Belief Statement

These have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

~ JOHN 20:31 ~

While there are various denominations that each bring their own unique perspective to the Christian faith (all of which are welcome here), there are seven essential beliefs that define the boundaries of orthodoxy and what it means to “Think Christianly.” The authors of this site do not believe a person can deny any one of those essentials and and still call their view “Christian.” These seven essentials are listed below. Follow the links for a Biblical defense of each position.

A Christian must believe in:

Comments are welcomed.

4 thoughts on “Belief Statement

  1. Jen October 11, 2011 / 5:42 PM

    Hello Josh! I just stumbled across your site (in trying to find the origin of the quote “2+2=5 for very large values of 2”). I am also a Christian and a lover of math, so I am thrilled to find a kindred spirit!

    I just wanted to add my two cents, from what I think is a somewhat different theological perspective (I’m a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America). I would agree with numbers 1, 2, 3, 5, 4b and 6 of your list of essentials. However, I think one can certainly be a Christian without agreeing with 4a or 7 – at the very least, I hope so. There are a lot of other ways of understanding the cross than substitutionary atonement, and I personally find substitutionary atonement to be a deeply problematic theological position. Likewise, I think a Christian should accept the authority of scripture, but that’s a long way (in my mind) from inerrancy.

    In any case, thanks for the blog. I’m going to have some fun procrastinating my seminary homework and reading about math instead.

    • joshwilkerson October 13, 2011 / 8:30 AM

      Jen,

      Thanks for joining the conversation. It is always great to have someone offer a different perspective!

      In reference to your view of the atonement: first let me say that I realize there are many diverse views on the subject, but I fail to see how substitutionary atonement is a deeply problematic theological position. In all honesty, it seems to be the biblical position. Here is a great summary of the view courtesy of Bob Pyne. Statements like this make it hard for me to ignore this position:

      1. John 1:29 – Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world
      2. 1 Cor 15:3 – Christ died for our sins
      3. Heb 2:17 – Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
      4. 1 John 2:2 – and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world
      5. 1 John 4:10 – In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
      6. Rom 3:21-26

      By bearing the anger that we deserved, Jesus Christ served as our substitute. He experienced the wrath that was meant for us.

      In reference to your position on inerrancy, I will refer you the Chicago Statement on Biblical Innerancy which was agreed on by people of various denominations. In short, I would argue for inerrancy on these grounds:

      1. Scripture is inspired by God. This “inspiration” is defined as the Spirit of God moving human authors to write the very words of Scripture (2 Pet 1:20-21). These words are “God breathed” (2 Tim 3:16-17), originating in the divine. In this sense, Scripture is the Word of God (1 Thess 2:13).
      2. God is truth and he therefore speaks only truth (John 14:7-10). He cannot err (Heb 6:18; Titus 1:2; Rom 3:4).
      3. The inerrancy of Scripture thus follows from the inspiration of Scripture, with “inerrancy” defined as complete truthfulness (Psalm 12:6; 18:30; 19:7, 9; 119:142, 160; Prov 30:5-6). Inspiration guarantees true and trustworthy utterance on all matters of which the Biblical authors were moved to speak and write.

      This definition of inspiration/inerrancy applies to the original, autographic manuscripts. In God’s providence, the manuscripts, copies and translations available today reflect the original text with great accuracy and these writings are said to be the inspired and inerrant Word of God to the extent that they faithfully represent the original.

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