What kind of church is Bluff Park Community Church?
In answer to this question, I have often referred to our church using the following four adjectives: “Christian“, “Evangelical“, “Reformed” and “Missional“. In this series of posts, we seek to explain what we mean when we use these terms. You may go back and peruse the ground we’ve already covered so far.
Secondly, we are an Evangelical church.
To say that we are an “Evangelical” church can be a loaded term. To many, the idea of Evangelicalism is rooted in images of the the “Moral Majority” of the late 70’s and 80‘s or the “Religious Right” of more recent memory, conjuring images of TV preachers on the floor of the U.S. Senate attempting to influence national policy. (For the record, this is not what we mean.) In other cases, rather than this being a loaded term, it is a word whose definition is so broad, so benign, so inclusive, that it has lost any specific meaning all together, thereby actually “defining” nothing at all. (Not exactly what we are going for here either.)
So once again, the crux of the matter comes to what we are attempting to communicate when we use the term “Evangelical”. Our intent is neither to align ourselves with any modern day “conservative” political movement, nor to broaden our “tent” to include everyone under the sun. Rather, our goal is simply to identify with other churches throughout history who continue to believe and proclaim the historic Protestant faith.
As an Evangelical church, we affirm the following:
The Centrality of Christ – The Evangelical church is centered on Jesus Christ. We affirm that Jesus is the only source of salvation. This emphasis is evident in our preaching, our liturgy, our songs and our lives.
The Authority of Scripture – The Holy Scriptures, composed of the 66 combined books of the Old and New Testaments, are completely trustworthy and are our ultimate authority for our beliefs and our lifestyles. We believe the Scriptures to be authoritative, inspired, infallible, and inerrant.
Salvation by Faith – We believe that salvation is by grace alone through faith in Christ alone. Our good works do not earn salvation, but rather are the evidences of a life transformed by the gospel.
The Mission of the Church – This Gospel is good news for the entire world. The Evangelical church, though not perfect, has nevertheless always been particularly committed to sharing that news in both word and deed.
Next week, we take a look at our third descriptor, a Reformed church.