essays in religious literacy

“I believe …”

In And I Quote on January 10, 2017 at 11:09 pm

“We say, ‘I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth’. The form of the words might initially remind us of questions like, ‘Do you believe in ghosts?’ or ‘Do you believe in UFOs?’ — questions about something ‘out there’ whose existence is doubtful, where the evidence is hotly disputed.

But although there are unfortunately many, both believers and unbelievers, who treat the words like this, this wasn’t at all what they originally meant…. The words at the beginning of the [Nicene] Creed … are closer to the formula used by Buddhists when they make a statement of faith: ‘I take refuge in the Buddha’ — the Buddha is where I belong, the Buddha is what I have confidence in…. And the Creed begins to sound a little different if we begin here.” – Rowan Williams, Tokens of Trust, pp. 5-6

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