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Statement of Faith

1. The Holy Scriptures found in the Old and New Testaments are the inspired and very Word of God.

2. The Apostle’s, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds faithfully summarize the orthodox, Scriptural, and Apostolic doctrine of the church and ought to be believed by Christians everywhere. These creeds are not just “historical documents,” but rather exemplify and summarize the living faith of the church, as does the statement or Definition of Chalcedon.

3. The major decisions of the 7 Ecumenical Councils (Nicea I, 325; Constantinople I, 381; Ephesus, 431; Chalcedon, 451; Constantinople II, 553; Constantinople III, 681; and Nicea II, 787) are accurate and faithful to the apostolic, biblical, universal, and traditional faith (classical Christianity).

The following, somewhat detailed confession is a more comprehensive summary of what has already been provided above, using the Lutheran Augsburg Confession, Anglican Articles of Religion, Eastern Orthodox Catechism, and Baptist Faith and Message, to demonstrate the classical Christian faith from a “Mere Christianity” perspective:

1. There is one Divine Essence which is called and which is God: eternal, without body, without parts, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness, the Maker and Preserver of all things, visible and invisible (Augsburg Confession, Article I); God is a Spirit…all-good, omniscient, all-just, almighty, omnipresent, unchangeable, all-sufficing to himself, all-blessed (Longer Catechism of the Eastern Church); and in unity of this Godhead there be three Persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit (Anglican Articles of Religion, I).

2. The Son, which is the Word of the Father, begotten from everlasting of the Father, the very and eternal God, and of one substance with the Father, took man’s nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin, of her substance: so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the Godhead and manhood, were joined together in one person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God and very man, who truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, to reconcile His Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for actual sins of men (Anglican Articles of Religion, Article II).

He descended into hell, and truly rose again (complete bodily resurrection) the third day; afterward He ascended into heaven that He might sit on the right hand of the Father, and forever reign and have dominion over all creatures, and sanctify them that believe in Him…This same Christ shall openly come again to judge the living and the dead (Augsburg Confession, Article III).

3. The Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God (Anglican Articles of Religion, Article V). Together with God the Father and the Son, He gives life to all creatures, especially spiritual life to men, and is communicated to all true Christians (Longer Catechism of the Eastern Church). He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures, convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment, cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church (Baptist Faith and Message).

4.    Since the fall of Adam all men born in the natural way are born with sin, that is, without the fear of God, without trust in God, and with concupiscence; and that this disease, or vice of origin, is truly sin, even now condemning and bringing eternal death upon those who are not born again through baptism and the Holy Spirit (Augsburg Confession, Article III).  And this infection of nature does remain, yes, in them that are regenerated, whereby the lust of the flesh is not subject to the law of God.  And although there is no condemnation for the them that believe and are baptized, the concupiscence and lust has itself the nature of sin (Anglican Articles of Religion, Article IX).

5.  In the life of the world to come, those who believe, who love God, and do what is good, it shall be so happy that we can not now even conceive such happiness; from the contemplation of God in light and glory, and from union with him; the body will too be glorified with the light of God;  Those who are outside of Christ in a state of unbelief will be given over to everlasting death, not because God willed them to perish; but they of their own will perish, because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved (Longer Catechism of the Eastern Church).

6.  The Manhattan Declaration, Colorado Statement on Biblical Sexual Morality, and the Danvers Statement accurately represent the biblical, historical, and orthodox worldview in regards to marriage, family, and sex.

7.  All truth is God’s truth.  Christianity is the religion of enlightenment and intelligence and in Jesus Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Therefore all sound learning is a part of Christian heritage (Baptist Faith and Message).

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6 Comments

  1. greeklogic says:

    Very well put. Especially love point 7 about all truth being God’s truth. That is an ancient belief of Christianity which has been lost in our relativistic culture. Yes, there is truth. And yes, it comes from God.

    Couple interesting things and comments.

    Have you ever heard of the 3 ‘genus’ of Christ? You made the comment about Christ never being divided. Would love to have you explore that some more. People don’t talk about the communication of Christ’s attributes all that often, but there are actual theological consequences for how one defines that communication.

    ‘…it shall be so happy…’ – Is that from the Greek? Interesting in our current context since ‘happy’ can mean so many things.

    Excellent choice of words to avoid double predestination in point 5, though. I like the line from the ‘Great Divorce’ where the Scottish Spirit says that those in the city below exclaim, ‘Not thy will, but my will.’ In a way, God is giving them exactly what they wish.

    So are you going to do a post on how this Faith plays out in a community?

    – Macellarius Sus

    • Something on the church and community would be good, I’ll have to add that. The “happy” reference is from what is now the standard Eastern Orthodox “Long Catechism,” which was originally in Russian, so I’m working with a translation myself, so good question, I’ll have to check into it. In terms of the “without division” quote, I am following the definition at Chalcedon expressed through the Anglican articles in this case (Augsburg is very similar). I reject the “kenotic” idea as inconsistent with classical Christian doctrine, and from what I can gather about the three “genus,” ideas, they are wholly consistent with classical Christian doctrine (especially since I affirm the Real Presence), especially in works by fathers such as John of Damascus and others (with the Scriptures as the foundation of course). I found this to be a good summary:

      http://lutherantheologystudygroup.blogspot.com/2010/09/lutheran-christology-two-natures-of.html

      Any thoughts in addition?

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  4. I am very happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that’s at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this best doc.

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