Mapping the path towards…
Biblical Christianity

As an introductory essay, I thought it useful to follow up the promise and challenge of the home page by offering a series of antitheses in mapping out the approach to what I am calling Biblical Christianity. With all due apologies to Martin Luther, here are seventeen theses, both exploratory and declaratory in nature, which I am nailing up on this international Wittenburg door:

  1. Biblical Christianity concerns itself specifically with thinking Biblically; it is not content with foggy concepts of thinking "Christianly" (cf. Mark 7:8-13).
  2. Biblical Christianity respects and retains all that is Biblical in creeds, confessions, and catechisms; however, it is not dependent on nor enslaved by them, nor does it consider such human formulations exempt from the command to "test all things" (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
  3. Biblical Christianity can thrive in Bible-honoring and Bible-teaching denominations; however, it does not look to denominations for truth (cf. Romans 3:4).
  4. Biblical Christianity honors and learns from the great Christian minds of the past two millennia; however, it is mindful of their human limitations, and is more concerned with the mind of God as revealed in the Bible (cf. Psalm 119:99).
  5. Biblical Christianity values reliable Bible translations; however, it does not cling to any one of them instead of the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, as being of paramount authority and value.
  6. Biblical Christianity values unity of truth and attitude among Christians, based on the unity of God and of His revelation; however, it opposes false unity imposed by totalitarian, manmade denominations, sects, or churches (cf. Romans 14:5; 15:5; Ephesians 4:4-6, 13).
  7. Biblical Christianity seeks to experience God's truth as revealed in Scripture; it does not define truth by experience, nor seek experience as an end in itself (cf. John 8:31, 32).
  8. Biblical Christianity recognizes that no book can be a fully exhaustive revelation of the infinite God; however, it is does affirm that the Bible is the fully-adequate revelation of that same God (cf. John 14:21, 23; 20:30, 31).
  9. Biblical Christianity recognizes that the Bible does not contain everything which may be known; however, it does affirm that the Bible reveals everything a believer needs to know as a Christian, in order to fear, love, serve, and please God (cf. Psalm 19:7-11; 2 Timothy 3:15-17).
  10. Biblical Christianity does not worship the Bible; however, it does recognize that there can be no worship without the revealed truth of God, and it affirms that the Bible is the one fully-adequate revelation of that truth (John 4:23, 24; 17:17)
  11. Biblical Christianity yearns to hear God speak; however, it affirms that He speaks today only in Scripture (cf. Hebrews 1:1, 2; 2:1-4; 3:7).
  12. Biblical Christianity is interested in church history; however, it is bound only by Biblical revelation (1 Corinthians 14:37; 1 Thessalonians 5:21).
  13. Biblical Christianity values truths rediscovered in such movements of God as the Reformation; however, it does not effectively deify the Reformers nor their descendants, nor does it imagine that they exhausted the mine of God's truth, nor does it deny that yet more light may break forth from the Word (Psalm 119:18; Proverbs 2:1-6).
  14. Biblical Christianity affirms that fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ is the Christian's highest and greatest good in life; however, it also recognizes that Christian fellowship with Jesus in this life is wholly dependent on his learning and application of Scripture (John 14:21, 23; 1 John 1:1-3).
  15. Biblical Christianity values meaningful corporate worship; however, it also recognizes that the only God-ordained way for this to happen is by our granting the Word of God its proper central place in our assemblies (Colossians 3:16).
  16. Biblical Christianity affirms the God-ordained instructional office of pastor-teacher (cf. Ephesians 4:11-16; 2 Timothy 4:-15; Hebrews 13:7, 17); at the same time, it also affirms that the Word of God was given to Christians at large (Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2, etc.), so that the ultimate responsibility for reading and understanding falls on the individual Christian (cf. Matthew 24:15; Ephesians 3:4; Colossians 4:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:27; Hebrews 2:1-4; 2 Peter 3:1; Jude 3, 20).
  17. Biblical Christianity affirms our responsibility to serve God with an eye to the needs of our culture (Proverbs 11:10, 11; 29:2, 7, 8, 18; Colossians 4:5), measured against the backdrop of eternity (2 Timothy 4:1-5).

Copyright 1997 by Daniel J. Phillips; All Rights Reserved

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