Our Core Beliefs

At Ethos, we recognize that not everybody is going to agree with everything we believe. We don’t expect that. In fact, we gladly and warmly welcome people no matter where they are on their spiritual journey—whether skeptical about the Christian faith, spiritually seeking, or trusting in the gospel of Jesus Christ. However, just as with every other church, we have certain theological beliefs that will perhaps make us distinctive in our community.

We are a church empowered by the Gospel

What is the Gospel? It is the announcement (literally “good news”) that Jesus’ resurrection was the beginning of salvation for the entire cosmos and will be completed when he returns. God is restoring the original peace of his creation through the work of Jesus, and is renewing individuals, families, cities and nations as people trust and follow Christ. How do we celebrate the Gospel? Through faithful proclamation and obedient demonstration. Weekly worship services are an opportunity for everyone to hear how God is setting things right and to thank him publicly for it. This public celebration “spills over” to the rest of our lives as we serve our neighbors as Jesus has served us. This is why our church is always looking for new ways to be good neighbors.

We are a church connected to other churches

We belong to the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), which provides us with a system of representational oversight and accountability. Our denomination, like others, is not without flaws. A denomination, like a family, cannot help but be shaped by its past, its successes and failures, its joys and hurts, its origins and ancestors. Each one is not without its blind spots, its peculiarities, and even its grievous errors. Yet, the PCA emphasizes that God is gracious, that salvation comes through Jesus by faith, that the Scriptures are authoritative, and that the mission of the church is to enrich the world with God’s renewing peace. Thus, our partnership with the PCA on a regional and national level bolsters Ethos as we seek to bring spiritual, social and cultural renewal to the city.

We are a church that exists for the benefit of our city, Chicago

As you can see, Ethos is committed to proclaiming the Gospel in everything we do. The test of our effectiveness will be threefold. First, are people trusting in Christ for the first time in their lives and are those who follow Christ growing in their commitment to him? Second, is our commitment to Christ visible to our friends and neighbors? Do the people in our city know that we are here to glorify God by loving and serving them and would they miss this church if it were to “close its doors”? Third, is this congregation planting and nurturing other churches throughout Chicagoland? We will be most effective in changing Chicago with the Gospel when all three elements are present.

We believe that Chicago is an especially exciting and strategic place to do ministry. We are committed to being a people who not only love our city, but who actively and passionately seek to see it thrive in every aspect of its existence—socially, racially, economically, culturally, psychologically. We believe that in helping to make Chicago a better place, we are helping to change the world.

We are a church that is reformed in its theology

We believe that God is sovereign in all things, including salvation, and that the sacraments of baptism and communion not only represent God’s grace, but also seal and apply that grace to our lives.