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Confessing Our Faith Today Contemporary Testimony: Our World Belongs to God Michael Goheen.

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Presentation on theme: "Confessing Our Faith Today Contemporary Testimony: Our World Belongs to God Michael Goheen."— Presentation transcript:

1 Confessing Our Faith Today Contemporary Testimony: Our World Belongs to God Michael Goheen

2 Starting Point: The gospel is the power of God to bring salvation.

3 The Need for Confessions ▪Enable members to take hold of it in a living way ▪Enable members to understand the meaning of the gospel for their lives today ▪Protect the gospel against errors that threaten it

4 Confessions in Scripture and History ▪‘The Lord, One God, The Lord, Our God’ (Deut. 6:4) ▪‘Jesus is Lord’ (Rom.10:9; I Cor.12:3) ▪‘Jesus is one substance with the Father’ (Early creeds) ▪Reformed creeds of post-reformation period

5 Creeds in Scripture and history... ▪Enabled people of God to take hold of faith in living way in their time ▪Enabled people of God to understand what it meant to be people of God at that time ▪Protected Biblical faith from error that threatened it

6 ‘If you preach the gospel in all aspects with the exception of the issues which deal specifically with your time you are not preaching the gospel at all.’ - Martin Luther

7 Need for Contemporary Confessions ‘The responsibility of the church [is] to declare to each generation what is the faith... This is always a fresh task in every generation, for thought is never still. The words in which the Church states its message in one generation have changed their meaning by the time the next has grown up. No verbal statement can be produced which relieves the Church of the responsibility continually to re-think and re- state its message.

8 Quote continued...... No appeal [to creeds and confessions] can alter the fact that the Church has to state in every new generation how it interprets the historic faith, and how it relates it to the new thought and experience of its time... Nothing can remove from the Church the responsibility for stating now what is the faith. It belongs to the essence of a living Church that it should be able and willing to do so’ - Lesslie Newbigin

9 Need for Contemporary Confession ‘... it is not enough for the church to go on repeating in different cultural situations the same words and phrases. New ways have to be found of stating the essential Trinitarian faith, and for this the church in each new cultural situation has to go back to the original biblical sources of this faith in order to lay hold on it afresh and to state it afresh in contemporary terms’ - Lesslie Newbigin

10 Why? ▪Enable church to take hold of faith today ▪Enable church to understand what it means to follow Christ today ▪Challenge current cultural idols that threaten faith today

11 Dominant spirit of our time ‘The dominant spirit of our times has various names, such as secularism, atheism, humanism, or practical atheism. Together these forces form a real culturally formative power which restricts and opposes God’s people as they try to live obediently in the world. If it takes a crisis to move the church to write confessional statements, these secular spirit of our times has moved us to write the Contemporary Testimony.’

12 Why can the Contemporary Testimony do this? ▪Narrative structure ▪Missional emphasis ▪Doxological tone ▪Understandable language ▪Counters contemporary threat(s) ▪Important theological issues ▪Current issues and relevant discipleship ▪Reformed, Kuyperian accent

13 My Own Use ▪Family worship ▪First year biblical theology class ▪Church ▸ Teaching series ▸ Catechetical training ▸ Profession of faith for new members

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