Over the centuries, theologians have debated the interpretation of the biblical phrase “preached to the spirits in prison” in 1 Peter 3:19. Although there are many different thoughts as to exactly what this phrase means, one view (in light of other scripture verses) is that Jesus literally descended into hell after his crucifixion. This view found its way into some versions of the creeds.
Parts of RZIM’s Statement of Faith were adapted from the Apostle’s Creed. As an evangelism ministry undergirded by apologetics, the scope and purpose of our ministry is to evangelize and to help train Christians in their witness with credible reasons for the hope they have in Jesus Christ. We seek to stay true to that mission and calling. Hence, we have carefully chosen to address the crucial non-Christian assumptions that particularly keep a person from faith in Christ rather than detailed doctrinal issues of debate within the Evangelical framework. Therefore, in following our ministry focus, we did not include the version of the Apostle’s Creed with the phrase “descended into hell” into our Statement of Faith.
I hope this might help clarify our Statement of Faith.