Evangelical Calvinist Confession of the Faith, 2009

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Here is something I wrote as my Evangelical Calvinist Confession of Faith back in 2009 (before we ever wrote our first EC book). As you will see it is unfinished.

§ God

We hold God to be one and three and three in one, so that His oneness shapes His threeness and His threeness shapes His oneness. This means that God’s life is a plenitude of superabundant love which has always already been the consummate and eternal reality of His life. It is within this dynamic, wherein the Father loves the Son and the Son loves the Father, and the Father and Son love in the communion of the Holy Spirit wherein He freely chose to create a mirror of Himself in His image who might further reflect His love for the other; and in so doing created a community of creatures who find their greatest delight and purpose by loving Him — through Him — and by loving their neighbors.

§ Incarnation

We confess that the second person of the Trinity, the eternal logos — the Son — has eternally been for the other, that His person (hypostasis) within the Trinitarian life has been proleptically toward Incarnation. This presupposes that without sin, without the ‘Fall’, His life has been oriented toward elevating His creation to its consummate and eschatological purpose; which is to participate in the union and knowledge of the Father by the Holy Spirit that He has mutually shared with the Father and Holy Spirit from super-time (or eternity). So we believe that the Incarnation was always the intended event for which the Son has been graciously purposed in His intratrinitarian relation; thus the Incarnation was a truly free and sovereign act decided by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit which is the antecedent to what we see ‘revealed’ in the economy of God’s life in salvation history in Israel and Christ’s life. We believe that the economic revelation of this eternal reality implies — given such realities as the homoousion, hypostatic union — that all of humanity is carnally united to Christ per His ‘supreme’ (“firstborn”) position over all of creation and that some will experience the full implications of the Incarnation which is to participate in the ‘spiritual union’ that the Son vicariously provides for humanity in and through Himself by the Holy Spirit reconciled to the Father in His life.

§ Creation of Man

We believe that man was originally created in the imago dei (Image of God), which is to say that given the eschatological shape of God’s life in Christ by the Holy Spirit; we believe that man was proleptically created in the imago Christi (Image of Christ) who in fact has always already been the icon or image of God. Man was created for the purpose of spreading God’s goodness and glory by koinonial love with and through God, and thus by communaly loving his neighbor.

§ The ‘Fall’

Unfortunately man ‘fell’ into sin by believing the ‘word’ of the serpent, instead of believing the Word of God. This act separated man from God’s life and introduced an soloptic autonomy into man’s state, so that what once was an unbroken disposition of receiving life from God as ‘gift’ and love, an outward and upward position of doxology; has now become an inward curvature of self-love (concupiscence) wherein man’s life is shaped by holding onto what he perceives to be his — ‘his life as god’ — and for which he will make the ultimate sacrifice which is to give himself as a ransom for himself in order to maintain his position as god — he can do no other, for this is what he is by sinful nature.

§ Election and Reprobation

We believe in a Christ conditioned supralapsarianism. Which is to say that we believe that Christ is the electing God and the elected God who freely elected our reprobation for Himself (our poverty), and His election as the Son (by adoption) for us. We do not believe that this election is constituitive of His life, but instead that it reflects the eternal shape of God’s superabundant life of love in action. So God’s being shapes His action, and His action shapes His being; so that what we see in the economy of election in Christ is what has always already been the reality of God’s life. We believe that the Holy Spirit brings the ‘elect’ into consummate or full election which is to participate in Christ’s life as the elected of the Father. We do not pretend to explain why the reprobate reject the life and gift of Christ which they have been carnally united to; only that this rejection of life in Christ now serves as the ground for their judgment.

§ At-onement

§ Christ’s Death, Burial, and Resurrection

§ The Ascension

§ Faith and Good Works

. . .

More to come yet.

Here are the fifteen EC theological theses that Myk and I wrote for our EC book (these might be seen as supplemental of the EC confession, at least when you read them in full in our book):

Thesis One. The Holy Trinity is the absolute ground and grammar of all epistemology, theology, and worship.

Thesis Two. The primacy of Gods triune life is grounded in love, for God is love.

Thesis Three. There is one covenant of grace.

Thesis Four. God is primarily covenantal and not contractual in his dealings with humanity.

Thesis Five. Election is christologically conditioned.

Thesis Six. Grace precedes law.

Thesis Seven. Assurance is of the essence of faith.

Thesis Eight. Evangelical Calvinism endorses a supralapsarian Christology which emphasizes the doctrine of the primacy of Christ.

Thesis Nine. Evangelical Calvinism is a form of dialectical theology.

Thesis Ten. Evangelical Calvinism places an emphasis upon the doctrine of union with/in Christ whereby all the benefits of Christ are ours.

Thesis Eleven. Christ lived, died, and rose again for all humanity, thus Evangelical Calvinism affirms a doctrine of universal atonement.

Thesis Twelve. Universalism is not a corollary of universal redemption and is not constitutive for Evangelical Calvinism.

Thesis Thirteen. There is no legitimate theological concept of double predestination asconstrued in the tradition of Reformed Scholasticism.

Thesis Fourteen. The atonement is multifaceted and must not be reduced to one culturally conditioned atonement theory but, rather, to a theologically unified but multi-faceted atonement model.

Thesis Fifteen. Evangelical Calvinism is in continuity with the Reformed confessional tradition.

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