our values

What do we believe?


You could label us an "evangelical" church, yet there's recently grown a lot of cultural and political baggage around what that wonderful idea was originally meant to communicate. So, you could label us a "gospel-centered missional" church. But, this wonderful corrective can tend to neglect the vital importance and historical rootedness of the church as the Spirit-filled sacramental community of the risen and ascended Christ.


So, we simply like to say that we're a community that's theologically aligned to "historic confessional Christianity". This means we affirm the Apostles' and Nicene creeds, continued and refined through the Reformed confessions and creeds of the 16th and 17th centuries, and summarized in the Westminster Confession of Faith and Larger and Shorter Catechisms


Yet, to enjoy and serve in Jesus' community here, we don't expect you to sign off on every detail of our Confession. Rather, we expect all of our members to affirm a handful of basic Christian doctrine, and maintain the posture of a learner in an ongoing way.



Life


Foundational beliefs are one thing. What's vital is how these beliefs actually begin to be articulated in real life. Our values form the middle space where theology becomes "live-ology". Here's a summary of our values. Want to read more? Of course you do-- here's a more detailed version for you scholar-types: Hope Pres Values.

gospel

Story: the Bible is, first and foremost, the drama of the Triune God's redemption of His people and His creation taking place in history, accomplished in the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and applied in the ongoing work of the Spirit. 


Identity: our own stories are woven into and through this grand narrative of redemption by grace, we are transformed from enemies of God to adopted and beloved children because of His grace. 


Economy: this grace changes everything, nothing in the life of the Christian is untouched by grace, there is no division of sacred and secular, all of life becomes a theater for God's redemptive purposes to be celebrated and applied. 

calling

Worship: people are made to worship. The literary critic, David Foster Wallace, once observed that we all worship something, we are made for worship. In Christianity worship is the singing of songs, but also includes the focus of one's whole life. 


Proclaim: as worshipping creatures, we're made to reflect the glory of our Maker-- this is what it means to be made in the image of God. So as we live life, we share, through our deeds and our words, who this God is and His personal rescue of us through His grace alone. 


Multiply: at the outset of the Bible, humanity is directed to go forth, multiply, and create culture to expand God's glory. The church continues this calling as we bring the redemption of Jesus into every life sphere through our vocations, and the continual planting of new communities of faith. 

place

Land: physical place matters. Contrary to both a naturalistic worldview and some religious perspectives, the destiny of the earth is not a fiery destruction, but a glorious restoration in the life of the world to come. Thus, we seek to honor, enjoy, belong to, and care for our local environment. 

People: BTown's diverse groups of people all have much to offer, yet we love others not because of the strengths they offer but because all people bear God's image-- this is why human brokenness doesn't scare us, nor glory surprise us, instead they compel us to compassion. 

Culture: culture is "what we make of the world," its what people do-- we make stuff. BTown has its own unique cultures, and we want to honor those aspects that show true truth, beauty, and goodness because all these things point to the one personal creator God who is the ultimate culture-maker. 

community

Hospitality: we love opening our homes, cooking great meals, treating people to dinner and drinks, we love throwing parties. We want to have welcoming dispositions wherever we go, because this is the very attitude God has toward us. 


Friendship: we see our own need for deep relationships of vulnerability, commitment, and safety, and we know that others long for this as well. Simple friendship is a lost art, and we hope to regain this most basic of human institutions. 


Discipleship: we long to encourage one another, weep with those who weep, rejoice with those who rejoice, and help one another cooperate with the Holy Spirit's ongoing work of grace in each others' lives. 

service

We're a community that's here for the benefit of this place, not vice versa. In Genesis 12, God calls and blesses Abraham so that Abraham and his spiritual descendants can be a blessing to all people. The gospel of grace motivates us to serve others out of delight for God, not out of religious duty or a feeble reciprocal altruism. We love-- God and others-- because God first loved us. 

renewal

Spiritual: life-renewal first comes from God and impacts the life of a person, confronting our idols, addictions, doubts, and fears with the atoning actions of Jesus in history, and the cleansing work of God's Spirit in the present. 


Social: all people are interconnected, thus our brokenness and our redemption through grace inevitably will impact the webs of relationships we're apart of. We pray and strive toward God's goal of healing our broken family systems, neglected relationships, patterns of abuse, and systemic social issues such as racial injustice, gender and generational alienation, and socio-economic divisions.


Cultural: there are remnants of beauty in all that we make, yet these glimpses stand amidst great ruins of a humanity that's turned away from our Maker. Things that were meant to be good, have become ultimate and have now become determiners of our identity and sense that our lives mean something. Yet, all of creation belongs to Christ, and he is reordering all things to serve him in their proper place. By relating to all aspects of culture in this right relationship, Christians can cooperate with God's redemptive purposes. And, these former objects of misplaced worship can find their proper place as objects for our enjoyment and for service devoted to God alone.