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Credo 2 - ... in one God ...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007
The profession of faith in one God – that God is unique and there is no other – stands not only as the first affirmation of the Creed but also, in a sense, as the most important. This is because all the other things that we believe as Christians flow from this first radical assertion of monotheism.

The belief in one God represents a point of continuity between the faith of the Old Testament and the faith of Christians. It is in the Old Testament that we glimpse a people coming to recognise over time that their God is not merely a localised God, a God for Israel only, but rather a God for all humanity and of all creation. We see this in the book of the prophet Isaiah when God proclaims, ‘Turn to me and you will be saved, all you ends of the earth, for I am a God and there is no other’ (Isaiah 45:22).

This invitation to turn to the one God requires of humanity a refusal to idolize or to deify all those other forces, for example, sex, power, and money, which we can so readily begin to turn into little gods and to worship slavishly. In fact, the biblical confession in the one God has been described as a moment of extreme significance in the liberation of humanity from all those forces which if not seen in their proper context can easily engulf us. The early Church was characterised to a large extent by the refusal of many Christians to worship any power that was not the one God.

Belief in one God requires us to recognise that all that is comes from Him. Many of the great Christian thinkers of the past, such as Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas Aquinas, argued that the order and unity of nature point to the unity of the creator. Acknowledging in this way that all creation has its origin in the one source lets us perceive not only the essential unity of humanity but also allows us to regard the everyday things around us as somehow pointing to God. And just as importantly, accepting that all we have comes from the one saving God means that our Christian lives ought to be characterised by an attitude of praise, thanksgiving and trust.

see the previous posts on the creed


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