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...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 Christian claim is that the Christian faith does more justice to the facts, makes more sense out of life, illuminates life, opens life more to the grace of God that forgives and heals wounded consciences and bruised spirits than does any other faith.
John Leith, Basic Christian Doctrine, p. 7
“The verbal explanation, as it takes us from one verbal expression to another, in a sense gets us no further.”
Ludwig Wittgenstein, The Blue Book, p1
While most people consider feeling supremely important, I hope you will have discovered that what you think about love will control your behavior, and that the desired feelings will come as a result of the right thinking and the right actions.
Ed Wheat, Love Life for Every Married Couple, p. 54
We moderns are accustomed to finding God in peace and beauty and silence. The Old Testament most often knows him present behind the violence and flow and clatter of everyday life.
Paul and Elizabeth Achtemeier, The OT Roots of Our Faith
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
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
Other evils there are that may come; for Sauron is himself but a servant or emissary. Yet it is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years where we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.
Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
Dilthey worked '...to illuminate the difference between the structure of these sciences of meaning and the natural scientific explanation of events based upon the formulation of theoretical frameworks and the discovery of causal laws.
Georgia Warnke, 'Gadamer' p. 2
...the knowledge of God consists not in frigid speculation, but carries worship along with it...
John Calvin, The Institutes, bk 1, ch 12
The goal of the interpreter is not to seek to discern one conceptual unity within the book, or to reconstruct one consistent line of theological discourse throughout the dialogue, but rather to see how this literature was designed to function as a normative guide within a community of faith, which acknowledges its authority.
Brevard Childs, Intro. to OT as Scripture, p. 533
I don't believe that God is a fussy faultfinder in dealing with theological ideas. He who provides forgiveness for a sinful life will also surely be a generous judge of theological reflections. Even an orthodox theologian can be spiritually dead, while perhaps a heretic crawls on forbidden bypaths to sources of life.
Helmut Thielicke, A Little Exercise for Young Theologians, p. 37
'Uttering a word is like striking a note on the keyboard of the imagination.'
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations
...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

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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