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Red Tree Values | Rooted Conviction | Committed to Scripture

Updated: Jun 16, 2023

"Rooted conviction" speaks to the reality that Red Tree believes certain things deeply. The burning question is three-fold: What do we actually believe, why do we believe it and how do we arrive at those particular beliefs?

First, I will explain how all of this is rooted in our commitment to the Bible.

Committed to Scripture (not taking cues from our instincts or our own ability to reason)

What do we believe? Everything the Bible says about everything. Why? Because we believe the Bible is God’s spoken word to us and serves as our ultimate authority on all matters, practical, ethical, philosophical and spiritual. How do we arrive at particular beliefs? By carefully and humbly studying and learning what the bible says through personal study and by sitting under the faithful proclamation of God’s word in the local church.

Essentially, this means we are doing what philosopher and theologian Cornelius Van Til spoke of when he said bible-believing Christians are committed to “the vindication of the Christian philosophy of life against the various forms of non-Christian philosophy of life.”

Yes, we are convinced that truth is objective, but we’re also convinced that people are not objective! In the world in which we live, everyone seeks to “reason.” However, according to the bible, our self-reasoning is irrational because we, by nature, suppress the truth (Romans 1). In the first chapter of the New Testament book of Romans, the author, Paul, writes about what people actually do when they encounter God’s revelation of what is true about various matters: We repress, disobey, devalue and exchange the truth for a lie. In fact, he even says we celebrate those who hate, reject and rebel against God’s revealed truth.

Even when biblical truth is presented in the most logical and reasonable way, it often falls on hardened hearts and ears that are plugged by a suppression of the truth through either prejudice, ignorance of what God has actually said, or a commitment to various ideologies.

People are bent toward making decisions and accepting or rejecting things not based on the evidence, or upon truth, but upon a complex brew of feelings, emotions, vague impressions, fears, and the desire to be accepted by peers.

Ironically, we mostly hear today that Christians live by faith and not reason. This wrongly suggests that faith and reason are opposed to one another. Actually, everyone lives by faith in some ultimate reality and either rationally or irrationally seeks to reason according to these commitments. For Christians, our faith in God and our trust in his authoritative word is the basis of our reasoning and our pursuit to understand things in greater depth.

Most would agree, our world is presently filled with what we might call “cultural chaos.” It’s true, there is some level of cultural chaos. Part of the reason for the cultural chaos that abounds, if not the root of our cultural chaos, is actually an intellectual chaos that affirms the non-existence of objective truth. Instead some form of Universal skepticism or subjectivism rules the day.

This is true today and it was true 2000 years ago. In the 1st century, the Apostle Paul wrote, For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

Being a church with “rooted conviction” in biblical, objective truth does not mean we are mean, angry, judgmental or thoughtless. It simply means we recognize there is a God who created us and this same God has revealed to us all that we are to believe about himself, human life, and all seen and unseen realities.

The Apostle Peter wrote, Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:13-15)

[In the next post, I will explain more fully how our Rooted Conviction also entails being centered in the gospel (not centered around a collection of ethical advice)]



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