1. What is it? A living tradition
Tradition is the living faith of the dead. By joyfully placing ourselves in the Reformed tradition, we join a community of theologians, saints, and martyrs who have gone before us. The Bible is our ultimate authority, but we read the Bible together with the larger Church, across time and space. When we quote the Reformed confessions or theologians like Calvin or Kuyper, it is not because we believe they are infallible. Only Scripture is infallible. However, tradition helps us know God, experience his majesty, and make wise decisions. Though these brothers and sisters are dead, they still speak as guides who have stood the test of time. To refuse their testimony is to quench the Spirit. We seek to continue on in the same way, affirming the sovereignty of God over every sphere of life, the priority of grace, and the theological significance of covenant for understanding Scripture.
2. How does it live with other Christian traditions?
Even as we are planted in the Reformed tradition, we acknowledge the breadth and depth of the larger Church, which includes all who belong to Jesus Christ. We seek to live hospitably with all our neighbors, offering the unique gifts of our tradition while also seeking to learn from others. We are willing to hear challenges, receive correction, and reform our practice so that it more faithfully represents the gospel of Jesus Christ.
3. What does it mean to live in this tradition?
We acknowledge that we are on the way. We have not arrived at the end of the story, and so we humbly seek to obey God’s Word as we understand it. Tradition shapes us but it is not perfect. We appreciate the insights of the past, but we acknowledge that the church has not always provided good examples of how to read Scripture or how to embody Christian faith. Thus, we seek, not simply to understand Scripture, but to stand under its authority, allowing it to speak to our tradition, shape our imagination, affections, and actions, and form our common life.