Faith From First Principles

In physics or philosophy we strive to begin with something called first principles and then logically derive our thoughts and conclusions and actions from there.

I’ve been think often lately about first principles of the Christian Faith or first principles of being a follower (disciple) of Jesus. The photo is an example of one way I think through things. This is sort of a mind map. I began with a thought comparing Jesus’ two main instructions to us–first love God and our neighbor and second go and make disciples. Then I wondered how John (the Baptizer) fit in. His message was to “repent”, that is, to turn our hearts toward God and prepare to accept the message from Jesus.

Where I started to go with this by putting it all together from the first principles would go something like this:

  • Rise in the morning and begin to orient my heart toward God for the day
  • Live in the kingdom today by loving God (love as some action not some emotion)
  • Do something for someone to live out that love for my neighbor
  • Have someone I can “disciple”, or today we may also use the words mentor or coach

That would be a good day having done all this. As I reflect at the end of the day (Examen), I could say that I had lived as I should.

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