at all pushy, though I may be effusively enthusiastic from time to time -- I'll just tell more about what I believe, and you can evaluate it for yourself. And regardless of your beliefs, you may help me to explain better what I believe here, for which I thank you in advance.

There are many wonderful books about the Christian faith that have helped me understand and develop my beliefs. Many of C.S. Lewis's works are deservedly very well known; another less well-known but also very helpful author is Dorthy L. Sayers. A modern collection of her essays called The Whimsical Christian was published by MacMillian; it appears to be out of print at the moment, but check local libraries and bookstores.

I like Jon Howell's faith statement