Where A Church Stands Theologically


On Sunday May 15th from 4pm-6:30pm we will be gathering for Summit #4.  (Child care will be available.) The goal of the Summit is not to debate theology but to define and describe the various positions along each continuum.[1]  The “x”  on the continuums below identify (approximately) where KHC currently stands. Eventually, it will be the responsibility of the elders to furnish position papers stating why we stand where we stand. Additionally we would identify as “Confessional Evangelicals” on the uppermost continuum.

When churches don’t pick one or the other end of a continuum, they are considered to be seeking to hold both in a (dynamic, prayerful, respectful, and studied) tension, which is where KHC has existed for many years.

KCH-Theological-CToward a definition of theological terms…

  1. MoralisticMoralism is the anti-gospel, seeking to achieve growth, sanctification, or “Christian maturity” through self-effort. The basic structure comes down to the belief that the Gospel can be reduced to improvements in behavior. It is as if salvation is by grace but that growth in Christ is due to maintaining a (NT) moral code.
  2. Fundamentalism – Baptist editor Curtis Lee Laws coined the term in 1920 to designate Christians who were ready “to do battle royal for the Fundamentals.” Laws borrowed the term from the title of a series of essays published between 1910 and 1915 called The Fundamentals: A Testimony to the Truth, reacting to liberal theology and militantly asserted the inerrancy of the Bible. While the focus on the fundamentals is admirable, in the last 40 years Fundamentalism has come to be associated with moralism.
  3. Evangelical – The religious movements and denominations that sprung forth from a series of revivals that swept the North Atlantic Anglo-American world in the 18th and early 19th Key figures associated with these revivals included the itinerant English evangelist George Whitefield (1715-1770); the founder of Methodism, John Wesley (1703-1791); and American Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758). These revivals were particularly responsible for the rise of the Baptists and Methodists from obscure sects to prominent denominations.
  4. Confessional Evangelicalism – Having a passion to keep the gospel of Jesus Christ at the center of all church life and ministry, a deep commitment to biblical truth as defined in the historic confessions of the faith, a sense of urgency to see lost persons hear the gospel, a commitment to the local church and to pursue personal holiness.
  5. Liberal – The theology of liberal Christianity became prominent in the 19th and 20th The style of Scriptural hermeneutics[2] is not considered a collection of factual statements, but instead an anthology that documents the human authors’ beliefs and feelings about God at the time of its writing—within a historical or cultural context.
  6. Dispensational – A 19th-century theological development that sees God as structuring His relationship with humankind through several stages, or dispensations, of revelation. Dispensationalists believe that the nation of Israel is distinct from the Church and that God has yet to fulfill His promises to national Israel. As a system, dispensationalism is rooted in the writings of John Nelson Darby (1800–1882) and propagated through works such as The Scofield Reference Bible. Additionally, the theology consists of a distinctive “end times”[3] perspective, known as premillennialism[4] and a pretribulation rapture.[5] In other areas of theology, dispensationalists hold to a wide range of beliefs within the evangelical and fundamentalist spectrum.
  7. Covenantal – Belief that God has structured His relationship with humanity by covenants rather than dispensations. Old Testament Covenants (OT) and the New Covenant (NT). These covenants are not new tests, but are rather differing administrations of the single, overarching covenant of grace. Adam sinned and broke the initial (old) covenant, and thereby subjected all humanity to the penalty for covenant-breaking – condemnation. God in His mercy instituted the “covenant of grace,” through Jesus Christ, which is the promise of redemption and eternal life to those who would believe in Him.
  8. Charismatic – Describes the 20th century and ongoing international, cross-denominational/non-denominational Christian movement in which individual, historically mainstream congregations adopted beliefs and practices similar to Pentecostals. Foundational to the movement is the belief that Christians may be “baptized in” the Holy Spirit as a second experience subsequent to salvation and that it will be evidenced by manifestations of the Holy Spirit including the “gift of tongues.”
  9. Non-Charismatic – The belief that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is not a “second blessing” subsequent to conversion, but is inseparable from conversion and a once-for-all experience that involves one’s permanent identification with Christ and His Church.
  10. Cessationist – The view that the miraculous gifts of the Spirit, such as healing, tongues, and prophetic revelation, pertained to the apostolic era only, served a purpose that was unique to establishing the early church, and passed away before the canon of Scripture was closed.
  11. Continuationist – The view that the miraculous gifts are normative, have not ceased, and are available for the believer today.
  12. Calvinism – The theological system associated with the Reformer John Calvin that emphasizes the sovereign rule of God over all things as reflected in its understanding of Scripture, God, humanity, salvation, and the church. Calvinism refers to the Five Points of doctrine regarding salvation, which make up the acrostic T.U.L.I.P.[6]
  13. Arminianism – A school of theology based on the teachings of Dutch theologian Jacob Arminius emphasizing free will, meaning our choices are free from the determination or constraints of human nature and free from any predetermination by God. “Free will theists” hold that libertarian freedom is essential for moral responsibility.
  14. Complementarian – The theological view that men and women are created equal in their being and personhood through bearing the image of God, displaying physical and functional distinctives and are created to complement one another in biblically prescribed roles and responsibilities in marriage, family life, and church leadership. Complementarians view women’s roles in church ministry as distinctive from men, holding to the “mystery” of mutual submission, male headship, and sacrificial love conveyed in Ephesians 5:19-33. Practically, this is expressed through the practice of male lead pastors and elders.
  15. Egalitarian – The theological view that not only are all people equal before God in their personhood, but there are no gender-based limitations of what functions or roles each can fulfill in the home, church, or society – viewing Galatians 3:28 as a hinge-verse that changes the historical role of women in the Church.
  16. “Hyper” Theological Positions – The prefix “hyper” may be applied to almost any theological position that falls outside what is generally viewed as orthodox (or mainstream). The term is generally regarded as a pejorative yet, as one might imagine, those who hold a “hyper” or extreme view would not regard their view as extreme but normative.

[1] A range or a scale.

[2] Interpretation of the Bible.

[3] Eschatology.

[4] Premillennialism teaches that the 2nd Coming will occur before a literal thousand-year reign of Christ from Jerusalem upon the earth.

[5] The Church will be taken off the earth before the tribulation in preparation for Christ’s 2nd Coming.

[6] Total depravity, Unconditional election, Limited atonement, Irresistible grace, Perseverance of the saints.

Where A Church Stands Theologically

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