The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is a broad coalition of evangelical pastors, scholars, and churchmen from various denominations, including Baptist, Congregational (Independent), Anglican (Episcopal), Presbyterian, Reformed, and Lutheran who hold the historic creeds and confessions of the Reformed faith and who proclaim biblical doctrine in order to foster a Reformed awakening in today's Church. The purpose of the Alliance’s existence is to call the Church, amidst a dying culture, to repent of its worldliness, to recover and confess the truth of God’s Word as did the reformers, and to see that truth embodied in doctrine, worship, and life.
What do we mean by the name the “Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals”?
- First, we are “evangelicals,” because of the priority we place on the biblical evangel (or “good news”), and because “evangelical” was the first nickname used by the Protestant reformers of the sixteenth century to describe their commitments to recovering the gospel in the Church and proclaiming it to the world.
- Second, we are “confessing” because we warmly embrace the rich biblical teaching articulated in both great ecumenical creeds of the Church, and reformed confessions and catechisms. Further, we believe the Church must not only assent to her confessions but confess the gospel afresh in protest against the spirit of this age. Like the Lutheran and Reformed evangelicals who formed the Confessing Movement against the Nazi party in the 1920s and ‘30s, we recognize that we must be in a “state of confession”— especially because accommodation to the spirit of the age has sapped the Church of her strength and caused her to divide her loyalties between the lordship of Christ and the lordship of this age’s “principalities and powers.”
- Third, we are an “alliance” because we have banded together to further this, our common cause.
To elaborate, consider the three constituent parts of the organization’s name.
We Are an Alliance.
Since 1994, the Alliance has been an association of evangelical pastors, teachers, leaders, and Christians committed to the great evangelical consensus arising from the protestant reformation, working together for the recovery of the biblical, apostolic witness of the Church. It fosters a collaborative movement of reformed evangelical Christians, to promote robust, biblical, historic, confessional Christianity through media, events, publications, networking, and more. It has encouraged the Church to evaluate its message and methods, according to Scripture. It has warned the Church against false doctrine. It has advocated for sound doctrine, warm piety, catechetical instruction, biblical worship, faithful cultural engagement, and scriptural methods of evangelism and church growth.
We Are a Confessing Alliance.
In the “Cambridge Declaration,” the Alliance declares its theological commitments, confesses its faith and calls the Church back to the biblical principles of doctrine. While the Alliance strongly emphasizes the Scripture alone as the only final rule of faith and practice, it recognizes the importance of creeds and confessions as testimonies to biblical truth. The Alliance believes that it is not only appropriate but imperative for the Church to publicly declare its understanding and embrace of biblical truth, both for the edification and protection of the Church. The Alliance, thus, does not achieve alliance by reducing our beliefs to the bare minimum (reductionism), but by making a full confession of our common evangelical and reformational faith (catholic-spirited confessionalism).
We Are an Evangelical Alliance.
The name “evangelical” is a time-honored designation. It was the earliest self-designation used by the Protestant reformers of the sixteenth-century church and its doctrine. In fact, the term was in common use before the term “protestant” became popular. Another term the reformers used to describe their theology and worship was “reformed.” They often spoke of recovering the original, divinely appointed doctrine, order, and life of the church—of being a church “reformed,” “corrected,” or “cleansed.” The Alliance takes up the name “evangelical” drawing on this rich tradition. The evangelical church and movement has been at its healthiest in history in days when it is characterized by the leadership of strong, sound, godly, reformation-rooted pastor-theologians. In more current usage, “evangelical” has come to signify a passion for the gospel witness of the Church. The Alliance finds this to be the natural and necessary response to the good news we have received and thus aims for a vigorous commitment to evangelizing by means of the evangel itself — the good news of salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.