Composing a doctrinal statement (or any other essential documents) can be one of the most arduous (but crucial) projects undertaken by a church. In this series, I’m sharing my own doctrinal statement, a section at a time, in an attempt to provide a helpful example of a detailed statement that is worded positively, but articulated precisely enough to exclude certain theological positions for the protection and unity of the church.
Section 3 — Creation
We believe that the creation of the space-time universe from nothing, as recorded in Genesis 1–2, is neither allegory, nor myth, nor poetry, but a literal, historical event . The existence of all things is the result of the direct, immediate, creative acts of God over six literal days . Mankind was created in the image of God by a direct work of God (not from previously existing forms of life), and the entire human race descended from the historical Adam and Eve. Mankind was given dominion over the earth (though the full exercise of this dominion is redacted due to the Fall), to be stewards of creation for the glory of God. We affirm and hold to The Biblical Perspective of Environmental Stewardship.
Death (both physical and spiritual) entered into this world subsequent to, and as a direct consequence of, man’s sin . The special creation of Adam and Eve, and their subsequent fall into sin, is historical, literal, and the basis for the necessity of salvation for mankind. God’s purpose in and for creation is to reveal His glory.
(Genesis 1–2; Exodus 20:11; Nehemiah 9:6; Isaiah 11:6; 45:18; Matthew 19:4; John 1:3; Acts 17:24–27; Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:20–26; Colossians 1:16–17; Hebrews 11:3)
1) With this one simple statement, based on the statements on inerrancy and hermeneutics in Section 1, we’ve lost half of evangelical Christianity, but we’ve created a mighty foundation for unity on the inerrancy, sufficiency, and authority of Scripture.
2) And there go some more… Notice how many views we’ve excluded by this statement: Theistic Evolution (and atheistic, for that matter), Day Age, Progressive Creation, Analogical Day, any allegorical interpretation, even the Framework Hypothesis depending on the variety.
3) This statement not only excludes evolutionary cosmogonies, but also such views as Day Age, Analogical Day, Framework Hypothesis, and the Gap Theory.