Faculty Doctrinal Statement
The faculty of Piedmont Divinity School adheres to the following doctrinal commitments and teach from these perspectives:
We teach that the Bible in its entirety is the verbally inspired and infallible revelation from God without error in the original documents. It presents objective truth which is the ultimate authority for faith and practice. We also believe the Scriptures are sufficient in that they contain all that is necessary for salvation and living to the glory of God. Therefore, no further revelation is needed.
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We teach that the Godhead eternally and co-equally exists as Father, Son, and Spirit. The doctrine of the Trinity neither teaches there are three Gods, nor that the one God reveals himself in three different forms. Rather, the doctrine teaches that in the one being that is God there eternally exists three distinct persons all of whom share one divine essence.
The Person and Work of Christ
We teach that the second person of the Trinity voluntarily laid aside the prerogatives of deity while retaining his full divine essence when becoming incarnate. He became the God-Man by adding humanity to his deity. As the theanthropic person, the divine and human natures are united into one person, without mixture, in that each nature retains its own properties. The second member of the Trinity will continue in this form of existence throughout eternity. The Son came into the world to reveal God, present himself to Israel as Messiah, and die for the sins of the world.
We teach that Christ bore the judicial wrath of the Father on the cross when the sins of the world were laid on him. His death was therefore penal, substitutionary, and propitiatory, thus Christ became the Savior of all who believe. He rose from the dead with the same body, albeit glorified, in which he lived and died, ascended to the Father to sit on his priestly throne, and to become the head of the Church. He will some day return to earth to assume the Davidic throne and will rule over the earth in his kingdom.
We teach that God created a hierarchy of innumerable, divine spirit beings intended to worship and serve him. Multitudes of these beings kept their holy estate and currently worship God before his throne and minister to the heirs of salvation. They will be instrumental in the future when God judges the world. However, others, now under the authority of Satan, are enemies of God and attempt to thwart his purposes. Satan was instrumental in introducing sin into the world, acts as the prince of this fallen world system, and was legally judged at the cross. His judgment will be executed after the kingdom age when he is cast into the lake of fire to be tormented forever.
The Human Race
We teach that the first man and woman were directly and immediately created by God without sin as his image on earth. However, due to Adam’s disobedience to the will of God, the first couple incurred the penalty of physical and spiritual death. As a consequence, they became innately corrupt and dead in sin unable to remedy their condition. This depraved condition is now transmitted to all members of the human race. Though all people are of value to God thus deserving dignity and respect, all are now in a helpless, spiritual state apart from divine grace.
We teach that salvation is solely by grace, based on Christ’s work alone, which is received through faith alone. No amount of human effort, good intentions, morality, self-reformation, or the practice of religious rites can contribute in the least to achieving salvation as it rests completely on the merits of Christ’s work.
We teach that regeneration (the impartation of divine life) is accomplished by the Holy Spirit through the instrumentality of the Word of God when the individual responds to the message of the Gospel in faith. At that moment a judicial pronouncement is made by God in which the sinner is declared righteous. Since salvation is completely the work of God, the one who has been justified is eternally secure and assured of ultimate glorification.
We teach that while each believer has been positionally sanctified (set apart) at the moment of faith, every saved person retains a principle of sin, and therefore begins an experiential process of living a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God as revealed in Scripture. This process involves a daily battle with sin for which there is no quick fix, continuing until the believer is in the presence of Christ. This growth in grace is realized by the Christian as the Scripture is obeyed through the enablement of the Holy Spirit. No Christian will come to perfect sanctification in this life but is continually being changed from glory to glory until the time when the believer sees Christ and is then like him.
We teach that all who trust Christ for salvation are immediately placed into the Church by the work of the Holy Spirit. The Church is described in the New Testament as the body of Christ of which he is the head. We believe the Church began to be formed on the Day of Pentecost and will be completed when Christ returns for his church at the Rapture. We further believe that the Church is distinct from the nation of Israel and in no way supersedes Israel or becomes the New Israel.
The universal body of Christ is divided into local assemblies around the world. Though Christ is the supreme authority of each assembly, he has designated two offices for the local church. The first is the office of pastor whose function it is to oversee the church. The second is the office of deacon whose function it is to assist the pastor and serve the congregation.
We teach that at some unspecified time in the future Christ will return for his Church. This imminent event will consist of resurrecting the dead in Christ and removing from the world those who have believed in Christ. This blessed hope is an event for which we should constantly be looking and should inspire godly living.
We teach that at some point following the rapture of the Church, God will resume his work with the nation of Israel and bring to pass the fulfillment of Daniel’s seventieth week prophecy. This Tribulation period will be a time of judgment on the whole earth. Toward the end of this period a remnant of Jews will come to repentance and call on Messiah for deliverance.
