[sword-devel] Doctrinal Statement

Ed Sylvis sword-devel@crosswire.org
Mon, 2 Sep 2002 17:02:01 -0700

On Monday 02 September 2002 03:21 pm, Pastor Will wrote:
> Just wanted to get some clarification on these points.  So, if I'm
> understanding things correctly, the Sword project is a fundamentalist
> Christian project and not an ecumenical effort as I assumed from the
> website statements?  Is this indeed the official stance of the principal
> developers?
> The Rev. William Beckwith
> Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


	you sound as if you're using the phrase "fundamentalist Christian" in a 
negative sense. I used to consider myself a fundamentalist Christian because 
I do believe in the fundamentals of the Christian faith.  Today that phase 
has taken on a negative connotation because of the lunatic fringe of 
fundamental Christianity, so I now refer to myself as an Evangelical 
Christian -- which is exactly the same thing as a fundamentalist Christian of 
days gone by.

The question concerning whether or not the Sword Project is a "fundamentalist" 
Christian or an ecumenical effort begs the questions, "Is there a difference? 
Are the two mutually exclusive?" I think not. As I am not one of the 
principal developers I cannot speak for them. I do believe however, that the 
Sword Project is unquestionably an Evangelical Christan effort that can be 
used by all who would like to. The Sword homepage clearly states --

"... and are committed-- to fuse together by the blessings of God for the 
creation of a study aide that will be wielded solely by the Holy Spirit to 
convey God's truths to all who implement the efforts of this project."

When I first entered this discussion in a related thread, my premise was that 
it would be dishonest to adopt the statement of the UBS that we have no 
doctrinal position. That doesn't mean we need to implement one, as I believe 
that would be counterproductive to the effort. God's Word stands on it's own 
as the ultimate truth of God revealed to us, His creation. The Sword Project 
can be freely used by all who wish to. It can be used by Jewish Rabbis, for 
ecumenical studies, and for the spread of God's Gospel.

I see two common aspects of most if not all of the original principle 
developers of the Sword Project. Open Source Software and making the Word of 
God freely available to all. I originally found the Sword Project when I was 
looking for Bible Study software for my Linux box. I found Bibletime which 
led to me the Sword Project. I have since distributed many CDs and directed 
many people to The Sword Project so that people wanting this type of software 
but couldn't afford the commercially available software would be able to 
better study the Word of God and, "...be transformed by the renewing of their 

May the Lord bless you, Will.

Respectfully In Christ,

Ed Sylvis