Some Doctrinal Distinctives

Introductory observations

What follows is the fruit of discussions that have been taking place among the SharperIron moderators and admins over many months, but especially the last six weeks or so. A few points might help frame it properly. First, the team is fairly diverse. We are not all Baptists. We are certainly not all Calvinists, though probably none of the non-Calvinists could be described as Arminians either. Several us are “hard” cessationists when it comes to the “sign gifts,” but some are softer cessationists and one or two aren’t sure. Several of us are, or have been, pastors—but again, not all of us. Also, though the points below reflect the beliefs of the moderators and admins, not everyone on the team is enthusiastic about publishing every one of these points in a list of distinctives—mostly out of concern about the relative importance of one point or another in the overall body of Christian doctrine. In short, probably none of us would say all of these are equally important and some would see one or two as perhaps better left unsaid.

The doctrinal assertions below are not intended to further restrict those who may participate in the forums either now or in the future, nor do we claim that they are beliefs that are essential to fundamentalist identitiy. They are nothing more and nothing less than what the moderators and admins (and most other volunteers) currently believe in some areas that are of special concern.

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Fred Moritz's picture

First, the team is fairly diverse. We are not all Baptists. We are certainly not all Calvinists, though probably none of the non-Calvinists could be described as Arminians either. Several us are “hard” cessationists when it comes to the “sign gifts,” but some are softer cessationists and one or two aren’t sure. Several of us are, or have been, pastors—but again, not all of us. Also, though the points below reflect the beliefs of the moderators and admins, not everyone on the team is enthusiastic about publishing every one of these points in a list of distinctives—mostly out of concern about the relative importance of one point or another in the overall body of Christian doctrine. In short, probably none of us would say all of these are equally important and some would see one or two as perhaps better left unsaid.

It would be interesting to see a list of the team members and a brief bio/ministry sketch on them.

Jay's picture

Fred Moritz wrote:
Article wrote:
First, the team is fairly diverse. We are not all Baptists. We are certainly not all Calvinists, though probably none of the non-Calvinists could be described as Arminians either. Several us are “hard” cessationists when it comes to the “sign gifts,” but some are softer cessationists and one or two aren’t sure. Several of us are, or have been, pastors—but again, not all of us. Also, though the points below reflect the beliefs of the moderators and admins, not everyone on the team is enthusiastic about publishing every one of these points in a list of distinctives—mostly out of concern about the relative importance of one point or another in the overall body of Christian doctrine. In short, probably none of us would say all of these are equally important and some would see one or two as perhaps better left unsaid.

It would be interesting to see a list of the team members and a brief bio/ministry sketch on them.

Jim Peet (Forums Director) http://sharperiron.org/comment/21511#comment-21511 ]posted his Doctrinal Statement yesterday in another thread. I lost my own statement a couple years ago when the computer it was on crashed, but mine would be very similar to his.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Jim's picture

Fred Moritz wrote:
It would be interesting to see a list of the team members and a brief bio/ministry sketch on them.

Dr Moritz,

I updated my Sharper Iron signature line with a link to a brief biography and my testimony of faith in Christ. Hope this helps

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Appreciate the idea and it's been mentioned several times in our discussions as well. It's now on the do list to put some bios together.

Bob Hayton's picture

I appreciate the tack you have taken. This clarity will help many in understanding how SI works. I also appreciate your keeping the membership standards broad enough to encourage edifying conversation, yet not as narrow as the leadership standards.

I believe among members that points 1 and 6 above are going to be the ones most likely to have a variety of positions held in the members. On #6 I would disagree with the leadership, respectfully. On point #1, I'm not quite ready to conclude so dogmatically. But I can see how these are important matters and defining characteristics, and expressing where the leadership stands on them will be of value to many.

Thanks again for the continued ministry of Sharper Iron. Many have been blessed by the site over the years, and I count myself among them.

Striving for the unity of the faith, for the glory of God ~ Eph. 4:3, 13; Rom. 15:5-7 I blog at Fundamentally Reformed. Follow me on Twitter.

Paul Henebury's picture

I can only say "Thanks for SI" and "Amen" to the seven distinctives.

Dr. Paul Henebury

I am Founder of Telos Ministries, and Senior Pastor at Agape Bible Church in N. Ca.

Ed Vasicek's picture

This entire approach is wonderfully firm and gracious. It allows wiggle room based on the SI doctrinal statement, but it also sets a tone for the "norm." Bravo.

"The Midrash Detective"

Joel Tetreau's picture

Hey Fred,

Don't let the diversity bother you. I'm sure all of us would also hold that Jesus will literally return. He's coming back and all of us are sure of that!

