Our Mission and Beliefs
THEOLOGY MATTERS because the gospel of Jesus Christ matters. The task of theology is to evaluate the church’s proclamation of the gospel according to Scripture and as attested in the catholic creeds and the Reformed confessions and catechisms of the church, in order to ensure that it is an authentic proclamation of the gospel and not something other. This urgent work must be done afresh in every age.
Theology Matters exists to equip and encourage, to instruct and inspire, members of the Reformed-Presbyterian family and the wider Christian community through the clear and coherent articulation of theology that is reformed according to God’s Word. It exists to bear witness to the truth of Jesus Christ. Theology makes a fundamental difference in the way we pray, think, and live.
More specifically, Theology Matters commits itself to these principles for its program:
First (1): To announce the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and of the Kingdom of God based upon the command of Jesus Christ;
Second (2): To continue to stand and serve within that branch of the church’s theological tradition that both historically and currently is biblical, catholic (Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds), Protestant (evangelical), Reformed (Reformed confessions and catechisms), and Presbyterian (having elders); and
Third (3): To strengthen and advance the faith that continues to bind together believers and congregations that adhere to historic Reformed faith and practice, and to facilitate the coming together in fellowship, solidarity, and unity of those churches; and
Fourth (4): To rely upon the guidance of the Holy Spirit to discern and to act upon opportunities for cooperation with the broader Reformed and Presbyterian movement (including at this time but not limited to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (E.P.C.), and A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians (E.C.O.), as well as other Reformed and Presbyterian Churches around the world) to try to regather scattered Presbyterians into the tradition that binds us together and to solidify Reformed theology and proclamation, in order to fulfill the primary, basic, and essential purposes of evangelizing and catechizing to follow Jesus’ will that His followers may all be one.
Statement of Belief
1. We believe in the one living and true God who exists eternally in three persons–the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We believe that “God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being,wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.”1 We believe that God is our Creator, that he has revealed himself to us through the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, and that apart from this revelation we remain ignorant of his name, his nature, and his will.
Therefore, we reject the false doctrine that asserts that the creature has the right to name and define the Creator, or to determine how God should act in any time and place.
2. We believe that Jesus Christ is God in human flesh. We believe that he was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, performed miracles, suffered and died on the cross as an atoning sacrifice for our sins, rose again on the third day, ascending into heaven, is seated in glorious authority making intercession for his elect, and that he will return to judge sin and establish his eternal kingdom.
Therefore, we reject the false doctrine that denies either the human or divine natures of Christ, his atoning work, or his exalted Lordship.
3. “Jesus Christ, as he is attested for us in Holy Scripture, is the one Word of God which we have to hear and which we have to trust and obey in life and in death.”2 Therefore, we reject the false doctrine that asserts that there are other ‘lords’ to whom we owe allegiance.
4. We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be, by the Holy Spirit, the inspired Word of God–the unique, reliable, and authoritative witness to Jesus Christ and his will for our lives. We believe that the Creeds and Confessions of the church, while subordinate to Christ and the Scriptures, are nevertheless authoritative standards.
Therefore, we reject the false doctrine that declares that the Bible is an ancient document inapplicable to modern life, that God continues to give new revelation apart from Scripture, or that the meaning of Scripture is at variance with the plain meaning of its words understood in their historic context. We also reject the false doctrine that teaches that the plain meaning of the Creeds and Confessions, understood in their historic context, are without authority in the church.
5. We believe that from every generation and race, God has sovereignly called and redeemed a people for his own glory–“a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people.'”3 We believe that Jesus Christ is alive and present with his people by the indwelling and empowering Holy Spirit whose work it is to regenerate, give faith, justify, sanctify, and give assurance that we are, by grace, at the price of Christ’s shed blood, the adopted sons and daughters of God.
Therefore, we reject the false doctrine that teaches that human beings have the capacity within themselves, by virtue of their humanity alone, and apart from redemption, to become the sons and daughters of God.
6. We believe that as the people of God, we have been called and commanded to proclaim the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ, to call men and women, boys and girls, to the obedience of faith, and in every generation to reclaim and reform the purity of the Church’s witness.
Therefore, we reject the false doctrine that denies the Church’s call, in every generation, to challenge cultural distortions of the gospel and to witness to the uniqueness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the one mediator between God and human beings.
1. The Shorter Catechism
2. The Theological Declaration of Barmen
3. 1 Peter 2:9