If asked, would you be able to explain the gospel?
Anabaptist Core Conviction:
Jesus is the focal point of God’s revelation. We are committed to a Jesus centered approach to the Bible and to the community of faith as the primary context in which we read the Bible and discern and apply its implications for discipleship.
By the rivers of Babylon there we sat and wept as we remembered Zion. (Psalms 137:1)
In the year 586 B.C.E., the Babylonian tyrant Nebuchadnezzar conquered the city of Jerusalem, destroyed its Temple, and carried off its people into exile. Among the handful of those who remained was the prophet Jeremiah of Anatoth. In this portrait, he is mourning the destruction of Jerusalem, alone with a few remaining holy vessels from the Temple, as the people of the city have been taken into exile by their Babylonian conquerors. Behind him, the ruined Temple smolders. The prophet sits desolate and lost in thought, leaving the viewer to wonder what he is contemplating.
Core Conviction 2:
Western culture is slowly emerging from the Christendom era when church and state jointly presided over a society in which almost all were assumed to be Christian. Whatever its positive contributions on values and institutions, Christendom seriously distorted the gospel, marginalized Jesus, and has left the churches ill equipped for mission in a post-Christendom culture. As we reflect on this, we are committed to learning from the experience and perspectives of movements such as Anabaptism that rejected standard Christendom assumptions and pursued alternative ways of thinking and behaving.
In the coming weeks, the Sunday teachings will come from the core convictions that many Anabaptist Chirstians share. While not a creed or a checklist for inclusion, these convictions can become a conversation starter for those wishing to explore Anabaptist theological distinctions more deeply. The following discussion questions come from Herald Press, and can be found here.
Core Conviction 1:
Jesus is our example, teacher, friend, redeemer, and Lord. He is the source of our life, the central reference point for our faith and lifestyle, for our understanding of church and our engagement with society. We are committed to following Jesus as well as worshipping him.
Aristotle tells us that there are three essential components of a persuasive argument: Ethos-establishing the credibility of the speaker; Pathos-appealing to the emotions of the hearer; Logos-appealing to evidence. During this election season, we have on display all of these rhetorical pieces. Talk about ways you have seen each, lately.
Why is our culture so preoccupied with power? What do you think is the source of this preoccupation?
Read Isaiah 55:6. Are there places or times when God is more near than others? What do you think about the Celtic Christianity view that there are "thin places" where heaven and earth, or the spiritual and physical world are close to one another?
There is a bigger story that we have the opportunity to be a part of...
Read Deuteronomy 6.4-9. We are pulled to serve many masters: peers, culture, employers, etc. What forces exert the greatest pull on your life, and which ones do you find most difficult to resist?