Our programming at the Center for Faith Studies is largely guided by the Phoenix Affirmations, a set of twelve principles originally penned by a group of clergy and laypeople from Phoenix, Arizona, in an attempt to articulate clearly the broad strokes of the emerging Christian faith.
The first published commentary on The Phoenix Affirmations appeared in 2006, written by Dr. Eric Elnes, now our senior minister at Countryside. According to Phyllis Tickle, author of The Great Emergence, Elnes’ The Phoenix Affirmations: A New Vision for the Future of Christianity stands today as the clearest, most articulate presentation of Progressive Christianity. The Phoenix Affirmations have been widely adopted by Christian organizations who identify themselves as progressive.
Below are the Phoenix Affirmations
Christian Love of God Includes:
1. Walking fully in the Path of Jesus without denying the legitimacy of other paths that God may provide for humanity.
2. Listening for God’s Word, which comes through daily prayer and meditation, studying the ancient testimonies which we call Scripture, and attending to God’s present activity in the world.
3. Celebrating the God whose Spirit pervades and whose glory is reflected in all of God’s Creation, including the earth and its ecosystems, the sacred and secular, the Christian and non-Christian, the human and non-human.
4. Expressing our love in worship that is as sincere, vibrant, and artful as it is scriptural.
Christian Love of Neighbor Includes:
5. Engaging people authentically, as Jesus did, treating all as creations made in God’s very image, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental ability, nationality, or economic class.
6. Standing, as Jesus does, with the outcast and oppressed, the denigrated and afflicted, seeking peace and justice with or without the support of others.
7. Preserving religious freedom and the church’s ability to speak prophetically to government by resisting the commingling of church and state.
8. Walking humbly with God, acknowledging our own shortcomings while honestly seeking to understand and call forth the best in others, including those who consider us their enemies.
Christian Love of Self Includes:
9. Basing our lives on the faith that in Christ all things are made new and that we, and all people, are loved beyond our wildest imaginations—for eternity.
10. Claiming the sacredness of both our minds and our hearts, and recognizing that faith and science, doubt and belief serve the pursuit of truth.
11. Caring for our bodies and insisting on taking time to enjoy the benefits of prayer, reflection, worship, and recreation in addition to work.
12. Acting on the faith that we are born with a meaning and purpose, a vocation and ministry that serve to strengthen and extend God’s realm of love.