Doctrinal Statement

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SUMMARY OF BELIEFS

  1. I believe that the Bible—the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments—is the divinely inspired word of God and contains all that is needed to come to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
  2. I believe that God is one and that he exists eternally in three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These share completely their essential attributes yet operate distinctly in their unique personhoods.
  3. I believe that God created mankind—male and female—in his own image. Through Adam’s sin all of humanity throughout all history became sinful and is condemned to death. Each individual participates in sin and is in need of redemption.
  4. I believe that the Word, the second person of the trinity, became flesh in the person of Jesus Christ; that he is God’s son and is at once both fully divine and fully man. Jesus suffered and died to pay the penalty for the sins of mankind, and was raised to life by the power of the Holy Spirit, thus securing redemption for all who believe.
  5. I believe that God offers salvation to all who believe in Jesus Christ and by faith accept his atoning sacrifice. This salvation is wholly independent of any individual’s deeds, but is the result of Christ’s work on the cross. The believer is immediately a new creation.
  6. I believe that the Holy Spirit enters every person who by faith believes and receives the gift of regeneration. The Holy Spirit empowers the believer to live a holy and righteous life, transforming him in the lifelong process of sanctification.
  7. I believe that the Church universal consists of all believers throughout history, and that true believers will desire to gather in local communities for the purpose of growth, fellowship, encouragement, and mission; and to celebrate the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. I believe that the church’s mission is to reflect the light of Jesus Christ to a sin-darkened world – a mission it carries out through both gathering and going.
  8. I believe that Jesus Christ will return visibly to judge all people. Believers will enjoy eternity with God, while unbelievers will be eternally separated from God.

 

The links below go to more complete statements of my beliefs, as compiled during my graduate studies at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon, and Sacramento, California. The full doctrinal statement reflects more of a systematic theology than a practical theology; that is, more “what” than “so what”. It is also very much a work in progress; by virtue of the academic context in which it was written, many of the areas necessarily included contain belief statements I hold with a very open hand. I am now—and desire always to be—a learner, and theology is a field of constant learning. Consider the implications of these words from Jesus’ prayer toward the end of his life:

And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. (John 17:3, ESV)

In other words, eternal life is knowing God, and knowing God is an eternal process. No wonder Paul, after declaring “I want to know Christ,” wrote, “Not that I have already obtained all this…” (Php. 3:10 & 12, NIV).

Download my full Doctrinal Statement here or click the links below to read specific sections.

God

Jesus Christ

The Holy Spirit (including Spiritual Gifts)

Revelation & Inspiration (including the Word)

Humanity

Sin

Salvation

The Church (including the Ordinances of Communion and Baptism)

Angels, Satan, & Demons

The End Times