The Holy Bible is our primary source for Christian doctrine. Biblical authors testify to God’s self-disclosure in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as well as in God’s work of creation, in the pilgrimage of Israel, and in the Holy Spirit’s ongoing activity in human history.
Our attempt to understand God does not start anew with each generation or each person. Our faith also does not leap from New Testament time to the present as though nothing could be learned from all Christian thinkers and preachers in between. We learn from traditions found in many cultures, but Scripture remains the norm by which all traditions are judged.
In our theological task, we examine experience, both personal and church-wide, to confirm the realities of God’s grace attested in the Scripture. Experience is the personal appropriation of God’s forgiving and empowering grace. Experience authenticates in our own lives the truths revealed in Scripture and illumined in tradition.
Although we recognize that God’s revelation and our experiences of God’s grace continually surpass the scope of reason, we also believe that disciplined theological work calls for the careful use of reason. By reason we read and interpret Scripture. By reason we determine whether our Christian witness is clear. By reason we ask questions of faith and seek to understand God’s action and will.
We Believe In
- The Living God
- God's Love
- Our Savior & Lord
- Balance of Heart & Head
- The Bible
- Certain Means of Grace
- Disciplined Living
Christianity is not merely a set of doctrines, a list of do’s and don’ts, or even profound emotions. The faith is first a vital relationship with God through Christ made real in us by the Holy Spirit. This relationship of love transforms us and makes us know that we are worth something.
We believe in God’s love, first as a gift that is free rather than a wage that is earned by “being good,” then as a demand to respond to God’s love with love toward God and everyone else. Finally, we believe in God’s love as a power to become more like Jesus.
Christ not only saves us from anything that would enslave or destroy our inmost selves, he is also our “boss,” the one we report to and the one we want to please.
The love of God does touch us deeply and move us emotionally. At the same time, we do not accept everything that “feels” right, nor are we asked to believe in nonsense. God gave us a heart and brains; we strive to use both.
The Bible—the written word of God—is the guide and “measurement” of our beliefs and actions. We have different ideas about how the Scriptures are divinely inspired. But whatever we believe, we are not satisfied until the Bible connects with THE Word of God –Jesus Christ. We have found that theories do not save, Christ does.
That is, we find that God continually uses some familiar ways to give us gifts of the Spirit: such as Holy Communion, Baptism, prayer, reading the Bible, fellowship and the acts of service. Yes, God is in everything, but we are more likely to encounter God when we are praying (for instance) than when we are not.
The Church has learned deep truths over the centuries and we receive these lessons gratefully. Meanwhile, we are called to interpret the “old story” in new ways for today (just as our grandparents did in their day).
We “press on” to ever more faithful and courageous lives. This does not happen if we pay attention to God only when the whim hits us. If we fail to be committed, we remain shallow in our personal lives and fearful in our public witness.