Skip to main content

intro to theology paper!

I was pretty nervous to have anyone read my Intro to Theology Credo paper. It's 15 pages of every thing I believe about Christianity and faith. It's a rollercoaster to wade through countless concepts and viewpoints and prayerfully discern what I believe. How do I determine that? How can I KNOW? By saying what I stand for, I'm saying someone else is wrong. That's really hard for me. I'll share some of the paper here...


I believe in the Ohio State Buckeyes. I believe we will see the sun in Ohio again. I believe in my husband and my family. At first glance, our beliefs about life seem to be rooted in the tenuous soil of opinion, feeling and whim. When one has an opportunity to communicate their belief about the very essence of God, that tenuous soil is pushed aside and a strong, immeasurable foundation is unearthed. A creed is a profession of faith that defines faith. I can only declare what is true for me. This is my creed.


Much of God’s nature is revealed in Jesus Christ. In this lifetime, we will never know the complete nature of God. God cannot be manipulated, defined or measured. Yet God is present in all crevasses of creation. God is the ultimate paradox. God is transcendent and immanent. God is absolute and related, impersonal and personal, eternal and temporal, changeless and changing, self-sufficient and dependent.


When I say I believe God is the maker of heaven and earth, I am confessing complete dependence on God. My belief in creation is not dependent on a theory, it is based on faith. I believe the universe was created fifteen billion years ago as scientific theory suggests. That fact only enriches my faith in God as creator. The biblical creation story does not cause tension because I view it as a metaphor for how God created humanity. It still holds valid power and truth in my life and ministry.

I believe God creates through the evolutionary process. God created the world and works with and through the evolutionary process. God creates the world over a long period of time through the processes of change and development. God creates in cooperation with the creatures through the freedom, randomness and laws of the natural world. Creation is designed for evolution.

Theology and evolution should be in conversation together. There can be disagreement but also acknowledgement that differences are over worldviews, not scientific methods and conclusions.


Is Jesus the only way to God? I agree with confessional pluralism that makes a significant move in answer to this question. We must admit we can never see reality from God’s point of view. What we say comes from our Christian viewpoint. My language, social structure and knowledge create my context. I can make universal claims about the importance of Christ, just as other world religions can make strong claims about their religion. I can claim other religions are true from a Christian point of view. I believe the Trinity works through many means including other religions in the world. I cannot personally answer the question of who will be saved. So I am determined to live my life with boundless grace and love for all I meet.


This is my creed. God is a God of change, growth and the journey towards wholeness. Parts of my creed will change. I will continue to struggle with difficult concepts. But God can handle my questions and doubts. I believe in a God who will do anything to reach a heart. Therefore, I will give my life to serving the hearts of God’s children.

UPDATE: I got an A!!!


Most Read

Why Some Experienced Clergy (and Lay People) Have a Hard Time When Younger Clergy Take Renewal Leave

This is a guest post from my very own dad! He's a United Methodist pastor serving in Bend, Oregon. I enjoy chatting church leadership with my dad and it's fascinating to see how our generational differences bring different perspectives to our calling as pastor. We need each generation to walk with each other as we figure it out in this new world. We've been reflecting lately as I finished up a renewal leave and he prepares to retire this June. 
By David Beckett
I fall into the category of experienced clergy which is a polite way of saying I am old. I’ve been pastoring for nearly 40 years. When I was a young pastor my role models were mostly white males who presented an image of success that equated with dedication, overwork, and sacrifice. My first senior pastor talked about the 20 hr/wk he invested in sermon preparation. And he expected his staff to work beyond their stated hours. During those three years of full time seminary and a large youth group I put in up to 80 hr/…

Why pastors need collaboration, not competition

There's competition in every industry. Some get promoted over others. Some work incredibly hard but their gifts go unnoticed. Others do good work and people assume they're fine but underneath, they feel like they could never be honest about how hard life is in this season. People spend more energy figuring out how they measure up in a work culture instead of doing the actual work.

Competition itself implies there are two sides.

I remember field days at my elementary school in Alaska. The half-frozen spring ground was covered with clumps of dirty gray snow. Jackets were thrown on the ground as the fourth graders tried to beat the fifth graders at tug of war. Rope burns were shrugged off as sweat dripped down our young faces. We were determined to beat those fifth graders. Our pride was on the line.

Whether you're a fourth grader or an ad manager at a fancy marketing agency or a senator trying out for attorney general, competition runs deep in our DNA.

We want to be the bes…

99 sheep

Reading Matthew 18:10-14 on this cloudy Anchorage summer morning. Parable of the Lost Sheep. A guy owns 100 sheep. They belong to him. These sheep are loyal and depend on their owner for everything. But then one wanders away. I wonder if this sheep wandered on purpose or accident?

The guy leaves the 99 sheep grazing on the hillside to look for the sheep who got lost. One word in verse 13 jumped out to me. "Andifhe finds [the sheep]...he is happier about that one sheep than about the 99 that did no wander off." IF he finds it. This guy who owns the sheep probably knows the hillside very well and knows his sheep's behavioral patterns. But he may not find this lost sheep. 

When someone wanders off, it's up to them if they want to get found. 

When it comes to our connection to God, some of us may wander on accident. Or on purpose. 

We wait for someone to rescue us. Bring us back. Make it okay. But we have to turn towards the one rescuing us. God will leave the other 99 sheep…