A basis of faith is a summary statement of what you believe, which is helpful for a number of reasons: convenience, conciseness, it helps to lay out where points of agreement / disagreement occur, etc. A basis of faith does not need to be written down: everyone has some kind of basis of faith, whether they know it or not! I believe that it is helpful for a basis of faith to be written down so that it can be tested against the Scriptures and correct if necessary. It is also helpful to have written down as it is easier to discern when you deviate from it.
If you want a helpful book about why creeds and confessions are important, have a read of The Creedal Imperative by Carl Trueman.
As such, I thought it would be fair to include a brief statement of faith about where UTB is coming from. I (Phill) am an ordained Anglican minister, which means I subscribe to Canon A5 of the Church of England:
The doctrine of the Church of England is grounded in the Holy Scriptures, and in such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the said Scriptures.
In particular such doctrine is to be found in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, The Book of Common Prayer, and the Ordinal.Source
So, the Bible is primary, then the ancient creeds (the Apostles Creed and Nicene Creed), and then the 39 Articles and Book of Common Prayer.
What does that mean in practice?
Let me try and summarise effectively what that means in practice for the output of UTB
- Believing in the primacy and final authority of the Bible for all matters of faith and conduct (what we believe and how we live);
- Following the Reformed tradition of theologians such as John Calvin (as opposed to, say, Lutheran or Methodist);
- Holding a particular view of the sacraments which are not necessarily shared by some other Christian denominations (e.g. I believe that it is right to baptise infants, a belief which is not shared by all Christians).
However, UTB is not here to take the party Anglican line on issues like baptism! – all are welcome from any denomination. However, I hope it’s helpful to know where I am coming from and where my theological ‘home’ is.