The Theological Education Institute (TEI) International
(December 18, 2012)
In simple summary, the mission and vision of the TEI International is this:
- The biblical definition of human freedom and hard questions can change the world; and
- the Gospel of Jesus Christ advances religious, political and economic liberty for all people equally.
Specifically, the TEI assumes the goodness and complete interpretive truth of the biblical order of creation, and that the basis for social trust is located in the marriage of one man and one woman for one lifetime. Five priorities are these:
- To educate the grassroots of the believing church in excellent biblical theology, also equipping many to become leaders in the culture;
- To honor the unalienable rights given by God to all people equally, with specific emphasis in advancing religious, political and economic liberty;
- To bring the Gospel into all sectors of society – the family, church, government, military, education, media, business, science, medicine and the arts;
- To welcome the toughest questions of all skeptics with graciousness in demeanor and rigor in thinking; and accordingly
- To let the goodness of Jesus the Messiah become transparently evident, and so build the kingdom of God through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The TEI aims to see a culture come to pass where the reputation of believers is known – as with Moses, Daniel and Paul – for being rooted in 1) love, 2) a sound mind and 3) the power of the Holy Spirit. And that these believers are found in every sector of society, worldwide, up to the most important leadership roles, advancing the Gospel through their very persons.
Strategy: Freedom and Hard Questions
In the biblical order of creation, the first words to Adam by Yahweh Elohim are words of true freedom (click here) which find celebration in posing questions of God and one another, in order to be good stewards of the creation.
In John 8:31-32, Jesus teaches: “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” As the Redeemer of a broken creation, Jesus teaches as the quintessential rabbi, where the training of the Hebrew mind begins first, in childhood, with learning how to ask questions. Only when we know how to ask questions do the answers matter. And only then can we come to know truth and freedom.
When disciples of Jesus embrace the freedom to receive and pose honest questions in the presence of those who believe otherwise, the power of the Holy Spirit to minister to a hurting world is the result. This advances religious, political and economic liberty for all the people equally, welcomes seekers of the truth into the church, and thus, serves the Great Commission.
Statement of Faith:
- The classical orthodoxy of the Nicene Creed is a faithful summary of biblical essentials to faith, crucially with respect to the Trinitarian nature of God;
- This faith is rooted and defined in the 35 books of the Hebrew Bible (Tenakh) and 27 books of the New Testament, which on their own exegetical terms equal the completely trustworthy, revealed and sufficient written Word of God [note: this tally treats 1 and 2 Samuel as one book; 1 and 2 Kings as one book; 1 and 2 Chronicles as one book, and Ezra and Nehemiah as one book, per the original Hebrew Bible];
- The Protestant Reformation, in its classical evangelical identity, and in the goal of ecclesia reformata semper reformanda (“the church reformed and always reforming”), strives to be a fully hospitable context for biblical faith and true ecumenism, always in service to the catholic (“universal”) church; and
- Jesus sums up the Law of Moses, and as he fulfills it in his person, with the call for us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and accordingly, to love our neighbors as ourselves. The articulation of the twelve positive assumptions in Genesis 1-2 (click here), and six pillars of biblical power and honest politics (click here), seeks to serve such an end.