Statement of Faith


The sole basis of my belief is the Bible, God’s infallible, written Word, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. I believe that it was uniquely, verbally, and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit, and that it was written without error (inerrant) in the original manuscripts. It is the supreme and final authority in all matters on which it speaks. It is the final Word from God to man and there is no new revelation being given to men which supercedes, contradicts, adds to, or detracts from the recognized canon. I accept those areas of doctrinal teaching on which, historically, there has been general agreement among all true Christians.

I explicitly affirm my belief in the basic Bible teachings as follows:

  1. God
    • There is one true God, eternally existing in three persons–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–each of whom possesses equally all the attributes of Deity and the characteristics of personality (Deut. 6:4; Num. 6:24-26; Isa. 48:16; Matt. 3:16, 17; 28:18-20; John 14:16, 17, 23, 26; 15:26).
    • God is spirit. He is self-existent. He is infinite and eternal in His being, the creator and sustainer of all of creation, and is the redeemer of all who receive His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as Lord and Savior, and He is judge of all mankind. He is sovereign. He is complete and perfect in all His attributes (Gen. 1:1-2:25; Psalm 90:2; Ex. 3:14; Deu. 33:27; Psalm 135:6; John 4:24).
    • God admonishes His people to assemble together regularly for worship, participation in ordinances, edification through the Scriptures, mutual encouragement, and for being equipped for service (Heb. 10:25; Eph. 4:11-16).
  2. Jesus Christ
    • Jesus Christ is God, the Living Word, Who became flesh through His miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit and His virgin birth. Hence, He is perfect Deity and true humanity united in one person forever (John 1:1, 14; Matt. 1:18-21 {Isa. 7:14}; Luke 1:26-33, 35).
    • He lived a sinless life and voluntarily atoned for the sins of men by dying on the cross as their substitute, thus satisfying divine justice and accomplishing salvation for all who trust in Him alone (John 1:11, 12; 6:37; 8:28, 29, 36, 46; Luke 9:51; 10:17; Eph. 1:4; Heb. 1:1-3).
    • He rose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, in which He lived and died (Luke 24:36-42; John 10:17, 18; 20:19, 20; 1 Cor 15:1-34).
    • He ascended bodily into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God the Father, where He, the only mediator between God and man, continually makes intercession for His own (Acts 1:9-11; Col. 3:1; Heb. 7:25; 10:12; 1 Peter 3:22; 1 Tim. 2:5; Rom. 8:34; 1 John 2:1, 2).
    • Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, His body, which is composed of all those, living and dead, who–starting at Pentecost–have been joined to Him through saving faith (John 1:11, 12; Acts 2:1-4; Eph. 1:22, 23; 5:23; 1 Thess. 4:13-18).
  3. Holy Spirit
    • The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Triune God. He is one in nature and essence with God the Father and Jesus Christ (Isa. 48:16; Matt. 28:19; John 14:16, 17, 23; 15:26).
    • The Holy Spirit has come into the world to reveal and glorify Christ and to apply the saving work of Christ to men. He convicts and draws sinners to Christ, imparts new life to them, continually indwells them from the moment of spiritual birth, and seals them until the day of redemption. His fullness, power, and control are appropriated in the believer’s life by faith (John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7-11, 13-15; ROM 8:9; Eph. 4:30).
    • There is only one “baptism” in the Holy Spirit, accomplished at salvation, whereby the believer is identified with Christ and is permanently and completely indwelt by His Spirit. There is no second act of grace or special anointing for releasing gifts or revelation. He fills and controls believers who daily are surrendered to Him (Mark 1:8; Acts 1:5; Luke 3:16; 1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 5:18).
  4. The Bible
    • The Bible–the Old and New Testaments–is the Word of God, and, as such, is verbally inspired, inerrant in the original autographs, authoritative, infallible, and wholly reliable. The Scriptures are the only guide and rule of faith and conduct for the believer (Matt. 5:18; John 10:35; 17:17; Psalm 119:89; 2 Tim. 3:16, 17).
    • My responsibility is to learn them, obey them, and conform to their requirements in all of life. The Bible is God’s final revelation to man. It is not to be added to, taken away from, or altered in any way (2 Tim. 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 2:21; Deu. 4:2; Prov. 30:5, 6; Rev. 22:18, 19).
