So, following up on musings earlier in the week on the elements of an attractive, readable, story-shaped, inclusive and biblical articulation of the Christian faith, here’s my favourite modern example – the 1998 Doctrinal Basis of the London School of Theology (coincidently my alma mater).
I have reasons why I like it so much. What do you think?
The London School of Theology accepts and proclaims the historic truths of Christian faith and conduct, including the following:
a) God and the human race
We believe that the Lord our God is eternally one God:
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
and that he fulfils the sovereign purposes of his providence
– in creation, revelation, redemption, judgement,
and the coming of his kingdom –
calling out from the world a people,
united to himself and to each other in love.
We acknowledge that though God made humanity
in his own likeness and image,
conferring on us dignity and worth
and enabling us to respond to himself,
we are now members of a fallen race,
who have sinned and come short of his glory.
We believe that the Father’s holy love is shown supremely
in that he gave Jesus Christ, his only Son, for us
when, through our sinfulness and guilt, we were subject
to his wrath and condemnation;
and that his grace is shown supremely
by his putting sinners right with himself
when they place their trust in his Son.
We confess Jesus Christ
is Lord and God, the eternal Son of the Father;
as truly human, born of the virgin Mary;
as Servant, sinless, full of grace and truth;
as the only Mediator and Saviour of the whole world,
dying on the cross in our place,
representing us to God,
redeeming us from the grip, guilt and punishment of sin;
as the Second Adam, the head of a new humanity,
living a life of perfect obedience,
overcoming death and decay,
rising from the dead with a glorious body,
being taken up to be with the Father,
one day returning personally in glory and judgement
to bring eternal life to the redeemed and eternal death to the lost
to establish a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness,
where there will be no more evil, suffering or death.
as Victor over Satan and all his forces,
rescuing us from the dominion of darkness, and
bringing us into his own kingdom;
as the Word who makes God known.
We believe in the Holy Spirit
who with the Father and the Son is worthy of our worship,
who convicts the world of guilt in regard to sin, righteousness and judgement,
who makes the death of Christ effective to sinners,
enabling them to turn to God in repentance
and directing their trust towards the Lord Jesus Christ;
who through the new birth unites us with Christ,
who is present within all believers;
and makes us partake in Christ’s risen life,
pointing us to Jesus,
freeing us from slavery to sin,
producing in us his fruit,
granting to us his gifts, and
empowering us for service in the world.
b) The Scriptures
We believe that the Old and New Testament Scriptures
are God-breathed since their writers spoke from God
as they were moved by the Holy Spirit;
hence, they are fully trustworthy in all that they affirm;
and as the written Word of God they are our supreme authority for faith and conduct.
We acknowledge the need for the Scriptures to be rightly interpreted
under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and
using the gifts of understanding and scholarship that God has given to his people.
c) The Church and its Mission
We recognise the Church
as the body of Christ, of which he is the head,
held together and growing up in him through the one Spirit; both
as a total fellowship throughout the world, and
as local congregations in which believers gather to worship God,
growing in grace through Word, prayer and sacrament.
We acknowledge the commission of Christ
to proclaim the Good News to all people,
making them disciples, baptising them, and
teaching them to obey him.
We acknowledge the command of Christ
to love our neighbours,
resulting in service to the Church and to society,
in seeking reconciliation for all with God and their fellows,
in proclaiming liberty from every kind of oppression; and
in spreading Christ’s justice in an unjust world
… until he comes again.