What are your basic fundamentals of belief

Im about to board a flight so this is a quick thought up question…

What are the basic fundamentals of theistic evolution according to biologos?

As an example, SDA church has a list of 28 fundamental beliefs. Im not trying to push my own church here…as im interested in your beliefs as individuals.

Define your belief in point form?

Given this is non denominational, im sure each individual list of fundamentals will have unique differences…im curious in reading them all.

We need a term to refer to those of us who ramble around on the Biologos forums – “Biologoids”, maybe? This is because Biologos doesn’t actually have a position on very many things at al, but Biologoids certainly do.

I wouldn’t be surprise if the viewpoints can be boiled down to “God designed it, God started it, God used it”.

Other than that I would venture that God keeps any tweaking infrequent enough that His adjustments won’t rise above the threshold of apparent randomness, whether the number is zero, seven (as a university friend was certain), or millions (I’d want someone with good statistics-fu to weigh in on that).


The scientific theory of evolution is not in conflict with Christianity let alone a belief in God.

Christianity is defined by the Nicene creed 325 AD and the Bible.

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father [the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God,] Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; By whom all things were made [both in heaven and on earth]; Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man; He suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven; From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. And in the Holy Ghost. [But those who say: ‘There was a time when he was not;’ and ‘He was not before he was made;’ and ‘He was made out of nothing,’ or ‘He is of another substance’ or ‘essence,’ or ‘The Son of God is created,’ or ‘changeable,’ or ‘alterable’— they are condemned by the holy catholic and apostolic Church.]

This is the first agreement of an ecumenical council in 325 AD on what the Christian religion is. Of course there have been many additions and alterations of this and Christianity divided into many branches as a result.

The church I am attending has 16 articles of faith, but there is much in them which I do not agree with. And I think this is far from unusual, for every individual finds their own meaning in the scriptures, so that there is more variation from one individual to another in the same church than there are variations between the different denominations.

I can give you some major classifications like Trinitarian, not universalist, open theist, 5 solas protestant, and evangelical. But considering how you usually present your beliefs in the form of a narrative, perhaps something more similar to this would be more meaningful to you.

An infinite God having everything sought to give of His abundance to others, so He created others. First there was the angels, created spirits, whom He made as they are. But the result was that they were practically an extension of Himself, so God went a step further to create others with even more of a separate existence. To do this, He created a universe which operates according to natural law in which there was a phenomenon of self-organization. This could give rise to living organisms which would participate in their own creation by making their own choices and learning things for themselves. Such is described by science as evolution, and accordingly there arose a species called homo sapiens which were learning the power of language. So God chose to speak to one (then two) of them to inspire such ideas as personhood and love in order to bring the human mind to life. Instead of created spirits like the angels, our spirits would grow from our own choices, and thus it says we are made in the image of this infinite God, for our infinite potentiality is a reflection of God’s infinite actuality. In other words, there would be no end to what God can give us and no end to what we could receive from Him. This is the essence of eternal life – a parent-child relationship in which we would grow to be more like Him for an eternity.

But where there is power (as God had given us in this mind He brought to life in us), there is the potential for abuse, so God warned them against a danger with a parental commandment like “don’t play in the street or you will die.” When they disregarded this advice they fell to the temptation of self-destructive habits which would inevitably destroy this new life God had given them. There is only one thing which can sever the relationship between parent and child, and that is when the presence of the parent in child’s life does them more harm than good. So our connection with God, the source of life, was broken. God took steps to counter the damage as much as possible, but it was a long and slow process with many setbacks. This culminated in the incarnation of His Son as one of us in order to correct our misunderstandings and make it possible for us to once again have a life-giving relationship with Him. But the work of dealing with our self-destructive habits remains long and difficult.

And this is the meaning I have found in scripture which I can believe in.

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As I’m getting older, I find my “essentials” to be getting smaller, and yet then, in a way - larger at the same time. What I mean by that is this: my essential: Learn from and follow Christ.

That’s the ‘small’ part. My creedal list if you will.

Everything else I need must follow from that. And what is it that Christ wants from me? Everything. My entire life, including the things I trust or how or what I believe. That’s where it gets - or should get huge.

I recently re-read the Nicene Creed given all the recent flap about creeds or ‘getting back to that one’ in particular. And as good as so much of the stuff is that’s in there, I’d be lying if I said I understood what all they probably packed into some of the archaic language and no-doubt hyper-obsessive choices of exact wording in there - hyper obsessive to the point of “here is a ‘burn you at the stake’ if you fail to live only and ever on this hill” kind of a creed. I know - it’s probably one of the most researched and ‘hammered out’ statements of faith put out there, and - don’t get me wrong - heaps of evangelical U.S. churches would vastly improve on their current situation if they could even just find their way back from their current, political idolatries even just to that. But all that said, those words leave me dry. I could imagine myself accepting and enthusing over every last one of those words and still walking away from Christ as far as my daily life goes.

