The Bible is the basis for all our beliefs. The Bible is the inspired Word of God, and it needs to be the grid through which we view everything else. Although our observations of the world will always agree with what the Bible teaches, mere observation will never lead to the kind of knowledge about God that can save us. God is a personal being who delights in communicating with his people through the Scriptures. This ongoing, personal communication is what our church seeks to facilitate by preaching and teaching the Bible.
Theology is important. Theology is what we believe about God, and it is vitally important to have the right theology for several reasons:
- We were created for the purpose of knowing and understanding our Creator. Having wrong ideas about God means we cannot fulfill the most basic aspect of life.
- Similarly, we worship according to what we believe about God. If we, for example, believed that God was chaotic, then we would no doubt be chaotic in imitation. But we believe that the one, true and living God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit existing in perfect unity, and that he is infinitely holy, just and good. We therefore worship and live our lives in ways that are fitting.
- The Bible says that we eventually become like that which we worship. This means that every aspect of our characters and the actions that result from them have their basis in who we believe God (or some idol that has taken the place of God in our hearts) is. If we think that God is deceitful, then we will inevitably be deceitful. But we believe that God is completely true, so we seek to be truthful.
- Finally, good theology is important is because our spiritual lives depend on it. Faith in Jesus Christ is the one thing that can save us, and faith comes through knowledge. You cannot love or have faith in someone you do not even know. We at HPC want everyone to know Jesus Christ as he really is, so that by knowing him you might love him, and loving him you might enter into his joy forever.
Our theology is summarised by the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms. Unlike the Bible, these standards were authored by men, but we (along with countless others throughout three and a half centuries) believe they are an accurate summary of biblical teaching.