  5. Man
    • Man was originally created in the image of God. He sinned by disobeying God; thus, he was alienated from his Creator. The historic fall of Adam brought all mankind under divine condemnation (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:7, 16, 17; 3:6, 16-19, 23, 24; Rom 5:12, 17-19; 1 Cor. 15:22).
    • Man’s nature is utterly corrupted, and he is thus totally unable to please God. Every man is in need of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit. Man has no possible means of salvation within himself through good works (Gen. 6: 12; Rom 3:23; 5:12; 1 Cor. 2:14; 1 John 5:19; Eph 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5; Gal. 2:16).
  6. Salvation
    • The salvation of man is wholly a work of God’s free grace and is not the result, in whole or in part, of human works or goodness or of religious ceremony. Salvation is received only through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, as a man will repent and believe the gospel. God imputes His righteousness to those who put their faith in Christ alone for their salvation, and thereby justifies them in His sight (John 1:11, 12;14:6; Mark 1:15; Eph. 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5-7; Rom 3:20-28; 4:16-25; Gal. 2:16; 3:24).
    • It is the privilege of all who are born again of the Spirit to be assured of their salvation from the very moment in which they trust Christ as their Savior. This assurance is not based upon any kind of human merit, but is produced by the witness of the Holy Spirit, who confirms in the believer the testimony of God in His written Word (John 1:11, 12; 3:14-18, 36; 14:16; 5:24; Rom 8:16-18; Titus 3:5-7; Heb. 13:5, 6; 1 John 5:11-13; Rev. 6:9-11).
  7. The Christian Life
    • Every believer is called to so live in the power of the indwelling Spirit that he will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh, but will bear fruit to the glory of God (John 15:16; Rom 12:1, 2; Gal. 5:16-23).
    • It is the will of my Lord that believers publicly affirm their commitment to Him and their identity with His people through obedience to His command to be baptized by immersion in water. This ordinance has no bearing upon salvation, but–as an act of obedience–is a logical consequence of salvation (Matt. 28:19, 20; Acts 8:36-39; Eph. 2:8, 9; 1 Peter 3:21).
    • The Lord Jesus Christ commanded all believers to proclaim the gospel throughout the world and to disciple men of every nation. Fulfilling of the Great Commission requires that all worldly and personal ambitions be subordinated to a total commitment to “Him Who loved us gave Himself for us… ” (Rev. 1:5; Matt. 28:18-20; Eph. 4:1-3; Col. 1:10, 11; 1 Thess. 2:12; Phil. 2:3, 4).
  8. The Church
    • The church was founded at Pentecost with the coming of the Holy Spirit, and consists of all who have truly repented of their sins and have received the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior. The church is manifested as believers gather together for worship and service. The only members of the true church are those who are in Christ (Matt. 16:18; John 14:16; Acts 2:1-5; Heb. 10:25; 2 Cor. 5:17).
    • Jesus Christ is the head of the church, His body, and, as such, has sole authority over its functioning. He is to be obeyed in everything, since He is Lord of all (Eph. 1:22; 4:15; Col. 1:18; 1 John 4:2, 3; ROM 10:9, 10, 13; Acts 10:36; Phil. 2:11).
  9. Things to Come
    • At physical death the believer enters immediately into the eternal, conscious presence of the Lord and awaits the resurrection of his body to everlasting glory and blessing (2 Cor. 5:6-8; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 2 Thess. 2:1-14).
    • At physical death the unbeliever enters immediately into eternal, conscious separation from the Lord and awaits the resurrection of his body to everlasting judgment and condemnation (Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:22-24; 2 Thess. 1:6, 8, 9; Rev. 20:11-15).
    • Jesus Christ will return in the air before the great tribulation for His church, to take His own–the living and the dead–home to be with Him forever (1 Cor. 15:51-58; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 2 Thess. 2:1-10).
    • Jesus Christ will come again to the earth–personally, visibly and bodily–to consummate history and the eternal plan of God (John 14:1-3; Acts 1:9-11; Matt. 24:30; 25:31-33, 41, 46).
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11 thoughts on “Statement of Faith