I think everything necessary in there is already covered and subsumed in the One I need to be learning to embrace and follow in obedience for my entire life.

But yeah - there is a lot of other important stuff that does need to follow and that we should always be looking for and cultivating in ourselves and each other - gifts of the Spirit and the fruit that follows. So in this way I would say the standard creed lists can be way too much, and yet simultaneously way too little. Too much in the sense of … I shouldn’t be having such a list as any prerequisite before I can fellowship with or beside somebody in church or anywhere else. And too little in the sense of … that the actual Christian life is not captured by it at all. I could be a complete jerk and totally unloving to neighbor and therefore to God as well while intellectually affirming everything in some of these typical creeds.


Funny you should ask. I see where Biologos just updated their statement of belief, so it is newly revised to be more clear and straightforward.

Good article describing the process, and if you want to look directly at the faith commitments, here is a link:


I noticed the last statement and how it is not unlike how God brought about the world or intervenes as he has been known to do

God will act to bring about the fulfillment of the divine plan…

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I always wince at the use of the word “exists” in connection to God, and then I recall a grad class where a student made that same objection, and the professor asked what word the student thought would be better. The student mentioned some possibilities from Greek, ending up recognizing the problem: English doesn’t have a good word for the matter! “Exists” may not be that great, but then neither is “subsists”, and those two pretty much exhaust the possibilities. It’s why so many theological terms resort to Laatin, yet Latin itself comes up short – exto is somewhat better given that it carries the idea of “stand”, which is part of the best Greek – on this concept. This is why one of my first college friends had a poster and a T-shirt that read “God IS”.
One of my favorite descriptions came from a physics professor who said that God is a self-sustaining standing wave; the wave is both His substance and His presence & activity, which includes the idea that God subsist in His own substance and is thus self-generating. But of course the idea is to have one, maybe two words, not a paragraph!


I think the bible offers a great solution…

That doesn’t help with having an English term that does the concept justice.

BTW, how do you manage such a tidy little image there? Is that from a phone screen?

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It’s fair to say the Hebrew term falls short too. To use language analogically, it doesn’t need to be perfect.

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I don’t know how to post a cropped image using my android phone, so for this purpose i use an imac…you can take a screenshot on the imac using two methods:

  1. entire screen shot is “Control 3”
  2. a draggable window screenshot is “Control 4” and using the mouse whilst holding the keys, drag the window out to the size area i wish to screenshot…it takes the images as soon as i “let go of the mouse button” so to speak.

windows Pc’s can do the same…i forget which combination of keys does this now (obviously there is a print screen button on the keyboard, however, that then requires cropping in paint/photoshop (or similar))


Shift - ‘Windows key’ - ‘S’ (think - ‘screenshot’).
That is … tap ‘s’ while holding down both the shift and Windows key.
The Windows key looks something like this.
Then the screen changes shade to indicate it’s waiting for you to make a selection. Use your mouse to select the rectangular portion of your PC screen you’re wanting to record, and the moment you make that selection, the graphic is copied to your ‘clipboard’ so that you can paste it (Ctrl - V) into any app that will receive an image (such as my pasting in the picture of a Windows key above.)


Interesting discussion for me to read. To say God exists is inadequate for a number of reasons people have hit on. The wave vs particle distinction would be inadequate too. God is not classifiable because all our categories for the world -wherein our language originates- are neither general enough nor precise enough (Merv’s ‘big’ and ‘small’). And yet we need a way to draw attention to this conundrum in order to point out our indebtedness to what is greater than the world, our words for it and any intention or action we are capable of as individuals. God as God lacks extension in time and space but that is not an inadequacy but an acknowledgment of the inadequacy of language to pin down God; God enables our human perspective without Himself being reducible to it.

Our most highly evolved form of language is narrative; through it we can convey both extension in time and in space. For that reason myth is not a crude, inferior form but rather a more profound mode of expression. It is the best we can do to represent that on which our experience is dependent. To know ourselves, to really understand our place as human beings, we need to understand our dependence. In that way we can resist misidentifying our dependence in ways that diminish our conception of who we are and what we are doing here. The Bible contains a highly evolved narrative to this end, culminating in the life of Jesus said to be God embodied as one of us through which we can feel and imagine better how to live up to our potential more fully. To attempt to pin down how to live in terms of do’s and don’t’s as a list of commandments was an earlier. less helpful attempt which suffered more from the inadequacy of language.

you raise an important illustration in your last few sentences Mark…the model of Christ. I personally think that Christs explanation simplified God. He clearly rallied against the over complication of the Father and showed that it had been presented as an errant indoctrination by the Pharsees and Sadducees.

