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...all reasoning takes place within the context of some traditional mode of thought.
Alisdair MacIntyre, After Virture, p. 222
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
There is a history of the translation of the Bible because there was a translation of the Word into flesh.
Andrew Walls, The Missionary Movement in Christian History, p. 26.
Theology can be a coat of mail which crushes us and in which we freeze to death. It can also be-this is in fact its purpose!-the conscience of the congregation of Christ, its compass and with it all a praise-song of ideas. Which of the two it is depends upon the degree in which listening and praying Christians stand behind the theological business.
Helmut Thielicke, A Little Exercise for Young Theologians, p. 36
The history of Western epistemology might be described as the quest for a method of reasoning that assures certain knowledge. But philosophers have now come to the conclusion that there is no way to reason that both extends our knowledge and certifies the results.
Nancey Murphy, Reasoning and Rhetoric in Religion, p. 53
In preaching the gospel, it is our business to show, in so far as our knowledge and experience equip us to do so, how the Christian story enables us to understand and deal with the whole range of human experience in both public and private life.
Lesslie Newbigin, Proper Confidence, p. 96
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
'Uttering a word is like striking a note on the keyboard of the imagination.'
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations
'...for when you speak of the Spirit you are dealing with him in whom there are no differences of scale.'
Taylor, The Go-Between God, p. 23
A man's true glory consists in gentleness, humility, and unfeigned charity.
John Chrysostom, from Golden Mouth, p.97
It is necessary to be disengaged from all we feel and do in order to walk with God in the duty of the present moment.
Jean-Pierre De Caussade, The Sacrament of the Present Moment, p. 15
Whoever questions and even challenges God all the while desiring to obey His Word and listening to His silence, that person is a theologian.
Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, Great Souls, p. 356
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
Prayer is not just one of the many things people do in life, but rather 'the basic receptive attitude out of which all of life can receive new vitality.'
Dan Postema, Space for God, p. 92
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

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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