Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Doctrinal Statement and Philosophy of Ministry

"Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son" (Hebrews 1:1-2a).

When we hold the Bible in our hands, we are holding God's revelation through the prophets (Moses through Malachi), through His Son (the Gospels), and through His apostles and prophets (Acts through Revelation). Every word in Scripture is a word from God. All of it is important. All of it.

"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16-17). While there are many passages of Scripture that mystify modern readers, that does not negate God's proclamation that all Scripture is profitable.

It is all intended to be understood and applied. God created man in His image and gave us His Word to understand who God is and who we are. God instituted the Church, and gave us His Word so that we would know "how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth" (1 Timothy 3:15).

On that basis, and standing on the shoulders of faithful men who have gone before me, I have a doctrinal statement and philosophy of ministry which express what I believe Scripture teaches on key doctrines, and what I believe Scripture commands regarding how ministry ought to be conducted.

These documents are not infallible, and should be upheld only to the degree to which they align with Scripture. These documents do not express an exclusive orthodoxy, which means that one could disagree with significant portions and still be a brother in Christ. These documents are simply a systematized understanding of what I believe Scripture teaches, and is the perspective from which I preach.

They are long, in part, because I am a practical inerrantist which means that not only do I hold to orthodox doctrine of God's Word is free from error in all its claims, but I also live out that doctrine by basing my life and ministry on God's Word as the sufficient authority. Trust me, they could be much longer.