Our Evangelical Faith | Victor Shepherd

Evangelicalism is no denomination—it’s something broader, which makes it that much more difficult to define. In Our Evangelical Faith, Victor Shepherd offers a brief commentary on the seven doctrinal statements that the World Evangelical Alliance (an organization representing 200 million Christians in 123 different countries) considers essential (23):

  1. “The Holy Scriptures as originally given by God are divinely inspired, infallible, entirely trustworthy, and constituted the only supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct” (25).
  2. “There is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit” (31).
  3. “Our Lord Jesus Christ is God manifest in the flesh; we affirm His virgin birth, sinless humanity, divine miracles, vicarious and atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension, ongoing mediatorial work, and personal return in power and glory” (37).
  4. “The salvation of lost and sinful humanity is possible only through the merits of the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, received by faith apart from works, and is characterized by regeneration by the Holy Spirit” (43).
  5. “The Holy Spirit enables believers to live a holy life, to witness and work for the Lord Jesus Christ” (49).
  6. “The Church, the body of Christ, consists of all true believers” (55).
  7. “Ultimately God will judge the living and the dead, those who are saved unto the resurrection of life, those who are lost unto the resurrection of damnation” (61).

Shepherd’s brief comments on each of these doctrinal statements, while not exhaustive, are incisive—even blunt at times. Regarding the Church, for example, “Our Lord’s body may be scarred, marred, pock-marked, even deformed or crippled in some respect. Nevertheless, it’s the only body He has” (59).

At the end of the book, Shepherd offers a passionate defense of clear thinking and the relevance of doctrine. He likens doctrine to a recipe. You wouldn’t want to eat the ink and paper that constitute a recipe, but it can certainly lead you to the right meal.

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