Saturday, September 20, 2014


        This book review will be simple, compared to God's Word.  Each article will be seen from a nondenominational and fundamental viewpoint of the Holy Scriptures. Only articles that are listed are found to have some confusion, however this is just a review and not a critique of the whole declaration.  This book can found at the following link:

        There are some distinctions I would like to make in how I will be using certain terms.


       Gospel, used in description of one's belief, specifically in the Gospel of Christ, or in a more general sense is in reference to that great act of love displayed on the cross, that is central to God's plan of salvation.  

       The term christian, whether used independently or in description to worship, fellowship, or behavior is in reference to the Biblical premise of those actions.  


"We would affirm as a foundation to this declaration the system of doctrine expressed in the early creeds of Christianity (see the Appendices for the full texts of these historic creeds):"

   In the introduction of this book, is found the above statement.  Although it is good and many times beneficial to refer to other sources, I find it unwise to utilize those sources for the foundation of such a declaration. 

2 Peter 1:3 states "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue."

     It is clear what is meant in 2 Peter, ALL things that pertain to life and godliness are found through the knowledge of God.  Of course, going outside of scripture is necessary for additional understanding from the viewpoints of wise men, but it is contestable that such declarations utilized for church organizations or statements of faith.  All declarations and other official documents would be more aligned with scripture, if founded on the principles of scripture.


"At it's core, conservative Christianity aims to follow Pauls example..."

      I would argue that a true believer will strive to follow the example of Christ, not Paul.  The believer's ultimate example is found in the earthly ministry of Christ.  In 1 Corinthians 11, it is true, of coursr, that Paul told the Corinthians to be followers of him, however he makes sure that they are aware that he is a follower of Christ.  All things in the believers walk is to be brought up against the example of Christ: including evangelism, personal and corporate practice and worship, and our testimony to the world and other believers. 


"We also affirm that to ignore this boundary by granting Christian recognition to those who deny the gospel is to demean the gospel itself (2 John 1:10)."

       Although the verse referenced in 2 John is certainly referring to the doctrine of separation,  it is not referring to a complete avoidance of unbelievers.  If that were true, there would be no point in seeking to evangelize the lost.  The essence of the gospel is God showing his love to undeserving sinners and to say that believers shouldn't try to show that love to other undeserving sinners, based on this verse in 2 John, is a misinterpretation of the gospel and of God's love.

Romans 5:8 "But God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

"We deny that Christian fellowship is possible with those who deny the fundamentals of the gospel..."

      The doctrine of separation is losing it's validity in today's culture.  There are certainly very Biblical reasons for Christians to separate themselves from other believers, and the fundamentals of the gospel need to be preserved, however it is still necessary to maintain some sort of communication if possible with those other Christians....for the hope that they will see a Christ-likeness in you.  As long as there are two believers, there can be Christian fellowship.  Conversation may not be able to go too deeply into God's Word, but there is an opportunity to fellowship around the finished work of Christ and also to share more truth from God’s Word.


"We affirm that the center and apex of the Christian faith and fellowship is the whole counsel of God, including right belief, right living, and right affection.(Deut. 6:1-9)"

      The only item that is of bother to me, a dispensationalist, is that Deuteronomy is referenced and though it may be applied to support this statement, it was intended for Israel.  The interpretation of the Bible passages need to remain within the surrounding context of the time of that passage and who it was written too. 


"Beliefs are true when they correspond to God's understanding; acts are good when they correspond to God's understanding of virtue; objects are beautiful when they are fulfilling there God intended purpose in a God pleasing way in accordance with their God-given nature." 

     Isaiah 55:8 states "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord."  This verse in Isaiah and the above statement seem to be contradictory in the sense that believers can not understand God.  If this is the case, then how can the above statement be true?  God’s understanding of virtue may be different than ours.  Yes, the Bible addresses virtue and so we can have a limited understanding,  but we may never have a full and complete understanding of God’s thoughts.  Some objects were clearly not invented to have any purpose in pointing people to Christ.  For instance, a car was solely invented to transport men from one place to another.  A car can be utilized for quicker results in ministry of course, but does not have a "God-given" nature.  Objects don't have a "God-given" nature, the objects purpose and nature is assigned to it by a person, or group of people.   Objects can be beautiful when a God pleasing purpose is assigned to it, but objects do not have a nature, whether secular or sacred.  They are neutral.  A television does not have any of the abilities that humans have and therefore is amoral.  All objects are amoral, and only a human can assign a moral purpose to it.

"We deny that right belief is sufficient to please the Lord." 

      This statement seems to address the way believers might percieve the supposed ignorance of others. A person can rightly and accurately interpret a passage and please the Lord, however their actions, as perceived by other believers, may not be.  1 Samuel 16:7b says "...for the Lord seeth not as man seeth,; for man look et on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."  To say that someone who doesn't practice the same we do can not please the Lord is a tight rope to walk.  There are certainly some compelling movements within Christendom that need to be avoided, but on an individual basis, only God know their heart. 


"We also deny that people of twisted judgements and perceptions can rightly know and love God."

      John 3:16 states that WHOSOEVER will believe shall be saved.  A person with twisted judgements and perceptions may have a very hard time coming to know Christ, but it is not impossible.  

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