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...He did what was right and just, so all went well with him. He defended the cause of the poor and the needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me? declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 22:16
St. Francis of Assisi's religion was 'not a thing like a theory but a thing like a love affair.'
G.K. Chesterton
Francis Xavier was the Jesuit director of missions in India, China and Japan in the sixteenth century. He once said that he longed to be back in Paris 'to go shouting up and down the streets to tell the students to give up their small ambitions and come eastward to preach the gospel of Christ.'
Michael C. Griffiths, Give Up Your Small Ambitions, p.6
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
'Get all you can; save all you can; give all you can.'
John Wesley
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
How all-important it is that a vigorous spiritual life, in close association with the Holy Scriptures and in the midst of Christian community, be maintained as a background to theological work, and that the unformed shadows of thought always derive their life-blood from that source...
Helmut Thielicke, A Little Exercise for Young Theologians, p. 37
There is no real safety in being negative. As William James pointed out, a negative choice commits the chooser just as much as a positive one does.
Mary Midgley in Science as Salvation p.110
'Uttering a word is like striking a note on the keyboard of the imagination.'
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations
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
True love does not result in obsession or possession, but in submission.
MOI
What narrowness of spiritual life we find in Frazer! And as a result: how impossible for him to understand a different way of life from the English one of his time!
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Remarks on Frazer's Golden Bough, p. 5e
Incarnation is translation.
Andrew Walls, The Missionary Movement in Christian History, p. 27.
There is nothing like suspense and anxiety for barracading a human's mind against the Enemy. He wants men to be concerned with what they do; our business is to keep them thinking about what will happen to them.
C.S. Lewis, Screwtape Letters, p.28
The common thought is that this life hid with Christ in God is to be lived in the emotions, and consequently all the attention of the soul is directed toward them, and as they are satisfactory or otherwise, the soul rests or is troubled. Now, the truth is, that this life is not to be lived in the emotions at all, but in the will; and therefore, if only the will is kept steadfastly abiding in its center, God's will, the varying states of emotion do not in the least disturb or affect the reality of life.
Hannah Whitall Smith, The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life, p. 57

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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