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The Phoenix Affirmations: A New Vision for the Future of Christianity

ISBN: 978-0-7879-8578-3
180 pages
April 2006, Jossey-Bass
The Phoenix Affirmations: A New Vision for the Future of Christianity (0787985783) cover image
The Phoenix Affirmations, named for the town in which the principles were created and the mythological bird adopted by ancient Christians as a symbol of resurrection, offers disillusioned and spiritually homeless Christians and others a sense of hope and a more tolerant, joyful, and compassionate message than those we often hear from the media and some Christian leaders. These twelve central affirmative principles of Christian faith are built on the three great loves that the Bible reveals: love of God, love of neighbor, and love of self. They reflect commitments to environmental stewardship, social justice, and artistic expression as well as openness to other faiths. Transcending theological and culture wars, inclusive and generous in spirit and practice, these principles ask believers and seekers alike to affirm their Christian faith in a fresh way.
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The Author.

Acknowledgments.

Introduction.

Affirmation 1. Walking fully in the path of Jesus, without denying the legitimacy of other paths God may provide humanity.

Affirmation 2. Listening for God’s Word, which comes through daily prayer and meditation, through studying the ancient testimonies which we call Scripture, and through attending to God’s present activity in the world.

Affirmation 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.

Affirmation 4. Expressing our love in worship that is as sincere, vibrant, and artful as it is scriptural.

Affirmation 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.

Affirmation 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.

Affirmation 7. Preserving religious freedom and the Church’s ability to speak prophetically to government by resisting the commingling of Church and State.

Affirmation 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.

Affirmation 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 imagination – for eternity.

Affirmation 10. Claiming the sacredness of both our minds and our hearts, recognizing that faith and science, doubt and belief serve the pursuit of truth.

Affirmation 11. Caring for our bodies, and insisting on taking time to enjoy the benefits of prayer, reflection, worship and recreation in addition to work.

Affirmation 12. Acting on the faith that we are born with a meaning and purpose; a vocation and ministry that serves to strengthen and extend God’s realm of love.

Notes.

CrossWalk America.

The Phoenix Affirmations.

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Eric Elnes, Ph.D., is a pastor and the cofounder of CrossWalk America (www.CrossWalkAmerica.org), a nonprofit organization that is launching a coast-to-coast walk starting on Easter Sunday, April 16, 2006, to unite progressive Christians nationwide, encourage meaningful discussion, and establish common ground for people of faith.
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"You never know where the next Great Awakening is going to come from. Wherever it happens, I want to be present at the beginning, when the Spirit moves in wonderful ways. I see a spark of what very well may be the next Great Awakening here in Phoenix, Arizona."
—Dr. James Forbes, senior pastor, Riverside Church, New York City, New York
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