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If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
Thorin Oakenshield, The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien, p. 301
Prayer needs to carry with it the commitment of our whole being to bring about the just conditions that make prayer possible...
Don Postema, Space for God, p. 158-59
Most misunderstandings come not from missed definitions but from missed contexts.

Eugene Peterson, Working the Angles, p. 85-86
Without charity, an evangelizing zeal will take on the guise of a will to power, a desire to universalize one's self-image.
Fabien Eboussi Boulaga-Christianity Without Fetishes, p. 68
'The writer must face the fact that ordinary lives are what most people live most of the time, and that the novel as a narration of the fantastic and the adventurous is really an escapist plot; that aesthetically the ordinary, the banal, is what you must deal with.'

John Updike BBC.com, January 27, 2009
Incarnation is translation.
Andrew Walls, The Missionary Movement in Christian History, p. 27.
...in thinking, we are not reading rationality into an irrational universe, but responding to a rationality with which the universe has always been saturated.
CS Lewis, Christian Reflections, p. 89
The duty of a Theologian, however, is not to tickle the ear, but confirm the conscience, by teaching what is true, certain, and useful.
John Calvin, The Institutes, bk1, ch14
Those who give the most lip service to the sinfulness of this world are often those who most want to conserve the way things were 50 years ago.
MOI
For Christians, interpreting Scripture is a difficult task...because it is, and involves, a life long process of learning to become a wise reader of Scripture capable of embodying that reading in life.
Stephen Fowl and Gregory Jones, Reading in Communion, p. 29
Jesus' preaching is in fact characterized by a large element of simple fact-telling, of simply telling people with authority what actually is.
Dale Bruner, The Christbook, p. 120
Jesus' preaching is in fact characterized by a large element of simple fact-telling, of simply telling people with authority what actually is.
Dale Bruner, The Christbook, p. 120
Bach's music is much more valuable proof of the existence of God than any of the theological proofs.
Vladimir Fetsmin, Russian Pianist, Newsweek, Aug. 1, 1994
For Christians, interpreting Scripture is a difficult task...because it is, and involves, a life long process of learning to become a wise reader of Scripture capable of embodying that reading in life.
Stephen Fowl and Gregory Jones, Reading in Communion, p. 29
Theology has become like a troll, which though wise is 'small and ugly, not risking itself to be seen in public.'
Ched Myers, Who Will Roll Away the Stone? p. xxii

Statement of Faith

22nd April 2009

the-kingdom-coming1.

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.I believe in the kingdom of God;

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breaking in through the work of Christ according to the will of the Father,

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working through the church by the power of the Holy Spirit,

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coming through the return of Christ to the glory of the Godhead.

....

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Christ came preaching the good news that the kingdom of God was near.  He lived as a citizen of this realm by doing the will of God, even unto death.  His death and resurrection broke the power of individual and structural sin which characterizes fallen creation and enabled the coming of the Holy Spirit which empowers us to live as he lived.  His victory was complete.  The kingdom is now present as a ferment in the world.

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Christ came preaching the good news that the kingdom of God was near.  He lived as a citizen of this realm by doing the will of God, even unto death. His death and resurrection broke the power of individual and structural sin which characterizes fallen creation and enabled the coming of the Holy Spirit which empowers us to live as he lived.  His victory was complete.  The kingdom is now present as a ferment in the world.

 

Christ also proclaimed the need for repentance and trust in the good news.  God created the world according to sovereign love and created us in His image.  Thus what God created was good.  But humanity chose to follow its own way.  We recreated our own world according to our futile striving and recreated ourselves without God.  Our world calls us to trust in ourselves and our technology and to live our days believing that life consists in progress and the accumulation of wealth.  Thus we have committed idolatry and set ourselves in opposition to God.

 

We must turn from these ways and trust in the hope of the kingdom, doing the will of God in all aspects of our lives including the social and cultural, the economic and the political, the scientific and the technological, the individual and the corporate.  We must confront those who worship freedom to the loss of responsibility, tolerance to the loss of truth, and individual human rights to the loss of genuine community.  We must challenge those who worship the remembered past to the loss of a new and more just future, social stability to the loss of creative and courageous change, and material security to the loss of millions of lives due to a lack of the most basic needs.  In the midst of these divisive and short-sighted agendas, God calls us to a new agenda in which freedom leads to responsibility, unity is found in diversity, and individual human rights are secured within community.  God’s agenda calls for a past which informs but does not rule our future, a social stability which comes from social righteousness, and a prosperity which comes as the result of lives spent in the service of others. 

 

We believe in the church’s active participation in the kingdom.  Through the practices of sacrificial service to others, the teaching of the Word of God imbued by the Spirit, the shared sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and the truth spoken in love, God the Holy Spirit molds, shapes and empowers the body of Christ to be a witness in word and deed according to the needs of the time. It is by the Holy Spirit’s power that our lives are renewed and we are strengthened to challenge the world, to unmask its idolatries and to live in the hope of the kingdom coming.

 

Finally, we actively await the coming of the kingdom in the return and judgment of Jesus Christ.  Our partial achievements do not themselves lead directly to the kingdom.  The direction of history is not under our control. Rather, our actions are acted prayers for the coming of the kingdom and as such, signs of its reality which allows others to act in hope.  When Christ returns we will experience the full realization of the kingdom’s victory over darkness to the glory of the Triune God.

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