Jacob’s Well stands among a long line of Christian people dating back to Jesus Christ and the teaching of his apostles. In articulating our beliefs we want to both clarify where we stand on certain teaching issues, but also define areas we consider open for robust theological discussion. As Christians we are connected to the faith once for all entrusted to the saints, preserved in Scripture, and handed down faithfully by the churches throughout time. As with all followers of Jesus we hold to the core convictions as represented in the ancient Apostles and Nicene Creeds.
We are also confessional Christians in that we hold firmly that the only inspired and fully authoritative word from God is comprised of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. This is therefore the highest authority in our lives and we submit joyfully to its teaching for we believe them to be the very words of God. The Bible is to be interpreted by both believers, the community and trained, responsible leaders. We desire to teach and live faithfully in accord with the truth of the Word of God.
Additionally, we believe in discussion and formation of our theology over time. We also believe some things are settled doctrine, without which one would not be considered to be a follower of Christ. On these pages we have two primary goals. First, to declare fully things which we do not consider up for debate, things that we treasure together, foundational truth from which we will not depart. These things we hold tightly in a closed hand – protecting, teaching, finding our identity and joy in the precious revealed truths of our faith. Second, we also want to say what we believe about those issues and their biblical moorings.
We also desire to state openly which issues are areas of intramural debate in our church. We encourage, engage in, and wrestle deeply with these issues to arrive at personal convictions on these matters. However, we hold them in an open hand, with a diversity of viewpoints welcomed in the congregation, even amongst our leadership. Finally, we want to acknowledge the depth and mystery of the revealed truths of Scripture. Not that these things cannot be known, but that they cannot be domesticated and known exhaustively. The truths we hold dear proceed to depths beyond our grasp whereby we stand in awe and worship, humbly submitting ourselves to God revealed in Jesus Christ. It is in Him that we find our deepest trust and confidence.
Issues in the Closed Hand
- The Trustworthiness and Authority of Scripture
- The Nature of God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
- The Beauty and Depravity of Human Beings
- The Salvation of God in Jesus Christ
- One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church
- The Reality of Divine Judgment
Issues in the Open Hand