As far as a bio - Here goes:

Joel Tetreau - first (and only) born son of Jerry and Kit Tetreau. My first pastor was Walt Hanford. First music pastor was Frank Garlock. Just as Paul was from the tribe of Benjamin - I was born in Greenville, SC (this is something of a near equivelence for American Fundamentalism). Saving Faith, Baptism and Call to ministry took place in my childhood/youth. My second pastor was Charles Britt (Thrifthaven Baptist Church - Memphis). My next pastor and mentor in ministry was Jim Singleton (Tri-City Baptist Church). Large influences outside of my home as a teen would be the Church I attended, my youth pastor, the Christian School I attended and two summers in a row of Summit Ministry in Colorado organized by David Nobel. Attended IBC, Calvary Seminary, Jerusalem Center of Biblical Studies, DBTS and Central Seminary Minn - Have completed BA, MA, MDiv, D.Min and part of a Th.M. I've pastored for 20 years. I presently serve as senior pastor of Southeast Valley Baptist Church in Gilbert, AZ. In addition to loving the congregation I serve, I also am connected to a network of ministries both here in North America and around the globe. I am priviledged to partner with other ministries throughout the year. I just came back from a great missions trip in Asia where the Lord blessed my heart and challenged my commitments in a variety of ways. I serve as a board member of Institute of Biblical Leadership, Global Grace Missions, Grand View Camp, and a chaplain endorsing agency called the AGC. My wife of nearly 20 years is Toni. We have 3 sons - Jonathan (16), Jeremy (14) and Joshua (12). We enjoy music, ministry, sports and travel - especially when we can do these things together. I am a type B fundamentalist. I am a Baptist - who has a great love in his heart for Baptistic believers that go to Bible, Community, and other types of congregations. I am a 4.5 Calvinist. I am a dispensationalist but believe the Kingdom is here in some form already. I believe more in an Van Till approach to apologetics although there is a time when I grad Josh McDowell! I believe tongues is not "normative" for today.....but God being God can do whatever He wants to do with language and anything else in the supernatural realm - in part because we know He already is involved in the miracle of the New Birth. I believe that there can and should be a kind of co-ministry that takes place between balanced fundamentalists, a certain kind of conservative evangelical, dispensationalists as well as the more reformed among us. I've taken on the task of building as many bridges as I can between those four groups. Along the journey I've met and made some great friends......and a few enemies (not that I've burned the bridge from my side of the river). SI has been a great help in communicating my heart in a few areas. It's been my thrill to serve as a moderator here at SI. These days I'm not writing as much because of other time-investments. My favorite NT character is Barnabas. My favorite OT character is Caleb - or maybe Samuel. I love John the Baptist! My favoriet Bible communicator is John MacArthur. I love the Puritans - mostly because they demonstrate that you can wed theology with experience - yes!!!!!!!!! without becoming "dangerous!" My favorite colleges and seminaries in no specific order would be - Masters, BJ, Detroit, The Centrals, Calvary, Northland, Faith, IBC, Maranatha, Clearwater. My favorite associations would be GARBC, IFCA, FBF, FIRE, Shepherd's Fellowship and a few other smaller regional groups. My favorite missions board is ABWE - However, I appreciate a few others - one being BWM Smile My D.Min project at Central Seminary delt with the Decision-Making Process of the Local NT Church. I''ve been in the slow process over the last several years of re-doing my work in the form of a book. I'm actually getting close to the stage where I can ship it to an editor. . I believe that the first among equals in a church should practice a kind of co-ministry where he's not on top of his pyramid with zero accountability. My hero's in the faith would by my parents, and a variety of other leaders, some of whom would be Jim Singleton, Rolland McCune, John MacArthur, Doug McLachlan, and a host of others. My political hero was Ronald Reagan - although I would vote for Margaret Thatcher today if she were to become an American citizen! I live and love Arizona. My favorite tree is the cactus. Favorite bird is the roadrunner. My Dad's family came out of the GARBC and IFCA. My mom's family came out of the Pentecostal Holiness movement. Last - I have always appreciated your spirit Fred Moritz. I remember as a child at least two times when you stayed at our home. I remember thinking when I was a teenager - This guy is has it together. Still think that. Straight Ahead my friend! I am hopeful that the other mod's and adm's will take the time to do a bio for you as well. Shalom.

Dr. Joel Tetreau serves as Senior Pastor, Southeast Valley Bible Church (sevbc.org); Regional Coordinator for IBL West (iblministry.com), Board Member & friend for several different ministries;

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