  1. Ross

    Hey Seth, I just wanted to let you know that I admire your patience and willingness to weed through the irascibility so prevalent in many of our cultural conflicts. God bless your work.

    Cheers.

    Reply
    1. Ted Timmons

      The use of laity or layman has nothing to do with baptist life by using the term we but ourself a under ownership of someone else other then Jesus Christ. We are not the laity we our brothers and sisters in Christ nothing more and nothing else. So chuck the term it only came to be used when “The Doctrine of The Laity” book study came out serveral years ago. Go Seth Dunn!.

      Reply
  2. Matt Armstrong

    Good info. I am interested in hearing more of your thoughts on The Co-Operative Program etc.
    Be blessed.

    Reply
    1. sethdunn88 Post author

      Thank you. Please Google my free ebook “The Cooperative Program and the Road to Serfdom.” It lays out what I think is the best alternative to the CP.

      Reply
  3. DJR

    Seth: I admire your commitment to your belief system but was wondering whether, at seminary, they teach critical analysis of what a typical Southern Baptist (f there is such a thing) believes.

    For instance, the first sentence in your Statement of Faith says that “the sole basis of my belief is the Bible, God’s infallible, written Word, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments.”

    If the Bible is the sole basis of your belief, what part of the Bible did you get the idea that it contains 66 books? And which books are they, according to the Bible?

    Reply
    1. sethdunn88 Post author

      The Bible is a collection of 66 books, split into the Old and New Testaments.

      That’s the definition of “the Bible”. None of the books of the Bible specifically lists the canon.

      I think you know that.

      Reply
      1. DJR

        I know that the Bible does not list the canon. That’s why it is difficult to understand why a Southern Baptist believes in a 66 book canon.

        You stated: “”The Bible is a collection of 66 books, split into the Old and New Testaments. That’s the definition of ‘the Bible.'”

        But that statement begs many questions, some of which are as follows:

        Where does that definition come from?

        Whose definition is it?

        Most importantly, is that God’s definition of the Bible?

        If it is claimed that it is God’s definition of the Bible, how was such a definition (66 book canon) revealed to the Southern Baptist?

        If it is not claimed that that is God’s definition of the Bible, why does a Southern Baptist believe in such a definition?

        If a person wants to understand what a Baptist believes, and why, how does a Baptist answer the question as to how the Baptist arrives at a canon of 66 books?

        What part of the Bible does the Baptist use to test whether the belief in a 66 book canon is correct?

        How does a Baptist answer an inquirer who asks: How did God reveal the canon of the Bible?

        Not trying to badger, but it has always puzzled me as to how a person can hold contradictory beliefs at the same time. Does the seminary in NO discuss the subject? What do they teach the students about the issue?

      2. sethdunn88 Post author

        Canon is discussed at seminary.

        The early church considered (what would become) a New Testament book to scripture if it was understood to be apostolic and inspired. The Old Testament canon was already long established by the first century.

  4. DJR

    “The early church considered (what would become) a New Testament book to scripture if it was understood to be apostolic and inspired. The Old Testament canon was already long established by the first century.”

    How did the seminary teachers answer the following questions?

    1. Who decided what the NT canon is, when was it decided, and by whose authority? Where does one find the NT canon?

    2. The same questions for the OT canon. Where does one find the OT canon?

    3. The most important question: In what manner did God reveal the canon of the Bible?

    Reply
  5. DJR

    Seth:

    Let me offer a few thoughts in an effort to explain my prior posts. I don’t say any of the following things to denigrate; rather, they are said out of a concern for Truth.

    I apologize if this is long. I will try to be as brief as possible and will break it up into segments.

    First, let me say that I admire much of what you stand for. It is obvious to me that you’re quite intelligent, having a CPA and obtaining a Master’s degree in Christian Apologetics.

    Being a Baptist, you know that it is essential to have a love of Truth. Loving Truth is loving Jesus Christ, Who is Truth Incarnate (John 14:6). A person who loves Jesus Christ loves Truth, regardless of where that Truth leads him, even if it involves difficulty. It is obvious that you already know those things.

    As ordinary people, in order for us to understand whether we actually possess the Truth, however, we must step outside our perspectives and look at them with critical thinking skills, unhindered by presuppositions, and we must familiarize ourselves with, and gain an understanding of, counter arguments. Otherwise, we could be blind to obvious errors that we are unable to discern.

    The problem with the Baptist perspective is that it does indeed contain errors and thus cannot come from Jesus Christ. The errors are obvious to a person who does not share the Baptist worldview.

    Because you are college educated and a CPA, you have the ability to use critical thinking skills to analyze information that you are given. For the sake of Truth, and therefore for the sake of Christ, you should use those skills to analyze whether, as a Baptist, your beliefs conform to Truth, that is, whether they conform to Jesus Christ.

    _________

    The reason why a person who loves Truth cannot accept the Baptist viewpoint is due to the fact that, at the very foundation of the Baptist belief system exists a contradiction, in other words, an untruth. Thus, a person who loves Truth cannot adhere to the Baptist worldview.

    Let me explain.

    When I stumbled across your website, I was reading some of the things you wrote, many of which I agree with, but then I viewed the Statement of Faith and came across some obvious problems.

