In order to keep my posts short enough that you and I don't lose interest, I am going to break down my beliefs into sections. Tonight, I will start with the Bible, as it determines all my theology. So often we tremble at the word "theology," it has become faux pas even in our churches. I use the term "theology" to refer to the truths in the Bible. Likewise, I use the term "doctrine" to mean various teachings throughout the Bible.
The Bible does teach about itself -a doctrine of the Bible. We know that the Bible is inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16). The Bible is without error. To fully understand the truths in the Bible we need to study both the Old and New Testament. Our human nature lends to preferring one over the other, but we need to see the whole picture that God has preserved in His Book. One's views of salvation (or any other doctrine) can be very mistaken if he reads only part of his Bible. The Bible (in its original language and form) is The Authority to understanding all doctrines! We can read other books, and they may shed light onto culture and times, but the Bible is The Truth we depend on to form our thoughts!
We need to be careful to read the Bible in the right context and let "Scripture interpret Scripture." I mean that one verse can help explain another verse. And, to remove one verse from a paragraph may give it an entirely new meaning. I too am prone to mistakes. I will be the first to admit (my husband will be the second) that I don't have everything figured out! I did study Bible at a college designed for that purpose, but still I don't claim to know everything. If you see errors in what I write, I am open to discussion. But, if you think you see errors in the Bible, perhaps you ought to read more of it and let the Bible teach itself to you.
Another note on doctrine/theology: While I do love to study books, catechisms, and confessions that is no replacement for studying the Bible itself! What man writes about the Bible will never be perfect. God (through His Holy Spirit) penned the Bible using ordinary men - we call this "inspiration." Then God preserved His Word throughout time so that we can read it today.
The Bible is "living and powerful" (Hebrews 4:12) and it is relevant to all generations. So many people think that we need to somehow change God's perfect Book to make it relevant, but this is unnecessary. We should explain the Bible in terms to be understood by varying audiences, but we cannot make it any more relevant than God did when He originally inspired its writings!
I know that this short statement is not at all complete. I thought about linking some previously existing creeds or confessions. But, as much as possible, I want this blog to be in my own words. However, if you would like more information e-mail me or write a comment, maybe someone else has the same question you have.
I personally prefer the King James Version above all other English versions (the original Greek and Hebrew would be the best source of study, but I don't read those languages). I also like to refer to the New American Standard. I am not going to split the church over this issue of which Bible translation to read! We can be sisters in Christ and read differing translations - so long as it is The Bible!