Denny Burk and Ray Van Neste have co-sponsored a proposal to amend the doctrinal basis of the Constitution of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS). I think their proposal is excellent.
The current ETS doctrinal basis has two parts: (1) a statement on inerrancy, and (2) a statement on the Trinity. It reads as follows:
“The Bible alone, and the Bible in its entirety, is the Word of God written and is therefore inerrant in the autographs. God is a Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each an uncreated person, one in essence, equal in power and glory.”
The changes proposed by Burk and Van Neste beef it up significantly. Their proposed changes are as follows:
ARTICLE III. DOCTRINAL BASIS
1. The Bible alone, and the Bible in its entirety, is the Word of God written and is therefore inerrant in the autographs. This written word of God consists of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments and is the supreme authority in all matters of belief and behavior.
2. God is a Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each an uncreated person, one in essence, equal in power and glory.
3. God is sovereign in creation, revelation, redemption and final judgment.
4. Since the fall, the whole of humankind is sinful and guilty, so that everyone is subject to God’s wrath and condemnation.
5. The Lord Jesus Christ, God’s incarnate Son, is fully God; he was born of a virgin; his humanity is real and sinless; he died on the cross, was raised bodily from death and is now reigning over heaven and earth.
6. Sinful human beings are redeemed from the guilt, penalty and power of sin only through the sacrificial death once and for all time of their representative and substitute, Jesus Christ, the only mediator between them and God.
7. Those who believe in Christ are pardoned all their sins and accepted in God’s sight only because of the righteousness of Christ credited to them; this justification is God’s act of undeserved mercy, received solely by trust in him and not by their own efforts.
8. The Holy Spirit alone makes the work of Christ effective to individual sinners, enabling them to turn to God from their sin and to trust in Jesus Christ.
9. The Holy Spirit lives in all those he has regenerated. He makes them increasingly Christ-like in character and behavior and gives them power for their witness in the world.
10. The one holy universal church is the Body of Christ, to which all true believers belong.
11. The Lord Jesus Christ will return in person, to judge everyone, to execute God’s just condemnation on those who have not repented and to receive the redeemed to eternal glory.
Read the background, and view a list of supporters gathered over the last year or so.
If you are attending the Evangelical Theological Society meeting in Providence, Rhode Island next week (November 19-21), please attend the following meetings:
11/20 – Thursday
5:20-6:00pm – Van Neste, Burk, and Executive Committee discuss the proposal followed by a Q & A with audience. Rhode Island Convention Center Ballroom E
8:30-9:30pm – Business Meeting: Discussion of the Amendment proposal. Rhode Island Convention Center Ballroom
11/21 – Friday
8:30-9:00am – Business Meeting: Vote on the Amendment proposal. Rhode Island Convention Center Ballroom A