THEOLOGY

‘Theology’ comes from two Greek words: “Theos”, meaning “God”, and “logos”, meaning “word”which means that theology is words about God. In the early days of the church, The Apostle’s Creed was a statement of both individual and communal faith.

Over time the church has continued to edit, add and delete from this foundation. This conversation is a beautifully rich stream of truths that continues to progress to this day. Whenever we speak of God, we engage in this conversation. Good theology has its foundation in Scripture, Creation, Reason, Tradition, Experience and is guided by the Spirit. This is what we aim for.

The theological statements below engage in this conversation, and we invite you to wrestle, question, doubt and disagree with them, that we might continue in the conversation together.

1. GOD

We believe in the one true Creator God, who shows God’s self through self-giving love in a communal relationship of oneness displayed in three persons: Father, Son & Holy Spirit.

Genesis 1; Matthew 3.16–17; Mark 1.10–11; Luke 1.35, 3.22; John 1.32; Hebrews 9.14; Acts 7.55; Romans 8

2. CREATION

God called creation good & humanity very good.

God marked us with an identity as his image bearers & gave us a missional calling to serve, care for & cultivate Earth.

God created humans in his image to live in fellowship with him, one another, our inner selves, and creation.

The Hebrew poets used the word Shalom to describe both the intended relationship between the creator &  creation as well as relationships among creation.

Genesis 1-2; 1 Timothy 4.4

3. SIN

The enemy tempted the first humans, & darkness & evil entered the story through human sin & are now a part of the world. This devastating event resulted in our relationships with God, others, ourselves & creation being fractured & in desperate need of redeeming.

The theologian Cornelius Plantinga defines sin as the “Culpable disturbance of shalom”, meaning that sins are all the ways that we participate in this disturbance.

We believe God did not abandon his creation to destruction & decay; rather God promised to restore this broken world, removing sin & its’ effects on creation. We believe that we restore shalom by participating in the way of the Kingdom of God.

Genesis 3.15; Romans 5.12; Colossians 1.21

4. THE MESSIAH

God chose a people, Abraham & his descendants, to represent him in the world. God promised to bless them as a nation so that through them all nations would be blessed.

In time they became enslaved in Egypt and cried out to God because of their oppression. God heard their cry, liberated them from their oppressor, and brought them to Sinai where he gave them an identity and a mission as his treasured possession, a kingdom of priests, a holy people.

Throughout the story of Israel, God refused to give up on his people despite their frequent acts of unfaithfulness to him.

God brought his people into the Promised Land. Their state of blessing from God was intimately bound to their calling to embody the living God to other nations. They made movements toward their missional calling, yet they disobeyed and allowed foreign gods into the land, overlooked the poor, and mistreated the foreigner.

The prophetic voices that emerge from the Scriptures held the calling of Israel as a mirror of how they treated the oppressed and marginalized. Through the prophets, God’s heart for the poor was made known, and we believe that God cares deeply for the marginalized and oppressed among us today.

In Israel’s disobedience, they became indifferent and in turn irrelevant to the purposes to which God had called them. For a time, they were sent into exile; yet a hopeful remnant was always looking ahead with longing and hope to a renewed reign of God, where peace and justice would prevail.

We believe their longing for the renewed reign of God where peace and justice prevail found fulfillment in Jesus of Nazareth, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, mysteriously God having become flesh.

Matthew 1.28-55; John 1; John 3.16-17; Romans 8.19-25; Colossians 1.15-20

5. THE KINGDOM OF GOD

Jesus came to preach good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted & set captives free, proclaiming a new arrival of the kingdom of God, bringing about a new exodus, and restoring our fractured world.

He & his message were rejected by many as he confronted the oppressive nature of the religious elite & the empire of Rome. Yet his path of suffering, crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection has brought hope to all creation.

Jesus is our only hope for bringing peace & reconciliation between God and humans. Through Jesus we have been forgiven and brought into right relationship with God. God is now reconciling us to each other, ourselves, and creation.

In this new creation; where you are born, the tribe you are from, your gender, your age, your bank balance, your sexual orientation, or your skin color do not separate you from the love of God.

John 1.29; Romans 3.22-26; 5.1-9; Mark 4.26; Romans 14.17; 1 Corinthians 4.20; 2 Corinthians 5.17; Hebrews 1.1-3; Revelation 21.5

6. SPIRIT

We believe the Spirit of God affirms as children of God all those who trust Jesus. The Spirit empowers us with gifts, convicts, guides, comforts, counsels, and leads us into truth through a communal life of worship and a missional expression of our faith.

John 14.26; 20.21-23; Ephesians 1.17-19; Acts 1.8

We believe the Bible was written by people who were guided by God’s Spirit and we affirm that the Bible is authoritative, inspired, illuminated by the Spirit and is useful for teaching, correcting, and for wisdom.

Psalm 119.105-112; John 16.12-14; 17.17; 2 Timothy 3.16-17

We believe that the church is rooted and grounded in Christ, practising spiritual disciplines and celebrating baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The church is a global and local expression of living out the way of Jesus through love, peace, sacrifice, and healing as we embody the resurrected Christ, who lives in and through us, to a broken and hurting world.

Matthew 22.36-40; 28.19-20; John 20.21-23; 2 Corinthians 5.16-21

We believe Jesus calls people to be his disciples in all areas of life, exhibiting our faith in him by social and personal practices, which brings glory to God’s name.

Matthew 5.14-16; 22.36-40; Colossians 3.17; 1 Peter 4.11-12; 2 Peter 3.18

We believe that marriage is a monogamous relationship, where their desire to love one another unconditionally, is an embodiment of God’s love for humanity. We believe that fidelity should be encouraged and celebrated & that promiscuity & loneliness are dangerous and destructive.

We believe the day is coming when Jesus will return to judge the world, bringing an end to injustice and restoring all things to God’s original intent. God will reclaim this world and rule forever. The earth’s groaning will cease and God will dwell with us here in a restored creation. Our relationships with God, others, ourselves, and creation will be whole. All will flourish as God intends. This is what we long for. This is what we hope for. And we are giving our lives to living out that future reality now.

Isaiah 11.1-9; Isaiah 65.19-25; Matthew 19.28; Acts 3.21; Colossians 1.19-20; 2 Peter 3.13; Revelation 21