"This We Believe"
A Preterist Statement of Faith
We believe that the scriptures are the verbally inspired word of God; not just the thoughts, but the very words themselves (verbissima ipsi) were chosen by God for the revelation of his will to mankind.
We believe the authenticity, historicity, inerrancy, immutability, providential preservation, transmission, and canonicity of the scriptures.
We believe that the scriptures must be interpreted according to the intent of the author (the Holy Ghost); no interpretation is valid that sets forth a meaning the author did not intend. Allowing for the customary habits and usages of speech, words are to be understood according to their literal meaning, unless the author intends otherwise.
We believe that the historical narratives of Genesis were intended to affirm the truth of the facts that they recite. We deny that the historical narratives of Genesis can be interpreted by the same principles as the poetic language and imagery of the prophets: God created the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all that is in them in the space of six evenings and mornings (24 hour days); Adam and Eve were the first created human beings; all men trace their decent from the common biological parentage of Adam and Eve.
We believe all men are subject to a fallen nature, received by inheritance from man’s common ancestor; this fallen nature results from the loss of God’s indwelling Spirit (inspiration) breathed into Adam at the time of his creation; all men are therefore subject to the carnality of their flesh, and the motions of sin in their members.
We believe that the law of sin and death is appended to every commandment of God and transgression of men. Moral law, restraining and condemning the carnality and viciousness of fallen man, has existed in every age and generation; sin has always been reckoned and punished by God. The wickedness of man brought upon the world a universal flood of which Noah and his son, his wife and his sons' wives were the only survivors.
The Mosaic law entered to show man his sin that existed under the moral law; it did not create that sin. The ceremonial rites of the Mosaic law foreshadowed the redemptive work of Christ: Blood to redeem, water to cleanse, mediation to restore.
We believe in the deity, incarnation, and virgin birth of Jesus Christ.
We believe in the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.
We believe in the substitutionary death and atoning blood of Jesus. Christ’s death triumphed over the law of sin and death, and relinquished the debt and bond of sin for all that believe and obey the gospel. Men must come to salvation one by one through the obedience of faith.
The cross alone changes man’s standing before the throne and is complete in itself for man’s salvation. The law of Moses was impressed with no especial power of sin and death not extant in the moral law binding upon all men today. Christ died to save man from the bondage of sin under the law of sin and death, not the Mosaic law; annulment of the ceremonial law was irrelevant in terms of accomplishing man’s salvation; removal of the Mosaic law was not necessary to defeat sin and death. Christ's cross triumphed over the law of sin and death, giving man victory.
We believe the events normally associated with Christ’s second coming were accomplished with the events culminating in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. The eschaton was a time of world-wide judgment for the disobedience of man in rejecting the gospel and persecuting Christ’s church.
The destruction of Jerusalem had no significance beyond Christ’s vengeance upon the sinful nation, a sign of heaven's reprobation of the temple service, and vindication of Christ's divine kingdom and sonship.
The last enemy was Hadean death, which kept the soul of man from the presence of God in heaven. Sin was defeated in Christ’s cross, but Hadean death remained to be defeated until the intercessory work of Christ was accomplished in heaven, at which time Christ descended to vindicate his gospel, avenge his saints, and raise the dead (viz., A.D. 67-70).
The resurrection consists in the spirit or soul of man, not his flesh or physical body. The general resurrection consisted in the release of all souls from Hades, which was then destroyed. At death, the souls of men now go directly to their respective rewards – eternal life in heaven, or destruction of the soul in Hell.
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