What is our theological perspective? We are Reformed. Another word for it is we are Calvinist, which has nothing to do with Calvin & Hobbes, although that is really a cute comic strip (Twitter: @Calvinn_Hobbes). We whole-heartedly embrace the Five Points of Calvinism, and all the doctrines taught in our Westminster Standards. Here is one way to summarize some of our key biblical convictions.
God is absolutely sovereign & mankind is completely responsible. God is not only the creator and sustainer of all things. He is the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lord. He rules His creation. He is also the eternal planner of all things. He has sovereignly planned out all things related to His creation from all eternity, and it all takes place according to His plan. But when this truth is put that starkly, some believe that our ability and freedom as human beings is compromised. Interestingly, the Bible does not speak of man’s freedom (more on that in second point) as it speaks of his responsibility. God is the sovereign judge of all the earth. So all humankind will answer to God for their actions which include all their thoughts, words, and deeds. The teachings of God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility run through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. But let me simply illustrate with two passages. In Genesis 45, Joseph, after revealing himself to his brothers, tells them not to be angry with themselves. They had “sold” Joseph as a slave to an Egyptian named Potiphar. But Joseph re-assures them that while they “sold” him to an Egyptian, God had “sent” Joseph so that he might save God’s covenant people in the future, which he was in the process of doing. Later in Genesis 50:20, Joseph again re-assures his brothers, “you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good,” the good being rescuing and keeping alive the covenant people of God.
Then flip over to the New Testament, to Peter’s Pentecost sermon and listen to this fishermen-preacher. In Acts 2 we find these words, “this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God…” God the Father by His definite plan and foreknowledge determined that Jesus would be “delivered up” to be executed on the cross. God sovereignly planned and carried out his plan on Good Friday over two thousand years ago. But in the same breath Peter continues, but let me quote from the beginning so we can appreciate the force of his statement, “this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, YOU crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.” Please notice that the Jews listening to Peter that day do not answer Peter by saying, well, we can’t possibly be responsible since God ordained Jesus’ death. But rather, they cry out, “what must we do?” Peter tells them to “repent.” God sovereignly planned the most evil act that ever occurred, the wicked execution of His Righteous Son on the cross. Yet his plan was carried out by sinful men who are fully responsible for the wicked act. And so it is with everything that occurs in God’s creation.
The second set of truths I want to highlight is this: mankind’s slavery to sin and God’s sovereign grace in salvation. All evangelical traditions emphasize that mankind is a sinful race since the Fall of Adam. Many also emphasize as Jesus does in the Sermon on the Mount that sin is not only outward actions but is a matter of the heart. We break the command concerning murder with our hateful words, and we break the command not to commit adultery with our lustful thoughts. But the Reformed faith goes further to state that all of us outside of Christ are slaves to sin. Jesus says those that “sin (or practice sin) are slaves to sin” [John 8:34]. Paul says that all unbelievers are in fact “hostile to God,” moreover, they “do not submit to God,” even are “powerless to do so.” [Romans 8:7] How depressing is this biblical truth. Sinners are so enslaved by their sin they cannot even believe the Gospel, the Good News that Jesus came to save sinners, until God intervenes with His sovereign grace of salvation. How does God do that? First God planned from eternity that He would save for Himself a people in Christ. Then the Father sent the Son to die on the cross to save sinners from the guilt and condemnation of their sin. Finally, the Holy Spirit works through the preaching, teaching, and hearing of the gospel to save sinners. Sinners must come to embrace Jesus in repentance and faith if they are to be saved. But they will only do so by the work of the Holy Spirit.
Now I have NOT summarized for you all that we believe, not even close. But I have tried to give you a summary of some key theological themes that run throughout the Bible.