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What do we actually believe? – Part 2

by on June 26, 2010

What about distinctives? Would that be a helpful way to say what we stand for? How are we diffferent from others? Hmm..

After a bit of navel-gazing, I can say, mostly we’re not different.  We agree with the creeds and the 39 Articles. With that for context, I’ve noticed that:

• I think we like the Bible more than some Christians do – we think it’s helpful and encouraging, not just true. We love it.
• We definitely talk about God’s love and grace more than his wrath. Some Christians seem to do the opposite.
• We probably believe in the Holy Spirit more than some Christians do. When we say ‘spiritual’ we’re likely thinking of the Holy Spirit.
• We talk about and look for the presence of Jesus in our meetings and our lives.
• Jesus’ humanity is precious to us, I think we rely on it more than some do.
• When we say Cross, we’re probably thinking resurrection as well as crucifixion.
• In fact, when we say Jesus, we’re quite possibly thinking in the present tense, not necessarily the past.
• We lean more heavily on being ‘in Christ’ (i.e. union) than some.
• We have less beliefs in the ‘essential core matters we’ll fight for’ category than some do, and more beliefs in the ‘secondary and we can live with difference’ category.
• I guess that makes us kind of more relaxed (less anxious?) about people’s doctrine than some of our brethren are.
• We’re happy to accept Christian brothers and sisters based on their allegiance to Christ, rather than on their detailed theological correctness.
• This also means there could well be people on the Canterbury mission team who don’t have the theological stance I’m describing!
• We seem to use abstract theological terms and ideas less than some Christians do. I think we find them a little bit alienating.
• When we say ‘gospel’, we’re thinking more of a story about a person, not so much a propositional argument
• We seem to place more importance on the material creation (‘stuff’) than some do.
• We give church and corporate life a more central place in discipleship than some Christians do.
• I’ve noticed that we talk about hope more than some – by which I mean God’s future for his creation. We rabbit on about something called ‘eschatology’ quite a lot (that’s about how God’s purposes are moving forward, towards the last day of glorious fulfilment). We find it helps.
• We don’t seem to talk about souls very much. More about people.

Hope that helps give the ‘flavour’ of our faith. No doubt there’s something in that lot to annoy pretty much everyone!

Feel free to ask questions/make comments.

From → General

One Comment
  1. Hey Jonathon,

    I don’t really understand why you have felt the need to wrestle with exactly what we do and don’t believe, but I certainly like what you’ve written here!

    Less about theology and doctrine and defining concepts and more about Jesus and people and doing something in obedience to God and in love for his people and his creation. Less words, more action!

    I would hope that wasn’t distinctive, but if it is, then I guess that’s us! : )

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