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|Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky|
Orthodox dogmatic theology
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1. Our knowledge of God
The dogma of faith.
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.
We believe 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 — “Ibelieve 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).