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Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by John Wells, Jul 21, 2003.
D.L. Moody's version:
Are these acceptable fundamentals?
1. The Inspiration of the Bible
A fundamental of our faith is that the Bible, all 66 books and all the words as originally written, were inspired of God as no other writings have ever been or ever will be inspired. This fundamental is foundational because all the other fundamentals have their basis in this one. This is what the Scripture says of itself: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16). “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:20-21).
2. The Depravity of Man
All people are born sinners. As such every person is a sinner by nature and a sinner by choice. Instead of seeking God and doing what is good and right, people by nature turn away from God and do that which is evil and wrong. This truth is taught throughout the Bible. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
3. Redemption Through Christ’s Blood
Mankind can be reconciled to God through the redemption purchased by Christ when he bled and died on the cross. This is the teaching that Christ died a vicarious, blood-atoning death in fulfillment of the Old Testament offerings for sin. The Apostle Peter declares, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18-19).
4. Only Believers Make Up the True Church
Faith in Christ is the requirement to be part of God’s true church. As Baptists, we describe this fundamental as the distinctive of a regenerate church membership. This distinctive was practiced in the New Testament. Acts 2:47 describes the adding of people to the church, “… And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”
5. Christ will Return Bodily to Set Up His Kingdom
The Bible teaches that the resurrected and glorified Christ will return personally and bodily to the earth to rule and reign as He promised. This promise is repeated many times in the Bible. When Christ ascended to heaven after His resurrection, the Scripture says, “And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:10-11).
6. The One God is a Trinity
There is only one true and living God, Who is expressed in the persons of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This trinity is declared in many places in the Bible. Notably, at Christ’s Baptism, God the Father’s voice was heard declaring Christ as His Son and the Holy Spirit descended upon Christ in the form of a dove (see Luke 3:22). The trinity is also recognized in the baptismal formula recorded in Matthew 28:19, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
7. The Fall of Adam
God created Adam and Eve and placed them in the beauty and perfection of Eden. With the only restriction being the eating of the forbidden fruit, Adam rebelled against God and ate of the fruit. When he did, Adam and Eve immediately died spiritually and caused the curse of their sin to be passed to all their offspring. This was the cause of man’s sin nature and alienation from God. The fall is recorded in Genesis 3. Paul speaks of its consequences in Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”
8. The Need of the New Birth
A second birth of God’s Spirit from above is needed before a person can see or enter heaven. Christ said, “… Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). This new birth takes place when we turn to Christ by faith, ask Him to save our souls and enter our life (2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 8:9).
9. Full Deliverance from Guilt at Salvation
When a person accepts Christ as Savior and is born again, all his or her guilt for sin is taken away. The redemption provided by Christ takes away the penalty and guilt of sin. Hebrews 10:12-14 declares, “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”
10. The Assurance of Salvation
A person can know he or she is saved, a child of God, and that heaven is their future home. 1 John 5:13 says, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
11. The Centrality of Christ in the Bible
Christ is the theme of the Bible. He is the subject of the prophecies of Messiah, the type prefigured in the sacrifices and worship, the Son of David to sit on his throne and the Deliverer like unto Moses in the Old Testament. The Old Testament presents Him in symbol, type and prophecy while the New Testament declares Him. Christ said, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39).
12. The Walk after the Spirit
The believer is to live in submission to the leading of God’s Holy Spirit. God’s Spirit enters the believer at the new birth and indwells him or her to give guidance, correction and comfort. Galatians 5:22-25 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
13. The Resurrection of Believers and Unbelievers
All people, both believers and unbelievers, will be resurrected and stand before God in judgment. The believer will have his works judged as to rewards in heaven (1 Corinthians 3:11-15), and the unbeliever will be judged to determine the degree of his everlasting conscious torment in hell (Revelation 20:11-15). John 5:28-29 says, “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”
14. The Ripening of the Present Age for Judgment
Because of mankind’s rebellion against God, the present age is rapidly moving toward the second coming of Christ and judgment. This fundamental encompasses the teaching of prophecy regarding the end times and the conditions now present in the world. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 and 8 says, “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition … whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.”
I'll swallow a full dose of 1-13! "14" is debatable in that no one knows except the Father and Jesus could come any minute or "this age" might have another 2000 years to go!
You've covered a lot more than the historic "fundamentals" as defined in 1895 at the Niagara Conference
Bible is inspired, inerrant Word of God
Jesus Christ is virgin born, sinless
Jesus Christ died vicarious substitutionary death
Jesus Christ literally rose from the dead, ascended
Jesus Christ will literally return for His kingdom
That's it. EVERY evangelical would accept this. The mark of fundamentalism today would be to "earnestly contend" for this faith. Not content to just "believe", but to "defend" the faith.
Wow! Fundamental is not a bad word after all. Forgive me but I have always been taught that it was something different.
I actually had it confused with legalistic Christianity. Well, I guess you learn something new every day. We never covered that in my undergraduate studies. However, I still believe I have a good foundation in my theological education. Can't wait to study more.
In His Service,
There's nothing wrong with fundamentals, but to many times fundamental-ists get things turned upside down.
Fundamentalists are often legalists, but that's not a hard and fast rule by any means.
Interesting thought occured to me, (rare, huh). What percentage of fundamentalists are legalists? If you are outside of fundamentalism you tend to almsot think that there is a one to one correspondence. Therefore, fundamentalism gets a bad rap. If you are inside fundamentalism but not a legalist you tend to think that there is a small percentage of legalists. If you are a legalist you think you aren't one but that everyone else is not a fundamentalist.
They are quite acceptable for me. They do go beyond the traditionally smaller group of fundamentals but they are, nonetheless, fundamentally sound.
I'm reading a book by J.I. Packer (written in the 50's or 60's, I'd have to go look it up and I am lazy) that says that "Fundamentalist" started out as a curse word, and into the 50's or 60's (the time the book was written), the British "fundamentalists" abhorred the name and instead chose "evangelical."
Fundamentalism can be defined any way you want to define it because it is an inflammatory, broad term that can include just about anyone or anything.
The reason carnal/cultural Christians hate fundamentalism and fundamentalists is because the world culture teaches that man is wise and can always improve upon anything and everything (evolution). Therefore, man can improve upon his religious affections also, so they say. But what does God say?
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. (Heb 13:8-9a)
For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate." Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. (1 Cor 1:19-21)
Those who think themselves wise to improve upon God; to improve upon His written revelation with a "higher criticism," look at fundamentalists as ignorant, non-thinkers, i.e. we are foolish in their prideful self-enlightened minds. I am humbly happy to be foolish of what Jesus, Paul, John, James, Peter, et al preached, which hasn't changed one jot or tittle!