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:
- The Trinity
- The full deity and humanity of Christ
- The spiritual lostness of the human race
- The substitutionary atonement and bodily resurrection of Christ
- Salvation by faith alone in Christ alone
- The physical return of Christ
- The authority and inerrancy of Scripture
Comments are welcomed.
1. God, who is Himself Truth and speaks truth only, has inspired Holy Scripture in order thereby to reveal Himself to lost mankind through Jesus Christ as Creator and Lord, Redeemer and Judge. Holy Scripture is God’s witness to Himself.
2. Holy Scripture, being God’s own Word, written by men prepared and superintended by His Spirit, is of infallible divine authority in all matters upon which it touches: it is to be believed, as God’s instruction, in all that it affirms: obeyed, as God’s command, in all that it requires; embraced, as God’s pledge, in all that it promises.
3. The Holy Spirit, Scripture’s divine Author, both authenticates it to us by His inward witness and opens our minds to understand its meaning.
4. Being wholly and verbally God-given, Scripture is without error or fault in all its teaching, no less in what it states about God’s acts in creation, about the events of world history, and about its own literary origins under God, than in its witness to God’s saving grace in individual lives.
5. The authority of Scripture is inescapably impaired if this total divine inerrancy is in any way limited or disregarded, or made relative to a view of truth contrary to the Bible’s own; and such lapses bring serious loss to both the individual and the Church.
2 Timothy 3:16
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.”
A Personal Statement on the Inspiration of Scripture
God exists, and the God who exists has revealed Himself. One of the primary means of that revelation is the written text of Scripture: the Bible. This written Word in its entirety is revelation given by God. In order to reveal Himself truly and accurately, God, through the Holy Spirit and by human authors, has inspired Holy Scripture and all its parts, both Old and New Testaments, down to the very words of the original. 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). However, divine inspiration is not equivalent to divine dictation. God in His work of inspiration utilized the distinctive personalities and literary styles of the writers whom He had chosen and prepared.
This definition of inspiration 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 Word of God to the extent that they faithfully represent the original. The Bible then competently bears witness to God and His perfect revelation through Jesus Christ. All the Scriptures center about the Lord Jesus Christ in His person and work in His first and second coming, and hence that no portion, even of the Old Testament, is properly read, or understood, until it leads to Him.
A Personal Statement on the Inerrancy of Scripture
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). The inerrancy of Scripture thus follows from the inspiration of Scripture. “Inerrancy” is 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. Scripture, having been given by divine inspiration, is infallible, so that it is true and reliable in all matters it addresses. Scripture in its entirety is inerrant, being free from all falsehood, fraud, or deceit. It is no less inerrant in what it states about God’s acts in creation, about the events of world history, and about its own literary origins under God, than in its witness to God’s saving grace in individual lives. In this latter regard, God’s revelation is progressive. Being inerrant, the Bible is internally consistent and unified. Therefore later revelation does not nullify the earlier; rather it complements it, bringing it to a more complete form. In this present age, the Holy Spirit bears witness to the Scriptures, assuring believers of the truthfulness of God’s written word (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:12-15). The inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture instills within the text authority for all matters in the Christian life, and this authority is impaired if total divine inerrancy is in any way limited or disregarded, or made relative to a view of truth contrary to the Bible’s own.
Holy Scripture, being God’s own Word, written by men prepared and superintended by His Spirit, is of infallible divine authority in all matters upon which it touches: it is to be believed, as God’s instruction, in all that it affirms; obeyed, as God’s command, in all that it requires; embraced as God’s pledge, in all that it promises. The confession of the full authority, infallibility, and inerrancy of scripture is vital to a sound understanding of the whole of the Christian faith and such a confession should lead to increasing conformity to the image of Christ.
 Anselm has at the center of his ontological argument that the Greatest Conceivable Being has by definition the trait of existence. There are many philosophical arguments beyond Anselm for the existence of God, but each of them in and of themselves is insufficient in its proof. Ultimately we must confess faith in the God of the scriptures without a complete rational understanding of why “He is” rather than “He isn’t.” At the core of that confession we must make explicit the existence of God. Too often that point is assumed or taken for granted. To be sure that we are not speaking of an abstract ideal to work toward, we are clear in beginning the definition of God by stating that He is real.
 Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, Article III.
 The Old Testament is described as the very words of God and the work of the Holy Spirit. See Deut 18:18; 2 Sam 23:2; Isa 59:21; Matt 22:43; Acts 4:24-25.
 The New Testament authors refer to their writings as Scripture, revealed and taught by the Spirit. See 2 Pet 3:15-15; 1 Tim 5:18 (in reference to Matt 10:10); 1 Cor 2:13, 10; 14:37; Gal 1:12; Rev 1:1.
 Chicago, Article VI.
 Chicago, Article VIII.
 Chicago, Article X.
 Dallas Theological Seminary Doctrinal Statement, Article I: The Scriptures.
 Chicago, Article IX.
 Chicago, Article XI.
 Chicago, Article XII.
 Chicago, Statement 4.
 Chicago, Article XIV.
 Chicago, Statement 5.
 Chicago, Statement 2.
 Chicago, Article XIX.