November 28, 2007

Ask Anything Wednesday: What Do You Believe?

One of the new weekly features on this blog is Ask Anything Wednesday. Every Wednesday I will answer a question that someone asks. With this in mind, feel free to leave a question in the comments section or e-mail me and I'll consider posting it. To begin this series, I want to start with a question that I recently received.

"Do you have a 'statement of faith' or 'core beliefs' that I may peruse?"

My Response:
Thank you for asking! To fully answer your question, I have to make some important distinctions. First, organizationally I am being sent through the Centers for Apologetics Research (CFAR). I have included CFAR's statement of faith below.

Second, congregationally I am being sent by my local church, Parkwood Southern Baptist Church. Our church members covenant together using the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as our doctrinal statement.

Third, personally I am a confessional Reformed Baptist. I fully subscribe to the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith.

As you can see, I recognize the importance of a solid and thorough doctrinal foundation. At the same time, I am open to working and ministering with those who differ with me on non-essential issues. I want as many fellow believers as possible to join with me in glorifying God through defending His truth!

I hope this answers your question and welcome any follow-up thoughts or questions.

The Centers for Apologetics Research Doctrinal Statement

Because of our desire to uphold and teach the truth of Holy Scripture, the Centers for Apologetics Research set forth the following statement of faith.

We believe that:

1. The Holy Scriptures, composed of the Old and New Testaments, are fully inspired by God, infallible and inerrant in the original manuscripts and completely trustworthy in all areas in which they speak, the supreme and final authority in faith and practice.

2. There is one almighty and perfect God, Creator and Sustainer of all things, eternally existing in three Persons — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — undivided in essence and co-eternal in power and glory.

3. Jesus Christ, begotten by a direct creative act of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, true God and true Man, is the only mediator between God and man. He alone was perfect in nature, teaching, and obedience.

4. The Holy Spirit is the Regenerator and Sanctifier of the redeemed, the Bestower of spiritual fruit and gifts, and the abiding Comforter and Teacher of the Church.

5. In Adam the human race was created in the image and likeness of God. Through the fall of Adam man became radically corrupt, alienated from God, and disintegrated at the heart of his being. The desperate need of man is restoration to fellowship with his Creator; yet without God's help, man remains totally unable to restore himself.

6. Eternal salvation is provided for man solely by God's grace through the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ. Man is justified through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. The believer is saved unto good works; therefore the believer's obedience to God is an essential component of his progressive sanctification.

7. Jesus Christ was resurrected bodily from the dead; ascended into heaven; and will return at the consummation of the age to both resurrect and judge the just and the unjust.

8. Eternal, conscious punishment, including separation and loss of fellowship with God, is the ultimate destiny of unregenerate man, along with Satan and all his hosts.