A while back many of us did one of those cutesy little ‘what type of Christian ‘ are you surveys. Nice. Easy. Didn’t involve much thought. However when the rubber hits the road and you are asked what you really believe you can’t really say ‘I’m 75% Post-modern’. The problem with a lot of Evangelical Christians is that if you asked them (including me up until a few weeks ago) to define my beliefs, all I would have been able to say to you was about this – Jesus, God, Grace and Love (although some evangelicals could tell you where they stood on smacking).

Why is this important you may ask………. Well yesterday I had a discussion where my beliefs were confronted about Calvinism vs. Arminisiam and also about whether the Canon of Revelation is closed. Yes.

That my blog readers is why it helps to know what you believe, more than just saying something cutesy like ‘I believe Jesus loves me’ which while true is not very helpful when one is confronted about how people work out their salvation.

So I am taking off the awesome Challies (for 1 and 2) who defined what it is to be ‘Reformed’ as to what my beliefs are, in fact at times I am quoting him. (My thanks also to wikipedia for articulating bits of what it is to be Baptist 3 and 4 )

THE FUNDAMENTALS OF LISA’S BELIEFS

1. To confess the consensus of the five first centuries of the church:
o Classic theism: One omnipotent, benevolent God, distinct from creation.
o Nicene and Chalcedonian Trinitarianism: one God in three eternally existent persons, equal in power and glory.
o Christ, the God-Man, the one mediator between God & the human race, incarnate, crucified, resurrected, ascended, & coming again.
o Humanity created in the image of God, yet tragically fallen & profoundly in need of restoration to God through Christ.
o The Visible Church: the community of the redeemed, indwelt by the Holy Spirit; the mystical body of Christ on earth.
o The one, holy, catholic (NOT Catholic – if you are confused email me) , and apostolic church.
o The Sacraments: visible signs and seals of the grace of God, ministering Christ’s love to us in our deep need.
o The Christian life: characterized by the prime theological virtues of faith, hope, and love.

2) Solar power – I mean sola power .
Now up until a couple of days ago the only one of these that I knew as a ‘sola’ was scriptua. But it turns out the others are all things that I believe in but have ‘sola’ names, that sum them up concisely.
o The authority of Scripture: sola scriptura (Scripture alone)
o the basis of salvation: Sola Gratia (Grace alone)
o the means of salvation: Sola Fide (Faith alone)
o the merit of salvation: Solus Christus (Christ alone)

3) What it means to be a BAPTIST as opposed to being something else. You know how when you are in a culture you eat up what is around you sometimes subconsciously. Well here it is clearly defined. In a nice little acrostic – who said wikipedia wasn’t worthwhile?
Biblical authority (Mat 24:35; 1Pet 1:23; 2Tim 3:16-17)
Autonomy of the local church (Mat 18:15-17; 1Cor 6:1-3)
Priesthood of all believers (1Pet 2:5-9; 1Tim 5)
Two ordinances (believer’s baptism and the Lord’s Supper) (Acts 2:41-47; 1Cor 11:23-32)
Individual soul liberty – the right of my brothers and sisters in Christ to have different opinions than me! (Rom 14:5-12)
Separation of Church and State (Mat 22:15-22)
Two offices of the church (pastor and deacon) (1Tim 3:1-13; Tit 1-2)

4) The four freedoms
Soul freedom: the soul is competent before God, and capable of making decisions in matters of faith without coercion or compulsion by any larger religious or civil body
Church freedom: freedom of the local church from outside interference
Bible freedom: the individual is free to interpret the Bible for themselves using the best tools available
Religious freedom: free to choose their religion, another religion, or no religion;

Advertisements