I know that some people are especially interested in the bigger details of faith, so I decided to post here my full “Doctrinal Statement.” This is the first post in this series, and it reflects the “short form” of my Doctrinal Statement. If you wish to download my entire Doctrinal Statement in either short form or its more detailed version, I will have those links posted soon. The rest of the posts in this series will be filed under the “What I Believe” category.
I believe that God has made Himself known to all people at all times and in all places. He has revealed Himself through the grandeur and the intricacies of the natural world (Ps 19:1-4), the moral awareness of the human conscience (Ro 2:15), and the faculties of human reason (Ps 14:1; Ro 1:21-22).
I believe that this general revelation communicates all that is necessary for people to be accountable before God. Since general revelation testifies to God’s existence, God’s moral requirements, and God’s supremacy, people are without excuse (Heb 11:6; Ro 1:20, 2:13-15). However, no one will come to proper relationship with God through general revelation alone. Humans universally repress what is made known through general revelation, reject God, and refuse to submit to Him (Ps 14:1-3; Ro 1:18-23).
I believe that God has revealed Himself with more particularity to specific people at specific times for the purposes of reconciling them to Himself. In His great mercy, God has made Himself known through dreams, visions, saving acts, theophanies, and prophetic teaching (Ge 12:7, 15:1; Ex 6:6-7; Lev 22:32-33; Dt 5:5; 1Ki 3:5; Dan 2:28; Heb 1:1).
I believe that special revelation consists of both propositional truth about God and personal encounter with God. The simplest form of special revelation is God’s direct speech to prophets and to others through them (Ex 3:6ff; Jer 2:1; Ez 3:16ff.).
I believe that God, through the Holy Spirit, divinely inspired human agents to record special revelation in the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. This inspiration is such that the written words of Scripture are fully the words of God and fully the words of the human who penned them. Thus, they reflect the personalities and proclivities of the individual authors but are the completely inerrant communication of God to people. That is, the Scriptures as the authors originally intended them are entirely free from error in all matters to which they pertain. They are the final authority of faith and life (Ro 3:2, 16:25ff.; 2Ti 3:16f.; 2Pe 1:20f.).
I believe that Jesus himself is the ultimate revelation of God. In him is prophetic teaching, saving act, and theophany (Jn 14:9; Heb 1:2).
I believe that God continues to reveal Himself specially through the prophetic teaching of the Scriptures, the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and the other means already mentioned. However, all present day revelation stands under the Scriptures even as the Scriptures stand under the revelation found in Jesus (Jn 1:1ff.; Heb 1:1-3).