Eschatologically, I'm probably an optimistic Amellinialist. People get beat up for that sometimes. But Augustine, Greg Beale, NT Wright, and Tim Keller are decent company. Moreover, we are the temple [1 Cor 3.16, 6.19]. He has made us a kingdom of priests [Rev 1.6-9]. The kingdom is here AND it is coming [Mt 4.17, 6.10].
Ecclesiastically, I am congregational and baptistic. Of course, if we are in Christ, we must all be catholic with a little "c" because this just means universal. When Paul wrote to Thessalonica, he addressed them as the church. He also said that Jesus died for the church. These aren't the same. We are part of A church local and THE church universal and eternal.
Soteriologically, I'm more Reformed. God saves people for the great glory of Jesus. Quit fighting about it already. Just believe and behave the gospel.
Spiritually and affectionately, I have a little charismatic in me. The gifts of the Spirit are still here. He Himself is still here and moving mightily! Get your head out of the theoretical and Dispensational ground. They were not just for the apostles. They are for us too [Rom 8, Gal 3, 1 Cor 12-14, Jn 14-17, 1 Ths 5, Rom 12]! If you abide by a system, you don't abide fully in Christ.
Sacramentally, I believe that baptism should follow faith and repentance. This seems to be the pattern in Acts and the NT. But as far as the weight given to the Lord's Table and Baptism, I'm somewhere between an Anglican and a Baptist [don't worry Presby friends, I understand the covenantal hermeneutic as well]. I enjoy some of the liturgy as well. I also respect how the Free Will Baptist denomination holds a third ordinance: foot-washing [Jn 13, 1 Tim 5.10].
Regarding church polity and church offices, the NT always refers to elders in the plural. I'm all for that. I believe women can and should be deacons [Rom 16.1-5]. I believe the office of elder-bishop-pastor-shepherd should only be held by a man. Call me sexist.
I say all of this for several reasons:
- I've been thinking for a while about what a theological mutt I am. It makes me laugh.
- Nobody fits a mold. Fitting a mold is arelational and not gospel-centered.
- I'm not trying to be Brian McLaren and throw everybody's name in the hat so I'll be loved by millions [I'm sure Brian is a nice guy, but he needs to read the pastoral epistles and get a theological backbone].
- I am saying this because I feel [after being with God, with His church, and in His Scriptures] that these are views that most honor Jesus in some way or another. Go ahead and shoot me for this, but this is what we're called to do - not just give a WHAT we believe, but a WHY we believe it.