Theological Perspective


Trinitarian

New College Franklin exists to glorify our Triune God and enjoy communion with Him forever. We believe that God has spoken supremely in our Lord Jesus Christ and in Holy Scripture teaching us to trust in the sovereign, eternal, just, and merciful decrees of the Father; the atoning life, death, and resurrection of Jesus; and the work of the Holy Spirit as our ongoing Counselor, Guide, Equipper and Friend. These fundamental Trinitarian truths define us first and foremost as mere Christians.

Creedal

Moreover, we are orthodox Christians. We are grateful heirs of the historic Christian Church and of the pioneers and patriarchs of faith who gave us the creeds and the early Church councils: The Apostles Creed, The Nicene Creed and the Definition of Chalcedon. Thus, we continue to be linked with that historic line of faithfulness as it has continued, uninterrupted, across the centuries.

Confessional

In following this historic line of faithfulness New College Franklin holds to the reformational confessions of the 16th and 17th centuries including the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession and the Canons of Dort. We believe that these confessions best articulate orthodox Christian doctrine revealed in the Holy Scriptures. New College Franklin stands in this rich confessional Protestant tradition not as a system of ideas separated from living faith.

Practical

Because sound theology is inseparable from holiness, we believe that the fruit of the Spirit, love and humility, and service in word and deed are essential marks of true theology. Indeed, these manifestations of faith are essential to our theological perspective. As our motto, Wisdom, Discipleship, Mission, proclaims, godliness exists in word and deed. Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. (I John 4:7)


Statement of Faith

Trinity

We believe in one, true and living God, infinite in being and holy perfection, immutable, eternal, and incomprehensible. In Him is all life, glory, and goodness for He alone is in Himself all-sufficient. In the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Incarnation

Christ, the Son of God, is of one substance and equal with the Father. He was conceived by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary and took on flesh yet without sin, being in two whole, perfect and distinct natures, one person, fully God and fully man.

Holy Scriptures

We hold Scripture as our highest authority. We believe that God’s inerrant, infallible, and inspired Word, the Bible—including the Old and New Testaments—is altogether sufficient as our guide for life, practice, and godliness. As a people we are committed to read it, study it, sing it, pray it, teach it, preach it, obey it, and practice it.

Creation

Not of any necessity, but of His own pleasure, in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. All things were created out of nothing in the span of six days, all very good. We believe that science and theology are compatible disciplines that both must operate under the authority of the Holy Scriptures.

Fall

Adam, our federal head, fell from original righteousness by disobeying God, and sin en- tered the whole world. In choosing rebellion and lawless separation from God, our first parents became dead in sin, and their original sin is passed on to all mankind.

Salvation

Our loving and merciful Father has called a numberless elect out of spiritual death in Adam into eternal salvation and life in Christ. Those whom He effectually called are united to Christ’s death, burial and resurrection by no work of their own but by God’s free gift.

Covenant

God’s elect, united in Christ, are His children, and He is a gracious, loving Father. God’s children, moved by the proclamation of the gospel, are gathered together as the visible and invisible catholic Church.

Eschatology

As Christ bore God’s love to the world, so Christ’s Church bears the gospel unto the farthest corners of the world. God works through the Church to preach and to embody the gospel, and we long for the day that “the earth will be filled with the knowledge and glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14