A post I read in another thread pointed out that many Protestant statements of faith begin with the Bible placed in the preeminent position and then proceed to talk about God, the Trinity, Jesus, etc., instead of beginning with a statement about belief in God and proceeding from there. Now please understand that I am in no way trying to imply that all Protestant denominations do this, but the observation did get me thinking, so I started looking around the net a bit and found the poster’s observation rang true with many of the statements of faith I looked up. For example:
The statement of faith provided by the Southern Baptist Convention website begins:
[quote=The Baptist Faith and Message]I. The Scriptures
The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.
Exodus 24:4; Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 17:19; Joshua 8:34; Psalms 19:7-10; 119:11,89,105,140; Isaiah 34:16; 40:8; Jeremiah 15:16; 36:1-32; Matthew 5:17-18; 22:29; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16ff.; 17:11; Romans 15:4; 16:25-26; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1:19-21.
There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
. . . .
Likewise, the Assemblies of God Fundamental Truths begins:
[quote=Assemblies of God Fundamental Truths]1. WE BELIEVE… The Scriptures are Inspired by God and declare His design and plan for mankind.
- WE BELIEVE… There is only One True God . . . .
The Westminster Confession of Faith as adopted by the Presbyterian Church in America begins with “Chapter 1 Of the Holy Scripture” before proceeding to God and the Holy Trinity in Chapter 2.
Finally, here are the beginnings of the statements of faith found on the websites of two protestant mega-churches near where I live:
[quote=Word of Life Church]What We Believe
Our Statement of Faith
We believe The Bible, both the Old and New Testaments, is the authoritative Word of God. It alone is the final authority for determining all doctrinal truths. In its original writing, the Bible is inspired, infallible and inerrant.
(Proverbs 30:5; Romans 16:25-26; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21)
We believe there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son (Jesus Christ) and Holy Spirit. These three are coequal and coeternal.
(Genesis 1:26; Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19; Luke 1:35; Hebrews 3:7-11; I John 5:7)
. . . .
[quote=Pinelake Church]The Bible
We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are God’s revelation of Himself to mankind. They were written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit, with the result that Scripture is God’s Word—entirely true and without error in the original writings. They are the supreme and final authority for Christian beliefs and living. We further believe that the focus of all Scripture is the person and work of Jesus Christ. (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Psalm 119:11, 89, 105, 160; Jude 3; Romans 15:4; Titus 1:1-3)
We believe there is one living and true God, who is the Creator, Preserver, Redeemer and Ruler of the universe. He is infinitely perfect in every way and eternally exists as three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (in a relationship known as the Trinity). We believe these three are one God and each possesses fully the nature, attributes and perfections of deity. (Genesis 1:1; Psalm 90:2; Isaiah 6:1-3; 40:12-28; 45:5-7; Jeremiah 10:10; Matthew 28:19; Acts 17:24-25; Romans 11:33-36; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 John 3:20)
. . . .