At All Souls, we recognize that not everybody is going to agree with our doctrinal positions. We don't expect that. In fact, we gladly and warmly welcome those who believe differently, or who are not yet certain of what they believe. We actively seek to provide an environment that fosters robust doctrinal and spiritual conversation in which we can "major on the majors and minor on the minors". However, just as with every other church, we do hold to theological convictions that will shape our ministry.
So, what is it that we believe?
All Souls is committed to the doctrines of GRACE.
- The Condition of Humanity
Because of the fall, we are more sinful than we could ever imagine (Jeremiah 17:9). Not only have we been corrupted by Adam's sin (Romans 5:12-19), but we are also responsible for our own sin. Our nature, in its original state, not only will not choose to obey the Gospel, it is unable to do so (Romans 3:9-20, 8:5-8). We are all in this same boat – desperately in need of God's grace. So there is no "finger pointing" necessary. We are ALL sinners. Let's just be honest about it and move toward the grace of God together.
- The Initiative of God, the Father
Because of our inherent brokenness and sin, we need our God to pursue us, which he certainly does. Why does he do this? Because, while we are more sinful than we could ever imagine, we are also more loved than we had ever dreamed! In His grace, God takes the initiative in establishing relationship with us, reaches down, captures our heart, and invites us into a love relationship with Himself (John 6:37-39, II Thessalonians 2:13-14). We can dare to believe that God actually writes songs of affection about us (Zeph. 3:17)!
- The Work of Jesus, the Son
God didn't just come up with the idea of salvation. He actually provided the way of salvation through Jesus Christ. (John 10:14-15, Ephesians 5:25-27). On the cross of Jesus Christ, we see the benediction of God to all who would believe: "My child, I love you and have forgiven you." (I John 4:10, Romans 5:10, Galatians 3:13). In other words, the cross was not just an act of goodwill, it was a fully effective act of redemption in which we are now called the beloved daughters and sons of the living God.
- The Ministry of the Holy Spirit
Through the Holy Spirit, God is still in the business of transforming lives. How? By convincing us of our sin and misery, enlightening our minds in the knowledge of Christ and by capturing our hearts with the love and mercy of God (Ezekiel 36:25-27). The Spirit of God opens our eyes to the beauty of Jesus Christ (John 6:44-45, Philippians 2:13) and whispers the benediction of his grace and affection to our souls.
- The Promise of the Gospel
He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it (Phil. 1:6). In other words, the One who has captured your heart will never leave you or forsake you. Through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, God has promised his love for you -- and he will keep that promise. No matter your failure, no matter your struggle, he will never let you go. How do I know He has embraced me? I have embraced Him. (I Corinthians 1:8-9). The Gospel is not about "believing in Jesus and then keeping your moral, ethical or theological ducks in a row". We don't become perfect just because we are followers of Jesus. Rather, we seek to conform our lives to his holiness out of gratitude for his affection for us. None of us will do this perfectly, most of us will often not even do this very well, but the grace of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus sustains us.