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Statement from Moody’s Leadership

02.28.2018

A statement from Interim President, Interim Provost, and Board Chair regarding a revision to Article 1 and adopting Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy

Dear Moody Family:

Since D.L. Moody founded our ministry in 1886, we have consistently embraced the core doctrines of the Christian faith. These essential beliefs were put into writing in 1928, a doctrinal statement that continues to undergird all that we do in our education and media ministries. This rich articulation of our deeply held biblical beliefs must be affirmed by all who come to serve and study at Moody.

Throughout our history, we have added explanatory notes to our doctrinal statement and have issued positional statements. This has been done to help clarify what we believe about our God, His redemptive work, the Church, the Word of God, and more.

Today, we are letting you know about two related announcements: a revision to Article 1 of our doctrinal statement, and adopting the Short Statement of the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy for faculty contracts.

Article I

In May of 2017, the Board of Trustees approved Dr. Paul Nyquist’s recommendation that Moody revise Article 1 of our doctrinal statement. He, along with other leaders at Moody and those in our Theology department, have recognized over the years that the language in Article 1 does not sufficiently or clearly articulate our biblical belief in God as Trinity. Since 1928, Article 1 has stated:

“God is a Person who has revealed Himself as a Trinity in unity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit—three Persons and yet one God.”

Dr. Nyquist worked with Theology program head, Dr. David Finkbeiner, and Dr. John Clark, associate professor of Theology, to revise Article 1 during the Fall 2017 semester. They also consulted with other Theology professors at Moody. Their purpose was to craft a revised Article 1 that was concise, faithful to what Scripture clearly teaches, and consistent in style to the rest of our doctrinal statement.

After several months of study, reflection, and prayer, the following revised Article 1 was unanimously approved by the full Board of Trustees in October 2017:

“God is triune, one Being eternally existing in three co-equal Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; these divine Persons, together possessing the same eternal perfections, work inseparably and harmoniously in creating, sustaining, and redeeming the world.”

(Genesis 1; John 1:1-3; Hebrews 1:1-3; Deuteronomy 6:4; Ephesians 4:4-6; Acts 5:3-4; I Corinthians 8:6; I Timothy 2:5; John 14:9-10, 26; Matthew 28:18-19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Revelation 4:11).

Please know that revising our doctrinal statement is not a process we enter into lightly. In fact, this is the first revision of an article. This is a prayerful process coupled with careful study of the Scriptures and theological reflection, with the goal to ensure clarity about our beliefs as we live and minister within our culture. We firmly believe that this revised article clearly articulates what we have always believed about the triune God we love and serve, and appreciate the hard work and leadership that went into this effort.

Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy

During their regular quarterly meeting this week the Board of Trustees adopted the Short Statement of the 1978 Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, as well as its Articles of Affirmation and Denial. Drafted by the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy and signed by nearly 300 noted evangelicals, this statement has been a helpful reference in the Church’s defense of and teaching on inspiration and inerrancy of God’s Word.

The trustees' decision to adopt the Chicago Statement will begin with contracts being offered to faculty returning for the 2018–2019 academic year. Please note that those who desire to study at Moody and serve in non-faculty positions will continue to be required to affirm only our Doctrinal Statement.

Moody’s Article II and positional statement on the inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible are continuing to provide a solid foundation for equipping men and women in the Word of God, and we are grateful to our faculty for their dedication to upholding biblical truth. The adoption of the Chicago Statement further affirms Moody’s established commitment to our historic position on inerrancy. This action also reassures those who are being equipped through our education and media ministries, as well as those who partner with us.

Thank you for your continued prayerful commitment to Moody, and faithfully representing the Lord in the world as we proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.

May God bless you, and may God bless the school that D.L. Moody founded.

In Christ,

Greg, Randy, and John

Greg Thornton
Interim President
Senior Vice President of Media

Randy Fairfax
Chair, Board of Trustees

John A. Jelinek, Th.D.
Interim Provost
Vice President and Dean, Moody Theology Seminary

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