I believe in God ...
"The Lord, your God, is an only God" - this fundamental confession which forms the background to our creed, making it possible, is in its original sense a renunciation of the surrounding gods. It is not the registration of one view alongside others but an existential decision. As a renunciation of the gods it also implies the renunciation both of the deification of political powers and of the deification of cosmic ones
If one can say that hunger, love and power are the forces which motivate man, then one can point out that the three main forms of polytheism are the worship of bread, the worship of love and the idolisation of power. All three paths are aberrations, they make absolutes out of what is not in itself the absolute and thereby make slaves of men
Israel's confession of faith is a renunciation of the deification of one's own possessions. It is simultaneously a renunciation of the attempt to keep one's own possessions safe, a renunciation of the fear which tries to tame the mysterious by worshipping it, and an assent to the one God of heaven as the power that guarantees everything; it signifies the courage to entrust oneself to the power that governs the whole world without grasping the divine in one's hands.
Much the same as has been said about the Christian faith as the struggle against the worship of power could be demonstrated in the realm of the striving for the true pattern of human love as against the false worship of sex and eros, which was and still is responsible for just as great an enslavement of humanity as the misuse of power.
The unity, finality and indivisibility of the love between man and woman can in the last analysis only be made a reality and understood in the light of belief in the unity and indivisibility of the love of God.
We are also coming to understand more and more clearly, that the apparent liberation of love and its conversion into a matter of impulse mean the delivery of man to the self-styled powers of sex and Eros, to whose merciless slavery he falls a victim just when he is under the illusion he has freed himself.
When man eludes God, the gods put out their hands to grasp him; he can only be liberated by allowing himself to be liberated and by ceasing to try to rely on himself.
The Biblical belief in God
John in his gospel depicts Christ as him in whom the story of the burning bush first attains its true meaning. All chapter 17 - the so-called "high priest's prayer", perhaps the heart of the whole gospel - centres round the idea of "Jesus as the revealer of the name of God" and thus assumes the position of New Testament counterpart to the story of the burning bush: Christ himself, so to speak, appears as the burning bush from which the name of God issues to mankind. The idea of the name here enters a decisive new phase. The name is no longer a word but a person, Jesus himself.
When God names himself he is not so much expressing his inner nature as making himself nameable; he is handing himself over to men in such a way that he can be called upon by them. And by doing this he enters into co-existence with them, he puts himself within their reach, he is "there" for them.
In Jesus God has really become he who can be invoked. In him God has entered for ever into co-existence with us. The name is no longer just a word at which we clutch; it is now flesh of our flesh, bone of our bone. God is one of us.
Faith in God today
A world created and willed on the risk of freedom and love is no longer just mathematics. As the arena of love it is also the playground of freedom and also incurs the risk of evil. It accepts the mystery of darkness for the sake of the great light constituted by freedom and love.
In a world which in the last analysis is not mathematics but love, the minimum is a maximum; the smallest thing that can love is one of the biggest things; the particular is more than the universal; the person, the unique and unrepeatable, is at the same time the highest and ultimate thing.