BIBLICAL Horizons MISSION STATEMENT
I. Doctrinal Affirmations:
1. Biblical Horizons is committed to historical Biblical Christianity. We seek to be thoroughly Biblical, comprehensively catholic, and true to the Reformation faith. We affirm the historic faith as presented in the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds, and in the great statements of the Reformation such as the Canons of Dordt, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Belgic and Westminster Confessions.
2. We believe that the primary issue before the Church today is the lordship of Jesus Christ. That lordship is exercised first of all in the institutional Church, and apart from reformation of the Church there cannot be reformation in society. The gospel of Jesus Christ, however, is thoroughly theocratic, since in His ascension our Lord Jesus became King of the world and in the Great Commission He calls us to disciple the nations under His kingship, and so the lordship of Christ means national as well as ecclesiastical discipleship.
II. Mission and Vision:
3. Our vision is expressed in our research and publications. We believe that the following perspectives must be recovered if the Church and then society are to be revived:
a. Trinitarian Awareness, which is sensitive to God the Father, God the Son-Brother-Husband, and God the Spirit-Counsellor-Matchmaker as Persons who are worshipped by the Church and who give themselves to us in the three primary gifts of the Kingdom: new persons and relationships, the Word of God, and the sacraments of life.
b. Biblical Absolutism, which means that the Bible is absolutely authoritative wherever it speaks and is the sole ultimate authority for our thinking. Along these lines we affirm such things as the importance of six-day creationism and Biblical chronology as God’s way of restructuring our wayward understanding of science and history, Biblical symbolism as God’s way of teaching us how to interpret the world, Biblical imagery as God’s way of reforming our sinful artistic tendencies, Biblical psalmody as God’s way of reforming our sinful musical tendencies, Biblical proverbs as God’s way of reforming our approach to daily life, etc. We today face the greatest crisis of world civilization since the collapse of antiquity and the collapse of the medieval world. The civilization provided by the Protestant Reformation is falling apart. More than ever we must pay very close attention to everything in the Bible in order to help lay a foundation for our grandchildren in the century to come.
c. Covenant-historical Interpretation of the Bible, which means paying careful attention to the rise and development of the Kingdom of God in both its psycho-social and typological aspects through the course of Biblical history, which is the central core and directing rudder of world history. Covenant-historical interpretation is the antidote both to the unbiblical legalism that flourishes in American Christianity, and to the prophetic speculation and fantasies that have diverted Christians from real-world concerns.
d. Presuppositional Thinking, which seeks to strip bare the ungodly foundations of all pagan and semi-Christian thought, and ground every thought on Biblical principles. According to Romans 1, all men are insane, living in fantasy worlds of their own imagining. The Bible is given to bring us back to sanity and reality.
e. Biblical Theocracy, which means affirming the crown rights of King Jesus over every area of life. Specifically, since "all Scripture is profitable . . . for instruction" (2 Timothy 3:16), we believe that all Scripture, including the books of Moses, is given for instructing all areas of life, including national life. We are not committed to the particular theoretical approach to the Mosaic law advocated by Bahnsenian "theonomy," but we do stand with the historic Church in holding that God intends for us to hearken to what He is saying in the books of Moses as well as everywhere else in the Bible. We are committed to careful and sensitive interpretation of the Mosaic revelation in particular, since little has been done in this area. We are also committed to the restoration of Church government, since that is where Christ’s theocratic reign is concentrated and first manifest.
f. Biblical Eschatology, which always points to the expansion of the Kingdom through trials until eventually all nations will be Christ’s. Some today emphasize the suffering and external weakness of the Kingdom so much that they deny the Biblical promises of victory in history, while those who emphasize victory seldom emphasize sufficiently the role of suffering and martyrdom in the advancement of the Kingdom. We try to give proper Biblical weight to both.
