The background to the Christadelphian statement of faith (BASF) shows it should be read broadly. The history is rooted in dispute about the. Why Christadelphians Believe in Creation and not Theistic Evolution: Questioning Fundamental Teachings · Bible Marking Notes – The BASF · Biblical Doctrines. The Christadelphians are a millenarian Christian group who hold a view of Biblical .. list is found. For instance in the Central fellowship, the BASF, the standard statement of faith has 30 doctrines to be accepted and 35 to be rejected.
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Is theistic evolution or evolutionary creation as we prefer able to be reconciled to the Birmingham Amended Statement of Faith BASF which is the most commonly used statement of faith for Christadelphians?
Christadelphians historically recognise the statement of faith is a product of the time, human rather than inspired and should not be read at a word for word level eg see here. However, in response to Christadelphians accepting the reality of evolution, some have promoted new and narrow ways of reading the statement of faith to try and exclude evolutionary creation. The first principle must be that any statement of faith is read through the lens of the Bible, not the other way around.
The meaning must be derived from the Bible, lest we add to it. Some argue we have to interpret the BASF in line with the then current understanding of those who drafted the statement of faith.
To do otherwise is not being a true Christadelphian — or so some say. This smacks of exalting human tradition and understanding. It is also contrary to the spirit of early Christadelphians as embodied in the words of John Thomas shortly after separating from the Campbellites:.
The history of the BASF
Must a man never progress? If he discover an error in his premises, must he forever hold to it for the sake of consistency? May chrisstadelphian a calamity never befall me! Rather let me change every day, till I get it right at last . There is some virtue in the idea of reading the BASF in terms of the intention of the drafters. This approach is best for trying to understand what they were trying to say. It can, however, be taken too far and violate the first principle we have stated above.
The Statement of Faith was drafted and altered several times with a view to getting specific doctrinal points right.
A number of extreme views afflicted the Christadelphians. Firstly the idea that humans are not prone to sin. These two baasf are the focus of the statement of faith — not the specific nature of Adam prior to the fall. This sinful nature we inherit. It is our misfortune, not our crime, that we possess baasf. We are only blameworthy when, being supplied with the power of subduing it, we permit it to reign over us .
While the Birmingham Statement of Faith in various guises is the dominant statement of faith for Christadelphians, it christadelohian part of the constitution of one congregation. The Birmingham meeting alone altered the statement. Other compatible statements did exist bas although such are now far less bas. CC Walker in the Christadelphian Magazine of explained this reluctance to rename the statement as a worldwide statement:.
We have no authority so to do. Neither has anyone else. The Birmingham ecclesia can only speak for itself; and it cchristadelphian so with every other ecclesia. We entirely sympathise with every godly effort for unity on a pure basis; but it would be a mistake to issue a document under the above title, because it would imply the right of the issuers to speak for the whole household of faith, which right does not exist.
The principle of ecclesial independence must be jealously guarded, and it is the beginnings of things that have to be watched. There is no desire on the part of the Birmingham ecclesia to impose its form of words on any ecclesia; but there can be no valid objection to any ecclesia adopting it if it sees fit.
But to adopt this statement and give it a universal title that the Birmingham ecclesia conscientiously refrains from giving it, does not seem to be right at all. If a group of Australian ecclesias desires a common statement, let them accurately define its scope and limitations.
Ecclesiastical history is a warning to us in this respect . The Christadelphian statement of faith appears to have started life as a preaching pamphlet.
At some time it changed to become a statement of faith of chriztadelphian sort — being specifically referred to in a record of chrixtadelphian Birmingham christafelphian if anyone has a copy please contact us! Here are his words:. There is no evidence of this whatever, and the presumption and evidence are entirely the contrary way.
This was crhistadelphian by letters to the magazine, so Bro Roberts wrote further on the subject saying:.
Adam, before transgression, though a living soul or natural body—1 Cor. After transgression, his relation to destiny was changed. Death by sentence, was constituted the inevitable upshot of his career. He was, therefore, in a new condition as regarded the future, though not in a new condition as regarded the actual state of his nature.
In actual nature, he was a corruptible groundling before sentence, and a corruptible groundling after sentence; but there was this difference: This change in the destiny lying before him, was the result of sin. That is, his disobedience evoked from God a decree of ultimate dissolution. This was the sentence of death, which, though effecting no change as regarded his constitution at the moment it was pronounced, determined a great physical fact concerning his future experience, viz. Remarkably this is exactly how evolutionary creationists would describe Adam.
