Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

Statement of Faith Project – Part 1

So I am engaging in an exercise of writing up a statement of faith and would love your input.  There are a number of reasons I need to engage in the project, and some basic guidelines I need to follow.  I am writing this with the larger evangelical movement in mind.  So without going into more detail, let me start.  First for an overview.

I am choosing to address the following categories.  While I may have chosen a different approach to what I am taking here, some of the criteria I have been given ahead of time has led me here. These are the various areas I will address in this series of posts.

  • Scripture
  • The Triune God
  • Humanity
  • The Gospel
  • Jesus Christ
  • Holy Spirit
  • The Church
  • Eschatology

So let’s start part one by looking at the scriptures.  As you read this statement about scripture, feel free to tell me what you like, what you think needs to be added, what you might take away, or any other comment you might have.  This is just a first draft.  The statement needs to be succinct, so keep that in mind.

Scripture
Revelation is God’s self-disclosure to humanity. While revelation is wider than scripture, we need the scripture to discern truth.  Thus God has made himself known to us through special revelation, as people have been moved along and inspired by the Holy Spirit to speak, write, collect and canonize the 66 books of Holy Scripture which point to God as the authority in all of life. The scriptures are infallible and utterly reliable in helping us discern truth and reality.  They have been written to guide and enable God’s people to do God’s work in His world.


9 Responses to Statement of Faith Project – Part 1

  1. I really like it! A little critique/observation…the statement of revelation being “wider than scripture”; while obviously true is somewhat open-ended and hence the need for scripture to discern what is/isn’t truth. Also, scripture isn’t just utterly reliable it is perfect. Hope this helps. God bless!

  2. JR Woodward says:

    Thanks Steve. Helpful comments. I will seek to keep them in mind as I work on the second draft. I’ve actually updated this draft to reflect the good points that you make.

  3. Dave says:

    funny….I’d push back against the “perfect” language – perfect from which perspective? perfect for what purpose? I agree that the bible is sufficient, trustworthy, and “useful” – but perfect (without any qualifiers) seems a bit simplistic for a book that is quite complex, often confusing, and difficult to understand for even some of our smartest and wisest scholars. Just my 2 cents!

  4. JR Woodward says:

    Dave,

    So you have put me back on the writing board. I’m still seeking to understand the issue you have with perfect. Looking at the dictionary definition it seems to fit well. I’m not aware of any historical debate that makes it a controversial word. The antonyms are solid. It seems to me that the bible is perfect, but our understanding of scripture is not. Our understanding is messy, as revealed in the countless divisions in the church. We obviously still see in a mirror dimly. Without the Spirit, history, reason etc, we don’t have much hope to understand. If you did use the word, how would you clarify it?

  5. I like that you have framed the statement in plural. I wonder if there is a way to be even more explicit that the Bible is what it is primarily to a people, not just to persons. Does that make sense?

  6. JR Woodward says:

    It does make sense Jamie. What are ways you think that could be brought across?

    • Good question. Recently I have been increasingly drawn to the reality that it is only the Spirit in us that brings Scripture alive. And the Spirit is that which unites us as one Body. Thus, the need for the Spirit-filled community to discern God’s will in Scripture is primarily (very much so, in fact) a communal work. I would want to see your statement make it very difficult for someone to read it through the lens of individual perspective (at least primarily).

  7. JR Woodward says:

    Gotcha. I had a sentence like that in an earlier version, but when I had to get my word count down, I had to regrettably take it out. Maybe I can find a succinct way to bring it back in, because i am totally with you and the reality is most of our issues come in how we interpret scriptures. And in our individualistic society, to often we stand on our private interpretations, instead of seeking understanding communally in the present and looking to the community in the past with the Spirit’s help. Thanks for taking the time to further develop what you were meaning.

  8. Pingback: Statement of Faith Project - Part 8 | JR Woodward

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