Beliefs & doctrine
You’re probably wondering, “Is this guy a raging heretic?” What does “Christian” even mean to him? It is, sadly, a fair question.
Here’s where I stand:
- Man was made very good, male and female, to image God by establishing his family kingdom on the earth. However, at the prompting of a rebellious, spiritual family member, Adam chose to break fealty to God, bringing upon himself and his descendents the sentence of death—separation from God.
- God is the triune Yahweh, whose existence is life, who created all things in order to reveal his perfections, and planned every event in creation, every choice of men and angels, from eternity—to ultimately glorify his son, Jesus.
- Jesus is the incarnate second person of God; he is fully God and fully man, born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless life fully pleasing to God before suffering and dying on the cross, bearing the penalty of human guilt. He was then vindicated as righteous by God through being raised from the dead, and becoming the perfect human ruler of Adam’s kingdom, subjecting the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places to him, and making possible our salvation.
- Salvation is by obediently trusting Jesus to repay our debt of sin, rather than paying it ourselves in everlasting punishment. We cannot exercise such faith except by the Holy Spirit giving us a new heart—and when this happens, we are adopted as sons of God; reckoned as righteous on account of our brother Jesus; acquitted of wrongdoing; and, in anticipation of our resurrection at the final judgment, immersed in water as a symbol of having died to sin and been raised a new creation in a royal priesthood.
- The final judgment is the day on which God will resurrect all those who have died, to be judged by Jesus. Those who have been adopted as his family through their trust and reliance in God’s promise will be acquitted, and those who have not will be condemned according to their works. God’s adoptive human family will take the place of his rebellious spiritual family, judge them, and then everyone who opposes God, both men and angels, will be cast out of the kingdom to endure just punishment forever; while everyone faithful to Jesus, both men and angels, will rule with him on a renewed earth, as prophesied throughout the Bible.
- The Bible is the very words of God breathed out by the Holy Spirit in human language, and although accommodated to human expression and knowledge as an artist must accommodate his work to a medium and materials, is nonetheless entirely truthful by the standards that its human authors intended, and says everything that God intended it to say, for the ultimate purpose of building the church.
- The church is the community of people throughout time who God chooses to bind to his eternal covenant; in this, last age it assembles together in smaller groups to worship and break bread together. It is tasked with expanding God’s kingdom by going out into the world, making disciples, and then helping these disciples to become more like Jesus through mutual up-building under the leadership of their pastors. It is aided in this mission by the Holy Spirit, who indwells all believers, guiding and gifting them as he sees fit.
That’s it in a nutshell. More broadly, I think the 1689 London Baptist Confession is a pretty accurate representation of biblical teaching. Pretty accurate. Not perfect.