In addition to the doctrines of the full deity and humanity of Christ as stated in the Nicene and Chalcedon Confessions, the school holds to distinctive positions in the following areas:
The seminary holds to the Reformed Faith in the area of the doctrine of salvation. It holds, with conviction, the five solas that marked the recovery of the gospel in the Reformation. In particular, it teaches the doctrine of justification by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, based on His imputed righteousness alone. It teaches that justification is a complete and final judicial declaration made by God at the point of saving faith. It is the doctrine that determines the nature of sanctification, the motive of acceptable Christian service, as well as the nature and manner of true worship. Therefore, with the reformers, it considers “justification by faith alone” to be the foundation article by which the church stands or falls.
Another vitally significant article of faith we hold to is the sufficiency of Scripture (sola scriptura). The Lord Jesus Christ, through the all-sufficient Scripture working through the Spirit, is able to save and sanctify His people entirely, without any supplementation from man’s wisdom. This great truth of Scripture’s complete sufficiency safeguards the sufficiency and supremacy of Christ as the all-sufficient deliverer and soul-healer of His people. It is at this point that man-made doctrines that diminish Christ and His glory have entered in and ravaged the church.
The Holy Spirit and His Gifts
The school teaches the necessity of the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in preaching and the ministry of the Word. It rejects any doctrine of subsequence or second blessing theology. However, it teaches that the Spirit’s power and presence must be sought and consciously depended upon, not only for daily living, but also in ministry and preaching. Moreover, it teaches the necessity of the Spirit’s presence in praise and worship. This presence is never apart from the written Word, but is in and beyond it in its effects. It also teaches that the Spirit’s ministry focuses entirely in all its aspects on glorifying Christ through the written Word of God and the testimony of the lives of God’s people. The school teaches a cessation position regarding the miraculous sign gifts. However, for a lack of a better term, it is an Edwardian cessationist position. That is, it teaches the reality of the supernatural presence and power of the Spirit evident in the manifest presence of God through the Word of God, as taught by Edwards, Spurgeon, and others. In other words, the supernatural power and presence of the Spirit of God was not confined to the miraculous gifts associated with the temporary, unique ministry of the apostles. Moreover, it believes that prayer for healing, in keeping with James 5:13-16, should be pursued. However, it is not to be the focus of a church meeting, but done in homes by elders. Occasional miracles and healings still occur, but with a different function and design than the apostolic sign gifts.
Complementary Roles of Men and Women
The school holds to the historic evangelical position of the roles of men and women in the church and the home. It holds that men and women are equals both spiritually and intellectually, but God has ordained leadership to the man. It believes that to teach otherwise is to be unduly influenced by the culture and worse, in the end, to adversely affect the church and the home.
Creation in Six Literal 24-Hour Days
We believe the biblical account of the creation of the physical universe, angels, and man in Genesis 1; that this account is neither allegory nor myth, but a literal, historical account of the direct, immediate creative acts of God without any evolutionary process; that man was created by a direct work of God and not from previously existing forms of life; and that all men are descended from the historical Adam and Eve, first parents of the entire human race.
The school recognizes the biblical distinction between the gospel and the ordinances. The ordinances are symbols that represent and picture the benefits and blessings of the gospel. They are not the gospel. Therefore, they are not to be given the primacy and centrality that the gospel alone is to receive. Having said that, the school teaches and holds with conviction that believer’s baptism alone represents the biblical teaching and adequately pictures the reality of the blessings of the New Covenant.
We recognize that eschatological details are not the measure of orthodoxy. However, we hold with conviction to the personal, bodily, imminent, premillennial, coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power and great glory. This “Blessed Hope” is to have an ethical effect on God’s people.
Worship is to be a God-Centered, Christ-Glorifying, Scripture-Rooted, and Heart-Inflamed Expression of Praise of the Person and Presence of God. God has not left it to man as to how He is to be worshiped. Acceptable worship is prescribed and regulated by the truth and parameters of Scripture. This, however, does not bear on the particulars of worship style as it does on the content and basic elements of acceptable worship. The concern of genuine worship is the essence, not the form. Worship is to be guided and regulated by the Word of God and expressed by the affections of the heart.