    The first problem is in the very opening sentence of your SoF: “The sole basis of my belief is the Bible, God’s infallible, written Word, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments.”

    That statement contains an internal contradiction and therefore cannot be in conformance with Truth, as it is impossible for God to be the author of contradiction.

    Here’s why I say that.

    In the first part of the statement, you state that “the SOLE basis” (my emphasis) of your belief is the Bible, but then in the second part of the statement, you define the Bible as “the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments.”

    Those two concepts are mutually exclusive. It is a contradiction to hold both of them at the same time and is therefore contrary to Truth.

    As you have already admitted, the Bible does not contain its own canon.

    Therefore, the Bible does not, and cannot, serve as the basis of your belief enunciated in the second part of the statement. Rather, there must be some other basis that you use in order to come to the conclusion that the Bible contains 66 books.

    Question: What is that basis?

    In any event, if there is another basis for your belief in a 66 book canon, the opening statement results in a falsehood, “The SOLE basis of my belief is the Bible…”

    #1

    Reply
  6. DJR

    #2

    The opening statement in the SoF can be disproven merely by asking the question: What is your basis for believing that the Bible contains 66 books?

    Because you claim that the Bible is the sole basis of your beliefs, the only answer available to you is: the Bible.

    However, you cannot say that the Bible serves as that basis, as you have already admitted.

    Thus, of necessity, there must be some other basis for the second part of the sentence, but if there is, that makes the first part of the sentence a falsity.

    In reality, the Truth is this: The Bible does not serve as the sole basis of your beliefs. There is something outside the Bible to which you resort in order to arrive at the conclusion contained in the second half of the first sentence of your SoF.

    Again, the question becomes: What is that other basis?

    Stepping outside the Baptist perspective, can you see the inherent problem in your SoF?

    ______

    In the pursuit of Apologetics, the apologist is going to be confronted with many questions from those who do not hold his worldview. If he cannot answer those questions adequately or, further, truthfully, the apologetics will not serve the cause of Jesus Christ, Who is Truth.

    Nevertheless, before an apologist can start talking about the meaning of the text of the Bible, he must first ask himself some foundational questions, the most important of which is: What exactly does “the Bible” consist of?

    It is at that point where the Baptist apologist runs into some insurmountable difficulties regarding Truth.
    _______

    With regard to the canon of Sacred Scripture, the only opinion a Baptist should be concerned about is God’s opinion of the matter.

    But how does he arrive at God’s opinion on this point?

    In your worldview, the only option available to you is “the Bible,” but you admit that the Bible does not answer that question.

    So, the only possible conclusion one can come to is that, when you state your belief that the Bible contains 66 books, you are adding a belief to the Bible that it does not contain.

    As a result, you fall under the very condemnation you listed in number 4 of your SoF, where you state, “The Bible is God’s final revelation to man. It is not to be added to…”

    But you yourself have added to the Bible. You have added the belief that it contains 66 books, something that it does not teach anywhere.

    See the problem there?

    ________

    Here are some questions that I, as a non-Baptist, would ask a Baptist apologist. How would you answer them?

    1. Has God revealed to us the canon of the Bible?

    If the answer is, no, God has not revealed the canon to us, the next question is:

    Then upon what basis does a Baptist believe that the Bible contains 66 books? Further, what does he employ in order to test whether that assertion is in conformity with Truth?

    2. If the answer is, yes, God has revealed the canon to us, the next question is:

    HOW did God reveal to us the canon of the Bible?

    There are only two possible answers available:

    1. God revealed to us the canon THROUGH the Bible itself.

    2. God revealed to us the canon OUTSIDE the Bible.

    It cannot be number 1, as you have already admitted.

    But number 2 poses insurmountable difficulties for a Baptist because it involves a revelation from God which would be binding on our consciences, but that revelation would be transmitted through oral tradition only, which a Baptist denies.

    Accordingly, a Baptist apologist is left with no ability to address these foundational issues.

    The Baptist’s belief in a 66 book canon is “unbiblical” per se, not being contained in scripture; therefore, the Baptist is compelled, by his own doctrine, to reject that belief.

    But the Baptist does not reject that belief

    So here is the Truth regarding the matter: As a Baptist, you adhere to an “unbiblical” belief (66 book canon) at the same time you adhere to the belief that all unbiblical beliefs should be rejected (SoF #4).

    Such is the contradiction that a Baptist cannot extricate himself from.

    He can ignore the issue, but it will never go away. To ignore something so important and foundational is to ignore Truth. Ignoring Truth is ignoring Jesus Christ because Jesus Christ is Truth.

    Reply

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