Essential Biblical Doctrines: What Would You Say?

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28:19-20

Though they come tonight to my home state, this post is not about The Dave Matthews Band and original sin.  (As my friend, Meredith Willis Geldhauser can attest, I am not a fan of this particular musical act.)  Rather this post is the first in a series about the answers to theological questions.  Recently, I discussed my reaction to an answer listed on a pastoral candidate questionnaire that I had come across.   This discussion made me wonder about how any given Christian would answer the kinds of questions listed on pastoral candidate questionnaires.  Given that Christians are part of the priesthood of all believers and commissioned by Jesus called to teach and make disciples, the answers to such questions should be thoughtfully considered by all Christians (not just the clergy).  In the posts to follow I will post questions from an actual pastoral candidate questionnaire that I received from a Southern Baptist Church and give my answers.  I hope that’ll you’ll join in the discussion by posting answers of your own in the comment section.  Here’s the first question and answer:

What do you consider to be the essential biblical doctrines that cannot be compromised?

In short, I consider all of them to be essential.  Compromise of scripture is not acceptable; scripture is inerrant and authoritative.[1]  I consider any person who confesses salvation through faith alone by grace alone in Christ alone to be a brother or sister in Christ.[2]  There can be no equivocal understanding of these doctrines, the nature of God, or the historicity of the resurrection, however.  Faith and grace must be understood apart from works-based salvation models.  Christ must be understood as a Person of the Trinity (one God, three Persons) along with the Father and the Holy Spirit.[3] Disagreements over the mode of Baptism and the model of church government separate us denominationally but not spiritually.  There is room for some cooperation with other denominations so long as those denominations do not deny the authority and inerrancy of scripture and the biblical qualifications of elders.[4]

What would you say?

[1] 2 Timothy 3:16

[2] Romans 10:9-13, Ephesians 2:8-9, John 14:6

[3] Matthew 28:19

[4] Romans 12

*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion.  It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled.  Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

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