Over the course of Jones’ life as a devoted Christian and evangelist, his fundamental theological convictions emerged. Unafraid to probe his own mind and heart, Dr. Jones asked himself the following questions: “Stanley, you have been a Christian for 50 years. You walked with Christ for 50 years and you have faced life together. What have you learned? What has life taught you in these 50 years? What are the convictions which you hold, or deeper, which hold you?” Through his sermons and writings, he expressed 12 primary convictions, all revolving around his understanding that “if Jesus is not the answer, there is no answer.”
We Live in a Moral Universe. The moral universe that God created is dependable. We experience results or consequences in this God-created universe.
“The God who is behind this moral universe stands in relationship to us as a Father who loves us, cares for us and would redeem us. The creator of this universe is a God who is Love and who seeks all of humanity as the object of His love. The New Testament tells us that God revealed Himself in His most perfect and loving form in the person of His son, Jesus Christ.
Jesus is incarnate God. Jesus is the “Word” become “flesh.” Jesus is God become man. The divine word became flesh in Jesus Christ. Jesus shows us how to live in that He is our example and disposes us to live in that He is our redeemer.
The center of the incarnation is the cross. The cross represents the reality of God’s full identification and experience with our suffering. What fell on Jesus fell on God, what He bore, God bore; Jesus’ cross was God’s cross. Self-surrender reflects our presence at the cross.
The way of Christ is written into me and into the nature of reality. The Way is written into the nature of reality and into our natures. Christian living has cosmic backing, for it is the natural way to live. The message of revelation and the facts of science both end up at the feet of Christ.
The way to live is by grace and receptivity. Self surrender enables us to take the gift of God which transforms us and enables us to walk upon the Way! We travel upon that Way by grace and receptivity.
The gift of the Holy Spirit is the birthright of all Christians. The Holy Spirit makes Christ our contemporary, for the Holy Spirit is Christ in us now!
The Kingdom of God is the ultimate order and God’s answer to man’s total need. The Kingdom of God is to be taken seriously as a present reality. Jesus believed in life and in its redemption. The Kingdom of God is the collective redemption of all mankind.
The way to meet unmerited suffering is to use it. Unmerited suffering and injustice can be used. Jesus took the cross, the symbol of death, and turned it into the symbol of redemption. All injustice and evil can be used as an occasion of a testimony to the glory of God.
Jesus is Lord and will have the last word in human events. Jesus is Lord, and if we have any doubt, we can simply recall the resurrection on the third day. “Put out the candles, the sun is up.” Jesus is alive now and Jesus is Lord.
Love is the strongest force in the world and will ultimately win. The love of God is the biggest thing in the universe, and when that love is incarnate in a person, we know that God’s love has sought us out in the way that mankind can grasp and follow.
Jesus is the one perfect gift that we have to give to the world. Jesus is a gift to be shared with the world: “In the person of Jesus Christ the Christian church holds within itself a motive and a power that produces transformed persons.”
Present day dialogues with non-Christian faiths have been heralded as something new, and they are surely important. E. Stanley Jones held these conversations 80 years ago.