Such a statement would not be accepted by many today, however it was part of the background context of ideas from the era of the Statement of Faith. This included specific mention of Adam in the following clauses:. That God created Adam, the progenitor of the human race, out of the dust of the ground, as a living soul, or natural body of life, and placed him under a law through which the continuance of life was contingent on obedience.
That Adam broke this law and was adjudged unworthy of immortality, and sentenced to return to the ground from whence he was taken, in which sentence, all mankind are involved. That God, in His kindness, conceived a plan of restoration, which, without setting aside His just and necessary law of sin and death, should ultimately rescue the race from destruction, and people dhristadelphian earth with sinless immortals.
The statement makes some specific claims, some of which are later expanded and others retracted. Specifically, in terms of evolutionary creation, the statement states:. From through tothe Christadelphian movement was subject to ongoing debate principally between Robert Roberts and Andrew Turney about the nature of Bassf.
This statement made christarelphian changes to the version. Cristadelphian precise date of the revised version is hard to pin down. We have a document dated and The Christadelphian Magazine makes mention of copies be available to others in the same year . However an unamended Christadelphian site  claims this was adopted in and printed for distribution to others in — this is hard to subsequently verify. For the full document see here — Birmingham Statement of Faith.
The relevant clauses relating to Adam are shown below with new material underlined:. This is the law of sin in the members, spoken of by Paul, which the new law established by the truth brings into subjection. A new physical law is bassf into Adam which causes decay and the proness to sin — both as new things in the statement. It is a matter of history that this was the concern of some Christadelphians of the day, whose protests resulted in further change….
While the history of the statement chrristadelphian faith is quite unclear, further changes were made. This wording as represented below is consistent with the first edition of the Ecclesial Guide which Roberts published in New material is underlined, removed material is shown struck out. The statement now includes the phrase from 1 Cor 15 that Adam was the first man. Robert Roberts was presumably the prime mover behind the statements. He firmly rejected Adam being anything other than the progenitor of all humanity see for example his comments in .
This is the christaddelphian of sin in the members, spoken of by Paul, which the chrlstadelphian law established by the truth brings into subjection which defiled and became a physical law of his being, and was transmitted to all his posterity.
The continuing changes in the document demonstrate the level of difficulty the community faced in trying to define the relationship of Adam to our nature. The testimony is that death came by sin: Are we going to insist upon an opinion on a point like this, which no man can be certain about? We shall act unwarrantably if we do so. It is sufficient if a man believe that Adam after creation was a very good form of flesh and blood, untainted by curse. christadrlphian
The uncertain points must be left to private judgment. Moderns demands that Adam was NOT mortal pre fall are overreach measured against this historical context. A significant debate commenced around bast inspiration of the Bible. The main protagonists were Roberts and Ashcroft.
What Are The First Principles?
The Foundation Clause — an affirmation of the complete inspiration of the Bible — was adopted by the Birmingham ecclesia and published in the Christadelphian Magazine of August They first appeared in brother F. They were afterwards incorporated in the Statement by the Birmingham ecclesia .
This alteration led to the Birmingham Statement being referred to as the amended statement BASF although it had already been quite amended! Once again this change led to turmoil in the community and a split which still endures with some Christadelphians holding the unamended statement and the majority to the newer version. At specific issue was special constables — a wartime concern. This adjustment was seemingly adopted over the next few years by many ecclesias again not without some disruption and splits.
Alterations, mainly of a minor nature unless they impacted you of course continued to be made to the statement at a local level and then only in the list of doctrines to be rejected space which seems to be a favourite area for congregations to customise.
Understanding this context is important in determining the application of the CCA. The creeds of Christadelphians were formulated through controversy during through to These controversies did not centre on creation.
Statement of Faith – BASF – Christadelphian Publications – CBM Resources
A good deal of them centred on the atonement, specifically steering a biblical course between clean flesh claiming our nature is not prone to sin and atonement for nature claiming our nature offends God and needs atonement. When this larger context is born in mind and the statements are read through the lens of scripture not the other way aroundthere is no conflict with evolutionary creationism and more than there is with old earth or young earth creation models.
Evolutionary creationists affirm our nature is prone to sin, that perfect obedience is beyond the capability of all but the son of God. We also understand our nature is our misfortune and does not require forgiveness from God. The gospel is predicated on the saving work of Jesus Christ, his life death and resurrection — all achieved in the Son who bore our nature yet never sinned.