MATTHEW Y. EMERSON: Despite modern ambivalence toward it, the descent was vital to early and Medieval Christian faith, and it is my belief that we can retrieve its importance today.
MATTHEW Y. EMERSON AND R. LUCAS STAMPS: We believe that all Christians should pray for and seek Christian unity across ecclesial and denominational lines and that Baptists should not reflexively reject principled, ecumenical dialogue with other Christian traditions.
MATTHEW Y. EMERSON AND R. LUCAS STAMPS: We believe that Baptist worship should be anchored in Holy Scripture and informed by the liturgical practices of the historic church. We believe that Christian worship should be Word-centered. In worship, we read, preach, sing, pray, and show forth (through the ordinances) the Word of God. We further believe that Baptist worship could benefit from incorporating historic practices such as lectionary readings, the liturgical calendar, corporate confession of sin, the assurance of pardon, the recitation of scriptural and historic prayers (especially the Lord’s Prayer), and the corporate confession of the faith (expressed in the ecumenical creeds and other confessional documents).
MATTHEW Y. EMERSON: The calendar is not used because it is commanded in Scripture; it is used because it helps the church throughout space and time organize its exposition of God’s Word to his people.
MATTHEW Y. EMERSON AND R. LUCAS STAMPS: We encourage the ongoing affirmation, confession, and catechetical use of the three ecumenical creeds and the scriptural insights of the seven ecumenical councils. We believe these confessional documents express well what Thomas Oden called the “consensual tradition”—the deposit of faith taught in Holy Scripture and received by the church throughout space and time.
MATTHEW Y. EMERSON AND R. LUCAS STAMPS: We affirm that all people, regardless of race, ethnicity or gender, are created in God's image and, if they have repented and believed in Christ, are brothers and sisters together in the one body of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. Because of this shared imago dei and because of Christ's saving work among all nations, peoples, and tongues, we believe that one major task of Baptist catholicity is to promote racial unity, especially within the body of Christ.