Saturday, September 22, 2007

Dr. Mohler Affirms Confessionalism

In his annual fall convocation address at Southern Seminary on August 28, Dr. Mohler reaffirmed the importance of confessional subscription just after 4 more Southern Seminary professors signed the Abstract of Principles, Southern's doctrinal statement.

BP writer Jeff Robinson wrote:
Confessions of faith, Mohler said, have been crucial throughout church history because they have helped Christians to distinguish orthodox doctrine from heresy. He pointed to examples such as the Nicene Creed that arose out of the Council of Nicaea in 325. The creed affirmed the orthodox expression of the deity of Christ against the threat of Arianism -- a heresy that argued Christ was merely a created being, that there was a time when He did not exist. The orthodox belief in Christ's deity as set forth in the Nicene Creed is central to the Gospel and the proclamation of it, Mohler said.

Baptists have been a confessional people throughout their history, Mohler said. Southern Baptists did not adopt a confession until 1925 because the denomination's churches and associations had their own statements of faith. The SBC first adopted the Baptist Faith & Message in 1925 because denials of God's truth were rampant in the culture and were threatening churches, Mohler said.

Some argue that the Bible is their only creed, but Mohler note that cults such as the Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons also claim the Bible as their source of doctrine. Thus, it is important for Christians to know, in summary form, what the Bible teaches. While Scripture is the sole authority for Christians, confessions serve as concise expressions of its most important doctrines, Mohler said.

He concluded with nine reasons why confessions are important. Confessions, he said: define the truth, correct error, operate as standards for God's people, assist in worship, connect modern Christians to the faith of their fathers, are useful as a teaching mechanism, protect the teaching, summarize the teaching of Scripture and define Christian unity.

HT: Excogitating Engineer

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