The point is, given Christs description, I do not think God is that complicated to be honest and we are introducing complexity into His wishes for us because of our perception of the complexity of His omniscience. I don’t think that actually is the case…His wishes for us are quite simple (as spelled out in the 10 commandments and the testimony of Christ).

My evidence for the above is the statement by the apostle John written in the AD 90’s, Revelation 14:12…“the patience of the saints are those who keep the commandments and have the testimony of Jesus”. These two things are quite simple and i think they explain God quite well. I do agree we cannot understand omnipresence and omniscience…clearly outside of human comprehension…I mean how does one visualise the idea that the universe is eternal and/or that is has no boundaries? I struggle with the idea of trying to conceptualise what light actually is. Its stupid, the best explanation i have for light = “It Is”!

You know this has given me an idea for a question for a new thread.

Of course – it’s human language. But the issue I was addressing is that English and other languages fall short of the Hebrew meaning, which is where we have to land since it’s the language God inspired folks to write in.

BTW, one of my language professors said that all language is analogical because that’s how our brains work, plus because no single word is sufficient to fully describe anything – but as humans with brains that work as they do, we are content with labels that are “good enough”.

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Whoa – so useful and I’d never learned that trick! :+1:

(Bonus points to Adam and Mervin!) :star: :star2:


i have no problem with your comment here St Roymond, however, that is why when we use language we also use context!

If you read the various inherent doctrines found within the bible, its through context as well as other textual comparisons, that we know exactly what we are reading about. This is why the genre argument falls flat on its face…its a dilemma that is fabricated simply because doctrine is not determined by isolated words or texts.

I keep referring you guys back to the methodology behind academia called “cross referencing”. Nothing is acceptable in any form of scholarly work without adequate and appropriate referencing…the same goes for biblical theology. This is why those of us who are good at biblical theology disagree with your genre premise…its simply wrong.

Again i will cite a common evidence…

Read Luke 17 and 2 Peter 2 (in fact all of 2 Peter)…its absolutely clear that Luke (a highly educated doctor who was also a artist), and the Apostle Peter (first bishop of the Christian church and eyewitness to Christs ministry) clearly believed that literal reading of the flood and destruction of Sodom and Gomorah…the genre argument simply cannot be applied. Neither can the apparent illiteracy of Peter. Luke got his writings most likely from Mark who scholars agree, that whilst relatively simple usage of Greek, it demonstrates quite clearly that he was not illiterate.

Somewhere long ago in a philosophy course we ran into the point that something can be both complex yet simple – but never complex and easy! I would think that God falls into “complex yet simple”. The other side of that is that something can be quite simple yet require a complexity of words to describe it, and I think just due to the frailties of human language that God falls into that category as well.

My older brother described them quite tidily with n-dimensional geometry, tying them together because omnipresence nearly implies omniscience.

Here’s my best attempt at what he said: posit that God is His own universe, and that His universe matches up point-to-point with every point in our universe. Further posit that these two universes are such and so close that God sees our universe as through a (very mathematically complicated) perfectly clear window.
Thus since God is present at every point in our universe He always knows everything that happens – which isn’t quite omniscience since it doesn’t include our thoughts and feelings – though my brother posited that thoughts and feelings are phenomena that can be treated as their own realms/universes, in which case we go back to the relationship between God and our universe and declare that to be the case with these realms as well, and you have full-fledged omniscience.

As my older brother would say, “With math”.

To which I generally replied, “Maybe you and two dozen other people in the world”.

It’s a wave in a field that permeates the universe as a sort of medium in which things electromagnetic can propagate as waves.

Which is a long-winded way of saying – for the ordinary person – pretty much nothing at all.


love your comment above St Roymond…whats so profound is that what is “pretty much nothing at all” is foundational to life, its nothing and everything in one. Sometimes i wonder why God didn’t just say to Moses “tell them I am Light”.

You know that has me thinking that perhaps if God had said to ancient Israelites “I am Light”, how would bible writers described Christ other than the Light of the World (because it would have already been taken :wink:)?

I don’t know where to start with this…i love every word of it.

Strange thought…have you ever played the board game battleships? kinda reminds me of that.