Our foundational manifesto in propositions (in no particularly important order):
-These propositions are not meant to be provocative or offensive: just a “starting point” for us.
-An established “place” or “position” from which to make progress from
-these are “non-negotiables” for us: our minds are made up about these things and not likely to be changed.
(I) We believe in truth (it doesn’t make any sense not to).
(II) We believe in clear thinking as a reliable guide for discerning the truth (or, at least getting us in the near vicinity of it).
(III) We believe that clear thinking involves an unyielding commitment to using language in a meaningful way, especially by way of valid inferences (good arguments). A meaningful statement or valid inference will be:
(1) clear (not obscure or unnecessarily wordy)
(2) precise (especially when it comes to using terms or defining them)
(3) coherent (logical)
(4) aimed at telling the truth
If arguments or statements fail to be (1), (2) and (3) (or at least fail to make a decent attempt at satisfying these three conditions), then they fail to be meaningful.* This becomes obvious when you begin to think about the possibilities for how a statement or argument will lack for meaning by lacking one of these attributes, for it could be:
a) clear but imprecise
b) precise but unclear
c) clear and precise but incoherent
d) coherent (and perhaps true), but unclear
e) coherent and clear but imprecise
f) precise and coherent but unclear
(IV) We believe that mere Christianity (as defined by some minimal, traditionally accepted confession like the Apostle’s Creed) is true.
XX) Because we believe in (ii) and (iii), we do not believe that ascribing the label, “mystery” to an otherwise incoherent or dubious theological statement rescues it from meaninglessness, nor is it somehow helpful to faith or in any way properly reverent to do so.
XX) We believe that the doctrine of Sola Scriptura is irredeemably flawed because it is unsupported either by clear thinking or the intention of the early church.
XX) We don’t believe in the separation of belief and action; if it makes a difference to our minds, it must also make a difference to our will and behaviour.
*We do not include (4) in the definition because a false statement could still be a meaningful one.