The Second Coming and Kingdom Age
We teach that the Tribulation will culminate with the Second Coming of Christ to earth in power and great glory. At this time he will judge the living and raise from the dead Old Testament and Tribulation saints. Furthermore, Israel will be restored to her land as promised in the covenants, Satan will be bound, the curse will be lifted from the earth, and Christ will reign over the whole world in justice, peace, and righteousness.
The Eternal State
We teach that following the Kingdom age unbelievers of all time will be resurrected, judged, and then cast into the lake of fire. The current earth will be replaced with a new earth to be inhabited by the righteous of all ages for eternity. The Lord Jesus Christ, having completed his entire redemptive mission, will deliver the Kingdom to the Father and the Triune God will reign forever.
Special Doctrinal Issues Statement for Faculty
The faculty of Piedmont Divinity School recognizes there are certain doctrinal issues that continue to be discussed within Christendom. The following summarize the faculty’s perspective:
We affirm that the miraculous spiritual gifts of tongues, healing, and prophecy were given to the early church but have since ceased and are no longer being experienced today. This is due in part to their purpose and description as found in the New Testament as well as the record of church history.
The spiritual gift of tongues in the New Testament was actual, human language intended to authenticate the apostles’ message and show judgment on unbelieving Israel. Though God can and does heal today according to his will, this is not a gift given today as it was during the apostolic era. And due to the completion and sufficiency of the New Testament canon, there is no need for God to continue to reveal himself through prophecy.
We affirm that God created the universe out of nothing, that Adam and Eve were historical individuals, and that the text of Genesis is to be interpreted as historical narrative. We reject any evolutionary theory of origins.
We affirm that each biblical text has a divine intent which was communicated by the human author. This intent is discovered through a plain reading of the text by applying grammatical-historical principles of interpretation.
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Role of Women in the Church
We affirm the Scriptures teach that the role of lead pastor in the local church is limited to men. We further affirm there to be strategic roles for women in christian ministry, parachurch organizations, educational institutions, missions, and church life. Therefore, women are welcome in all of the programs at Piedmont Divinity School to train for these ministries.
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Special Cultural Issues Statement for Faculty
The faculty of Piedmont Divinity School affirms that in matters of morality and ethics the sole authority for truth and subsequent moral action is the Holy Scriptures as the Inerrant Word of God. The utilization of a literal, grammatical, and historical hermeneutic results in definitive truths and standards of moral consequence that is based in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. These truths and moral standards do not change based upon modern cultural relativity, but are divinely given through scripture for our benefit. We also assert that the Holy Scriptures are comprehensive in their moral scope and that there is no issue which is not addressed, in either direct form or principle, which leads the moral agent to have a definitive standard on which to base personal conduct and behavior. These affirmations result in particular stances on such items as abortion and human sexuality as will be seen below. The following statements are representative, and not exhaustive, of the areas which the Scripture addresses.
We affirm the sanctity of human life and we assert the scriptures teach life begins at conception; and at that moment, the unborn child is established with God-given personhood and inherently receives the rights that are assigned to individual persons. We assert that abortion is a sinful action and a violation of God’s intent and purpose for each person. We also contend that the utilization of aborted remains or stored embryos for stem cell research, or other such purposes, is unacceptable since it requires the destruction of the embryo and child.
Appropriately, for those who have experienced an abortion, we believe in the redemptive and restorative power of Christ through the grace and forgiveness revealed in the Gospel message. We encourage individuals and families to seek help through Christian-based pregnancy support centers who provide post-abortion counseling; and we affirm that the Church is to be a place of support and healing in a redemptive and restorative process (Psalm 139:13-16, Jeremiah 1:5, 1 John 1:8-9)
We affirm that the biblical testimony presents God’s original creation of humanity to be distinctly male or female. This distinction continues to be observed by one’s biological sex at birth. We recognize that due to the Fall, there can be a tendency to distort original distinctions between the sexes and God’s design leading some to struggle with their sexual identity or same sex attraction. However, we also believe that the grace of God in Christ has the ability to provide grace to forgive and power to transform our sinful desires. We hold that God loves each person regardless of sexual orientation; and we believe it is our responsibility to demonstrate his love to all people as we seek to conform to God’s will as revealed in Scripture, and live joyful lives to the glory of God.
We affirm that any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, and bisexual conduct is sinful according to the Scriptures.
We affirm that every person should be shown compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. Any kind of hateful, demeaning, or harassing behavior or attitude directed toward any individual is not sanctioned by Scripture. We teach, however, that proclaiming the truths of the Bible regarding sexuality in a humble manner is a part of the loving message of the Gospel.
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