Emmanuel is part of the family of churches often described as “Reformed” in order to show our connection to the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century.  Historically, Reformed churches have been committed to the principle captured in the Latin phrase sola Scriptura (Scripture alone).  At Emmanuel, the Bible is the source for what we believe and for how we seek to live out our lives in obedience to God.  We call it our “primary standard.”

Read the Bible Online

In addition to the Bible, we use the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Westminster Larger Catechism, and the Westminster Shorter Catechism as documents that summarize what we believe the Bible teaches about central and important truths of the Christian faith.  We call these three documents our “secondary standards” because, unlike the Bible, which is without error and directly inspired by God, these three confessional documents are fallible human productions.

Read the Confession and Catechisms Online

In addition to our belief in sola Scriptura, four additional Latin phrases help provide a summary of truths we hold dear: solus Christus (Christ alone), sola gratia (grace alone), sola fide (faith alone), soli Deo gloria (to the glory of God alone).  In 1996, the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals produced the Cambridge Declaration, which provides a helpful summary of these five beliefs.

Read the Cambridge Declaration Online