g. Biblical Worship, which means viewing the Lord’s Day as the Day of the Lord, the time when God comes and renews His covenant with His people. Covenant renewal is characterized by God’s calling us to worship, His forgiving our sins and restoring us, His teaching us from His Word, His feeding us at His table, and His commissioning us to go forth and conquer through witness. Biblical worship is also characterized by the wholehearted participation of the whole congregation in active and vigorous prayer and praise. If the Church is to be revived in our day, we must recover a Biblical vision of worship, and Biblical Horizons is dedicated to promoting such a recovery.
h. Singing of God’s Word, especially the Psalms, which are the war songs of the Prince of Peace. As the Father is God the Author, and the Son is God the Word, so the Spirit is God the Music, the Breath (Spirit) that sings the Word. In the days when the churches were filled with God’s own hymns, the gospel went forth in power. We don’t believe in exclusive psalmody, but we are committed to the idea that for a healthy diet God’s people need all of God’s own hymns (the Psalter) in their hearts, as well as the other songs God Himself gives us in the Bible. We are committed to recovering a lively, dancelike, vigorous singing and chanting of the psalms as essential to revival and reformation.
i. Christian Transformation, which means that we believe that the local Church, with all its problems, is still the center of the Kingdom. It is the nursery of the Kingdom, where God’s people are trained in the basic tools and activities needed to manifest the Kingdom into society. In the Church we learn that we are starving and are given free bread and wine by God Himself, a principle we carry forth as charity to the world. In the Church we learn that we are appallingly ignorant, but we are instructed by the Word and carry forth those truths to the world. In the Church we bring our rotten selves before God to be transformed into new creations that can go forth as salt and light to the world.
Finally, we are committed to Serious Reflection on the issues before the Christian world today. Too often Christians get caught up in movements and begin to think in simplistic slogans. This is dangerous because God is too complex, human beings are too complex, and this world is too complex. Ideological thinking, sloganizing, and excessive rhetoric need to be replaced by sober, Biblical perspectives that deal with people as people. This is particularly important in the area of cultural critique and social transformation. Serious reflection makes some people uncomfortable because all they want is a slogan they can put on a banner and march under. But the Kingdom of God is not advanced through politics and ideology, but through proclamation and charity.
4. As God gives us strength and
resources, Biblical Horizons provides the following ministry services:
a. Speaking engagements, for the Bible places primacy on hearing the Word taught.
b. Annual conferences.
c. Production and distribution of taped messages.
d. Production and distribution of written materials, including:
2. Theological papers
4. Scholarly journals and/or annuals
e. Free distribution to missionaries and to Christians in impoverished conditions at home and abroad, such as prisoners and Christian workers in "underdeveloped countries."
5. Biblical Horizons is a research and teaching institute. We are not a church. We do not exercise any government over any part of the body of Christ, nor do we perform the sacraments.
6. The officers and employees of Biblical Horizons are required to be enrolled as members of a Bible-believing church, accountable to some particular body of elders.
7. Biblical Horizons is a non-profit organization that is able to receive tax-deductable donations under provision 501(c)3 of the United States tax code. As such, Biblical Horizons makes a financial report annually to the Internal Revenue Service. A copy of this financial report is made available to anyone requesting a copy.
8. Biblical Horizons produces materials for sale, and also occasionally sells materials produced by other organizations.
9. Biblical Horizons solicits donations from supporters, because serious research and writing never pay for themselves.
10. Ideally Biblical Horizons is supported by churches that benefit from our ministry, and by donations from individuals above and beyond their tithes. Biblical Horizons never solicits tithes from supporters, because we believe that the tithe should go to the local church. We accept without question donations from any source. We recognize that not all supporters agree with us that all the tithe should go to the local church; and we also recognize that in a time of spiritual upheaval, such as ours, it is legitimate on occasion for people to give part of their tithe to "prophets" instead of to the "synagogue." Moreover, under the Law gifts beyond the tithe were given to priests and prophets who assisted individuals in their understanding of God’s will. Thus, we respect the beliefs and consciences of our supporters as they determine, before God and in view of their own particular circumstances, the best disposition of the blessings He has given them.
James B. Jordan
Founder & Director