I would like to set out seven principles that I think it would be healthy for all Christians to adopt using language that is free from the colouring of doctrinal debates.
Before I get to those principles I would like to paint a picture for you.
Imagine a body of believers that operates, despite differences of tradition, in perfect unity. A bride ready for the bridegroom, if you will. Revelation 19:7 made real. Imagine glory going only to the Father. Imagine a time when the pretences of perfection give way to humility. Imagine the Christian body with room for everyone.
You are now starting to consider the Church of tomorrow. Keep doing that.
Travellers along the path of The Way of Yeshua
Sometime before I hit upon the idea of using axioms as stepping stones to build a systematic and self-consistent framework for evaluating doctrine, I wrote an essay. This essay carried the title, “Travellers along the path of The Way of Yeshua“. In it, I dreamed of a better tomorrow.
I had found that the “normal” language of doctrine and creed often colour our thinking. Rather than help us explore our faith, I suspected (and still do) our words do more to obstruct discussion. Which is why my introduction said this:
I have long dreamed of a return to the foundations Christianity as expressed in the book of Acts and demonstrated in the letters of the new testament in general. However, tradition and history have tarnished the name of Christianity and we have imbued much of its language with meaning unique to our own doctrines and traditions. Therefore, I have attempted to write down this vision of the Church of tomorrow with little of the language of the past so that our current understanding does not colour or distort what I feel The Father is trying to show us. I have looked to our roots, as best I understand them, to provide for this. So if this seems familiar, that is probably because it is.
I could have probably done with a few more commas. Feel free to imagine them.
When I write about the path of The Way of Yeshua, what I am doing is both imagining a better Church (the Church of tomorrow) and attempting to express what unites us without any distracting language. I will almost certainly fail. If in failing, I spark a discussion that leads to the Church of tomorrow, I will have been a success.
Making the vision known
The essay opened by quoting Habakkuk 2:2-3. While I got as far as the writing down the vision, I failed at the making it known part. This post, and the ones I hope will follow it, aim to correct this failing.
These principles might be summed up as: we do not know everything and we should not pretend that we do.
7 Principles for the Church of tomorrow
In my essay “Travellers along the path of The Way of Yeshua“, I set out seven guiding principles. If you have ever wondered where I am coming from when I write, these principles are it. In many ways, they are the foundations of the axiomatic (using axioms) approach I have started to apply.
These are not just fine ideas but express the very core of how I read the Bible. These are the principles that guide my study.
- Agnosis – Man is ignorant and all that we think we know is faulty due to our own limitations.
- Incompleteness – We realise that our transformation is incomplete.
- Retirement – We must be ready, as we mature, to put away less mature doctrines and ideas.
- Knowing only Yeshua
- Scriptural mystery – While the scriptures are God-breathed, we lack the spiritual wisdom to fully understand them.
- Faith – We trust The Father to guide us and place our faith in Him.
- Love – Above all else, in all things, we act from love.
Over the next few months, I will try to unpack these principles. I hope that you will explore them with me.
What are your hopes for the Church of tomorrow?