always helpful to know the point of view of those we converse
with in the Church. It either promotes understanding, or else it
confirms our suspicions. Either way, we're better able to control
our urge to convert others to our point of view: "Oh, he's
one of those." So in keeping with our desire for peace if not unity, I
embrace the five solas of the Reformation:
saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, for the
glory of God alone, standing on Scripture alone.
I'm a reformed
theologian. More than that, I'm a covenant
theologian, not a dispensationalist.
There's a difference. I
subscribe to the Westminster
Confession of Faith with few reservations (there is no biblical
support for baptism and communion being administered only by a
"lawfully ordained Minister of the Word"). I'm a systematic
theologian. I use biblical theology (the context
of the parts) to further my understanding of the whole. It
would be wrong to force Scripture into a system, and yet God's
message of grace is completely logical and consistent; it is
systematic. But the "system" is determined by Scripture, not the
I'm an amillennialist.
I gladly recommend William Hendriksen's excellent work, More than
Conquerors, as a reasonable explication of the book of
Revelation. Even better is the Triumph
of the Lamb, by Dennis E. Johnson.
I believe that the
bible is the inerrant word of God in its original autographs, and it is
the final source of authority in faith and practice. As such, I affirm
the Chicago Statement on Biblical
Inerrancy. I also affirm the Chicago Statements on Biblical
Hermeneutics and Biblical
I believe that
baptism is an outward sign of an inward change, a public demonstration
of our identification with Christ. It acknowledges and confirms
our covenant relationship with God. It does not save or cleanse. Christ
does that. Therefore, whether the sign is given by dunking or sprinkling, it
serves its purpose.
believe that I cannot truly know Christ apart from actively
participating in a local church body, living life together. How can we
love one another if we don't associate with each other in a gracious,
loving, and ongoing relationship?
I am a firm
believer in local ordination for elders. The laying on of hands in that
regard is taking responsibility for what has been taught to the one
being ordained; it carries with it the obligation to call that person
to account should he depart from what was taught to him. Those who
start a ministry ought to submit to the
oversight of a local church body, and the local church body
ought to be willing to oversee that ministry.
But that's me...