BASIC THEOLOGICAL BELIEFS

Trinity

God is three-yet-one in His identity as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Believers are commanded to be baptized into all three names of the Trinity (Matt. 28:19), and although God is three distinct persons (Matt. 3:16-17, 28:19, 1 Cor. 12:4-6), Christianity is a decidedly monotheistic faith worshipping one God (Deut. 6:4, 1 Tim. 2:5, Jas. 2:19). Each member of the Trinity is fully divine and by nature God (Ex. 20:2, John 5:17-18, Acts 5:3-4), and each is spiritual and personal in nature (John 4:24). Scripture expresses a paradox between the unity and distinctiveness among the members of the Trinity, and this paradoxical nature of God is mysterious to human understanding (1 Cor. 2:7, 1 Pet. 1:2).

Creation

God created the entirety of the known universe (and parts which are yet unknown to human observation) out of nothing (Jn. 1:3, Heb. 4:3), and out of His wisdom and pleasure (Isa. 40:12-14, Jer. 10:12-16). Scripture is clear that God is the author of creation (Gen. 1:1-2:25), although the precise means by which He accomplished this feat are not described in scientific detail; this leaves many options open to God’s followers regarding specific scientific theories regarding those means (e.g. young Earth/old Earth theories) without straying from biblical authority.

God’s Revelation of Himself

God makes Himself known to human beings through two categories of revelation: general and specific/special. General revelation enables finite mortal humans to conceive that a transcendent deity exists, and is accessible via the glory of nature (Ps. 19, Rom. 1:19-20), His hand in history’s course (Job 12:23, Acts 14:16-17), the image of God uniquely manifest in humans (Gen. 1:26-27, Col. 3:10), and the moral capacity for judgment unique to that image (Rom. 1:18-32, 2:14-16).

Specific/special revelation goes beyond the revelation of an anonymous deity/set of deities and involves God’s manifestation of Himself to particular persons at particular times and places, enabling those persons to enter into a redemptive relationship with Him. The most important method of specific/special revelation was the incarnation of one of the Trinity members in the form of the man Jesus of Nazareth (Jn. 14:9). God has revealed Himself personally to humans throughout history (Ex. 3:14, Acts 9:1-9), and the bible is God’s specific/special revelation of Himself via the processes of inspiration and illumination (Eph. 1:17-18, 2 Tim. 3:16, Heb. 4:12). The Holy Spirit also indwells believers (Ezek. 36:27, Rom. 8:9-11) and reveals God/Himself to believers through that individual mystical union as another form of specific/special revelation (1 John 2:27).

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