THE FIRST WORD of our Christian Symbol of Faith is
"I believe." All of our Christian confession is based upon faith. God
is the first object of Christian belief. Thus, our Christian
acknowledgment of the existence of God is founded not upon rational grounds,
not on proofs taken from reason or received from the experience of our outward
senses, but upon an inward, higher conviction which has a moral foundation.
In the Christian understanding, to believe in God
signifies not only to acknowledge God with the mind, but also to strive
towards Him with the heart.
that which is inaccessible to outward experience, to scientific investigation,
to being received by our outward organs of sense. St. Gregory the Theologian
distinguishes between religious belief "I believe in someone, in
something" and a simple personal belief "I believe someone, I
believe something." He writes: "It is not one and the same thing to
believe in something' and to believe something.' We believe in the
Divinity, but we simply believe any ordinary thing" ("On the Holy
Spirit," Part III, p. 88 in the Russian edition of his Complete Works;
p. 319 in the Eerdmans English text).
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