Below are the reasons why I believe what I believe. I had to write this up for my Systematic Theology class (Sys 1: THE540) at GRTS and it’s due the 1st of August.
This is much more than just an assignment to me, it is a tool that I want keep on sharpening all my life. I’m posting it online to get some feedback, to hear how certain things could be written better, more clearly. I also want to start discussions about the things I mention, to see if this helps anyone else.
Please, feel free to comment and share your thoughts!
I believe we are created by God able to know, more specifically- able to know God, and are only able to know (and know God) because of God. (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:19; Exodus 6:7; Deuteronomy 6:4-9)
Knowing (and knowing God) enables us to be in relationship with ourselves, others, creation, and God. We are in relationship with what we know. Relationships are the purpose of knowledge. (Genesis 1:28-30; 2:20; Psalm 104:31-34; 1 Corinthians 13:2; Colossians 2:1-3; Hebrews 4:15)
Both knowing and relationships result from an outpouring of God’s own loving relationship within the Trinity. It is because God knows and relates that we know and relate. (Genesis 1:26-27; 1 Samuel 2:3; Matthew 17:5-7; 28:19; John 10:27-30)
I believe we know (and know God) in two ways:
Through our senses and rationality as creatures. (Psalm 19:1-6; Romans 1:19-20)
Through God’s interceding work upon us and the rest of creation. (Hebrews 1:1-3; 2:3-4)
I believe that the knowledge gained by interacting with creation is capable of being true, yet our senses and rationality are imperfect, therefore the resulting knowledge is not entirely trustworthy. (Proverbs 3:5; 28:26; Ecclesiastes 1:13-15; Jeremiah 10:14)
Our inability to know (and know God) both truly and reliably is our fault, resulting from our disobedience and hostility toward God. (Genesis 3:16-19; Romans 1:21-25; 3:10-18; Ephesians 4:17-19)
Our disobedience and hostility destroys our relationship with God. (Jeremiah 3:25; John 3:36; James 4:8; 1 John 4:20)
Our destroyed relationship with God mutilates our ability to know (and know God). (Romans 1:21; 3:11-12; Ephesians 4:18; Hebrews 11:6; Jude 1:10)
I believe knowledge gained through God’s work upon us and creation will guide us to know (and know God) truly and reliably. (Exodus 6:2-8; Job 42:1-6; Luke 1:35-38; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21)
It does so through the direct and revealed teachings and stories of the Bible. (Deuteronomy 12:28; 29:29; Romans 15:4)
It does so through direct and unrevealed involvement with persons, events, and creation. (Exodus 6:7; 1 Chronicles 5:26; Proverbs 16:9; Luke 24:45; Acts 1:24-26)
I believe the Bible is the authoritative work of God, delivered into creation as a creation itself, the written word, to share with us his purpose for mankind and creation. (Proverbs 30:5; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 4:4; 2 Timothy 3:16)
The Bible is authored by people to convey the absolute amount of meaning God want us to know from the original manuscripts. (Leviticus 26:46; Jeremiah 23:16, 30:2; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21)
The Bible has been trustworthily assembled and copied from the originals. (2 Kings 22:8-13; Isaiah 40:8; John 10:35; 2 Corinthians 4:2)
The Bible is completely and finally assembled with each participating book in total logical and historical agreement with the others. (Psalm 119:160; Jeremiah 23:28-32; 2 Corinthians 4:2; 1 John 4:1-3; Revelation 22:18-19)
The Bible is true and right in everything it means to say on any topic, in the ways it meant to say them. (Deuteronomy 18:22; Proverbs 30:5; Romans 9:6; 2 Timothy 2:15; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:20)
The Bible records the history of God’s relationship with mankind for the purpose of leading us from disobedience and hostility into a loving and obedient relationship with God. (Nehemiah 8:1-12; Psalm 102:18; Mark 12:24; Romans 15:4; Hebrews 13:7)
The specific goal of the Bible is giving us knowledge of Jesus Christ, who fulfills the Bible’s goal. (Luke 22:37; John 5:39; Acts 18:28; Hebrews 1:1-3; 1 Corinthians 1:18, 2:2; 1 Timothy 6:3-4)
The Bible’s instructions must be acted on in obedience for the Bible has the capacity to bring our lives back into proper relationship with God. It also has the capacity to condemn us if we do nothing or disobey that instruction. (Deuteronomy 12:28; Deuteronomy 27:26; Jeremiah 11:8; Micah 2:7; Matthew 7:24-26; John 12:48, 14:21-24; 1 Timothy 4:6; James 2:14-17)