I am a staunch believer in the Gospel and ideologically, I believe very strongly in the unity of the true church even if I don’t always succeed so well.
I hold to complete inerrancy of the scriptures and am subject to thorough exegetical proofs. If one were to make an argument contrary to my position based on scripture, my one hope is to prove that such a point is eisegetical or else I am doomed to change my mind.
I am a student of Theology and then Philosophy.
I lean towards Reformed convictions loosely as far as pertains to Scripture though I am not willing to wave that banner consistently.
I believe our responsibility towards past theologians and traditions is to weigh their work in light of the authority of Scripture making all subject to such authority. In other words, rather than stand in the Church Father’s shoes, I prefer to stand on their shoulders. It is our responsibility to take from those that have gone before whatever is true as pertains to scripture, determining the difference without the utmost scrutiny, and discard the rest.
I am hesitant to divulge more of my theological categorization more than is already evident for fear of creating a “I follow Paul, I follow Apollos” problem where my worth as a writer is weighed upon my allegiance to some (granted brilliant and far more educated than myself) long dead theologian rather than on my own representation of truth and merit as a theologian and exegete. That being said, I understand that representing my beliefs by said theologians aids as shorthanded for long winded theological debate, so for the sake of saving my readers’ time and granting them their rightful opportunity to judge me based on my current theological convictions here is a short list of my known associations.
I am a five point Calvinist.
I am convinced of a Historic Premillenial eschatology.
So far as it has been developed (plenty of room for development remains) I agree with much of New Covenant Theology. It is a far off dream to contribute to NCT, but I humbly recognize that might be more appropriate of far more skilled thinkers than myself.
I…do not know of a view of Baptism that bears my own emphasis. I am not paedo-baptist nor explicitly credo-Baptist. I do hold to a commemorative use of Baptism like the Lord’s Supper is commended to us (flexible). But I would not emphasize such practice. Further discussion requires a better venue (perhaps I’ll blog about it!) but suffice it to say I’m a Christo-Baptist (copyrighted 2/22/2014, Matthew Henry Chiles). I believe Scripture supports a strictly Christological commission of Baptism and says little on anything else. Like I said, I may make that argument/elaboration at another time.
I hold to Reformed Epistemology as an apologetic as taught by Alvin Plantinga (as far as I understand such a brilliant man).
I am a Foundationalist.
As badly as I want to take over Postmodern Theology, pirate it, and make it my own, I could not possibly justify such a thing. I must confess to being a rationalist with a Scriptural priority and I despise enlightenment critical rationalism. I think our reasoning functions quite well, while granted not perfectly, and we are expected by God to use induction and deduction to learn more of Him as is revealed through nature. I believe logic is His design, created by Him for our use as an expression of His own person i.e. God in His very nature is logical, therefore we enjoy a diminished practice of logic being made in His image.
I am a Christian first and foremost. None of the above is a definition of my person, therefore when such subjects are criticized I do not respond as though I were protecting some aspect of my identity. Everything besides my status as a Christian and those essential core elements to Christianity are subject to change and several of the above probably will change as I continue in my sanctification.
I believe in a three-fold division of theology proper in a sense of priority. Top tier, First Priority-Those essential priorities of the Faith, the non-negotiables, that which you are not a Christian if thou doest deny. (i.e. the Trinity, Inerrancy and Inspiration of Scripture, eternal Diety of Jesus Christ etc.)
Second Priority/tier-Church Unity. (yes, there is a point to listing Church Unity alone)
Third Priority/tier-Everything else.
I am not fond of an open hand/closed hand doctrine dichotomy.
I am a limited cessasionist, meaning I am certain of the end and non-succession of the Apostololic office. As far as what else that applies to…Blog Worthy!
As for whatever I am forgetting or not thinking highly of its relevance, ask me and I’m sure I’d tell you.