Confession(s) of Faith - Brad Jersak
As requested, what follows is a confession of faith that clarifies the doctrines to which I subscribe.
The difficulty of such confessions is four-fold.
1. The very idea of a personal doctrinal statement seems to me oxymoronic, in that the Christian faith was ‘once for all delivered’ (Jude 1:3) – a particular Gospel received by and passed on to the Church (1 Cor. 15:3). The best we can do is to identify the heart of that faith and consent to it, rather than composing our own private or even denominational belief systems.
2. The idea of a single confessional statement is also problematic in that both the Bible and the early Church orbit around several summary hymns and creeds, which comprise a constellation of affirmations that all orthodox believers agreed on for the first three centuries of Christianity.
3. The apostles and their successors did not always agree and were willing to speculate freely and broadly about theology. But to maintain unity, they kept dogma (what one must believe) to a bare minimum … just eight sentences after three centuries! To venture beyond the brief historic creeds led to the schisms that fractured unity.
4. Finally, various confessions answer different sets of questions, sort of like asking what suit is ‘trump’ in a game of blackjack or how many points a ‘free throw’ gets in a hockey game. So please forgive me if the following confession answers different sets of questions than the reader might be asking.