Statement of Faith
The Theopolis Institute
1. The Theopolis Institute is committed to historic Biblical Christianity. We seek to be thoroughly Biblical, comprehensively catholic, and true to our Reformation heritage. We affirm the historic faith as presented in the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds, and in the great statements of the Reformation such as the Canons of Dordt, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Belgic, Westminster Confessions, Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion and Second Helvetic Confession.
2. We believe that Jesus exercises His lordship first of all in the institutional church, and that there cannot be renewal in society apart from reformation in the church. The gospel of Jesus Christ is theocratic, since it proclaims the Kingship of Jesus over the world. In the Great Commission, Jesus calls us to disciple the nations under His kingship. Through the church’s proclamation, worship, discipline, and merciful service, God establishes the justice and peace of His reign in all nations.
3. We confess that the Bible is absolutely authoritative wherever it speaks and is the sole ultimate authority for our thinking and practice. We teach six-day creation and Biblical chronology as God’s starting point for restructuring our wayward understanding of science and history, Biblical symbolism as God’s way of teaching us how to interpret the world, Biblical imagery as God’s way of reforming our sinful artistic tendencies, Biblical psalmody as God’s way of reforming our sinful musical tendencies, Biblical proverbs as God’s way of reforming our approach to daily life.
4. We confess that Jesus is the keynote of Scripture. We practice and teach Christ-centered, typological, or covenant-historical interpretation of the Bible. We pay careful attention to the rise and development of the Kingdom of God in both its social and typological aspects through the course of Biblical history, which is the central core of world history.
5. We confess a comprehensively Trinitarian faith. We worship God the Father, God the Son-Brother-Husband, and God the Spirit-Counsellor-Matchmaker as Persons who give themselves to us in the three gifts of the Kingdom: new persons and relationships, the Word of God, and the sacraments of life. We seek to formulate all theology and re-imagine all of life from the viewpoint of Trinitarian theology.
6. We believe that God calls His church to unity. We are to be one as the Father is one with the Son in their common Spirit. Jesus Christ, the head of the church is not divided, and the unity that all Christians share in Him is to take visible form. Theopolis is committed to gleaning truth from every branch of the church, and committed to honest, open, and charitable conversation with all who have been baptized into the Triune Name and confess Jesus as Lord.
7. We practice and advocate Biblical worship, worship obedient to the revelation of God in Scripture. We believe that on the Lord’s day, God comes and renews His covenant with His people by calling us to worship, forgiving and delivering us from our sins, teaching us from His Word, feeding us at His table, and commissioning us to go forth and conquer through witness. Biblical worship involves wholehearted participation of the whole congregation in active and vigorous prayer and praise. Through worship, God transfigures us into agents equipped by the Spirit to establish the righteousness of His Kingdom in the world. In the church’s liturgy we learn that we are starving and are given free bread and wine by God Himself, a principle we carry out as charity to the world; we learn that we are ignorant, but we are instructed by the Word and carry those truths into the world; we bring our rotten selves before God to be transformed into new creations that can go forth as salt and light to the world. Liturgical renewal is foundational to reforming church and transforming culture.
8. We sing God’s Word, especially the Psalms, the war songs of the Prince of Peace. As the Father is God the Author, and the Son is God the Word, so the Spirit is God the Music, the Breath (Spirit) who sings the Word. God’s people need all of God’s own hymns in their hearts, and we promote lively, dancelike, vigorous singing and chanting of the psalms as essential to revival and reformation.
9. We deny that there is any neutrality in thought or life. Our aim is to strip bare the ungodly foundations of all pagan and semi-Christian thought and practice, and ground everything on Scripture. According to Romans 1, all men are insane, living in fantasy worlds of their own imagining. The Bible brings us back to sanity and reality, and so our study of non-Christian culture is always carried out from a Biblical perspective.
10. We confess Biblical eschatology. God’s Kingdom will expand through trials until all nations will be Christ’s. We seek to give proper Biblical weight to both the victory of God’s Kingdom and the role of suffering and martyrdom in the triumph of Jesus.
11. We affirm Biblical theocracy, affirming that Jesus reigns over every area of life. Since “all Scripture is profitable . . . for instruction” (2 Timothy 3:16), we believe that all Scripture is given for instructing all areas of life, including national life. We are also committed to the restoration of church government, since that is where Christ’s theocratic reign is concentrated and first manifest.
12. We are committed to serious reflection on the issues before the world today. We seek to avoid ideological thinking, sloganizing, and excessive rhetoric and instead promote sober, Biblical perspectives that deal with people as people. The Kingdom of God is not advanced through politics and ideology, but through proclamation, worship, and charity.