Virtues, Practices and Goals:
Reconciliation does not grow on its own. It is simply and always a fruit, born only from the rich soil and deep roots of our common life in Christ. Virtues are the indispensable beginning. Practices supply steady growth, season by season. Together they produce the goal—a rich harvest of reconciliation. These, then, are the virtues, practices and goals of the Colossian Forum:
- Charity or love is our primary virtue: We believe that the people of God are to be marked and distinguished by love and friendship between one another and with God (John 13:33-34; John 15:15; 1 John 4:7-5:5).
- Hospitality is love practiced. We are trained into the habits of hospitality by encountering Christ’s hospitality to us as we are invited to participate in his own life through common worship and prayer. Christian worship is not merely an experience of God’s hospitable presence but also the central formative practice that trains our love and infuses into us the capacity to extend Christ’s hospitality to others.
- The Church is our central focus: We believe that the conversation between Christian faith and science must attend to the renewal of the church, its worship and practices, considering how they do or do not shape us in such a way as to allow us to hold together in Christ.
- Discerning what’s essential is our central concern: Paul’s prayer for the Christians in Philippi is also our prayer: “that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best” (Phil. 1:9-10; cp. Col. 1:9-10).
- Reconciliation is our goal: We do not think we need to reconcile science and faith, since as Christians we confess that all things “hold together” in Christ. We do need to overcome animosity between Christians. If the world is to know the truth that all things hold together in Christ, his body must first manifest that truth by the way we live together. If we can learn to live together in ways that hold together in Christ, then and only then will we make progress in our understanding of how faith and science hold together to reveal the glory of God.