“The whole of our faith is the belief that God loves us; I mean there isn’t anything else. Anything else we say we believe is just a way of saying that God loves us. Any proposition, any article of faith, is only an expression of faith if it is a way of saying that God loves us….
“Faith is a kind of knowing that God loves us. It is not just a feeling or a mood, but a kind of understanding or knowing. And knowledge, for us, is the answering of asked questions. That is why our knowledge is expressed in language and in the form of statements or propositions. People who say that faith is not ‘propositional’ because it is a personal relationship are, I think, very muddled. Faith is not just a feeling of happiness because of the beloved. It is what the feeling of happiness is based on… It is based on a belief, a belief that can and has to be be expressed in language ….
“That is why we have to test and criticize our doctrines to question both what we are making of them and what use the church itself is making of them. Are they degenerating simply into expressions of loyalty? Are they really still about God’s love?
“…. If you fail to believe that the most important and fundamental thing about you is that you are loved, if you fail to believe in God, then you have no recourse except to believe in yourself. All sin arises from the deep fear that is involved here. You only have to ask yourself why in the end you have sinned on any particular occasion. If you think hard enough and honestly enough, you will trace it back to fear: fear that you will not matter, that someone is threatening the importance or status or wealth you have carefully built up for yourself, fear that you are missing out on some experience that makes you you. Tracing back sins to their single root in such anxieties is as important as tracing all Christian doctrines back to their root in the faith that we are loved. All sin is a symptom of faithlessness or uncertainty about being loved, as all belief is an affirmation of that love.
“The societal and political manifestation of disbelief (of belief that we make ourselves and are only what we make ourselves) is, of course, the world of liberal individualism - the world of isolated individuals asserting their freedom against each other….
“This is the world from which Jesus came to redeem us, to give us faith in his Father’s love so that we do not need to assert ourselves and our innocence and our righteousness, so that we can relax and confess the truth about ourselves, so that we can stop judging ourselves and others, because we know that it doesn’t matter: God loves us anyway, so that we are liberated enough to risk … loving and being loved by others, liberated enough to know that we belong to each other because we belong to God.”
Herbert McCabe, “Doubt is Not Unbelief”, in Faith within Reason (London / New York: Continuum, 2007), pp. 33-40.