Theology Corner

Addressing commonly asked questions about Christianity from the perspective of a non-theologian

Theology Corner

1.)  CAN GOD'S WILL BE THWARTED?

2.)  DID GOD ELECT ONLY A FEW FOR SALVATION WHILE CONDEMNING THE GREATER PART OF MANKIND TO HELL?

3.)  FAITH OR SALVATION: WHICH COMES FIRST?

4.)  DID GOD THE FATHER BEGET JESUS CHRIST?

5.)  WHAT ARE THE TWO NATURES OF CHRIST?

6.)  WHAT IS ANTINOMIANISM?

7.)  WHAT IS SABELLIANISM?

8.)  WHAT IS PELAGIANISM?

9.)  DOES LOVE REALLY WIN?

10.)  IS YOUR WILL REALLY YOUR WILL?

11.)  CAN TWO THEOLOGIES BE TESTED FOR COMPATIBILITY?

12.)  WHAT IS THE FRAUD OF FIDEISM?

13.)  IS CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY COMPATIBLE WITH JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES THEOLOGY?

14.)  IS CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY COMPATIBLE WITH CHRISTIAN SCIENCE THEOLOGY?

15.)  IS CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY COMPATIBLE WITH MORMON THEOLOGY?

16.)  IS CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY COMPATIBLE WITH UNITARIAN UNIVERSALISTS THEOLOGY?

17.)  IS CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY COMPATIBLE WITH SCIENTOLOGY THEOLOGY?

18.)  IS CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY COMPATIBLE WITH UNIFICATION CHURCH THEOLOGY?

19.)  IS CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY COMPATIBLE WITH THE WAY INTERNATIONAL THEOLOGY?

20.)  IS CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY COMPATIBLE WITH THE WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD THEOLOGY?

21.)  IS REPENTANCE REALLY NECESSARY?

22.)  WHAT ARE SOME MUSINGS OF A METHODIST THEOLOGIAN ON LIMITED ATONEMENT?

23.)  WHAT ARE SOME QUESTIONS FOR THOSE WHO TEACH A LIMITED ATONEMENT PROVIDED ONLY FOR THE ELECT OF GOD?

24.)  WHAT WERE CALVIN'S ACTUAL WORDS?

25.)  WHAT IS GNOSTICISM?

26.)  WHAT IS THE UNPARDONABLE SIN?

27.)  IS CLASSICAL CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY COMPATIBLE WITH PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY?

1.)  IS CHRISTIANITY COMPATIBLE WITH POSITIVE TOLERANCE?

2.)  CAN WE HAVE A FORM OF GODLINESS, BUT DENY THE POWER THEREOF?

3.)  WHAT IS THE GREAT WAR?

4.)  SHOULD PRESIDENT TRUMP HAVE BEEN IMPEACHED FOR IMMORALITY?

5.)  WHO SAID MOSES WAS HUMBLE?

6.)  COULD CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE BENEFIT FROM WOKE REVISION?

7.)  DID EINSTEIN BELIEVE ALL CHRISTIANS WERE CALVINISTS?

8.)  WHY IS MARXISM A MAGNET?

9.)  WHAT IS TRUE SCIENCE?

10.)  CAN YOU LOSE YOUR SALVATION?

11.)  WHAT ARE THE SYNOPTIC GOSPELS?

12.)  WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS?

13.)  WAS PAUL ENTIRELY SANCTIFIED?

14.)  ARE YOU LIVING IN A WORLD AT WAR?

15.)  WHAT IS THE DIRECT METHOD FOR PROVING A CONDITIONAL PROPOSITION IS TRUE?

16.)  WHAT IS THE CONTRAPOSITIVE METHOD FOR PROVING A CONDITIONAL PROPOSITION IS TRUE?

17.)  WHAT IS THE CONTRADICTION METHOD FOR PROVING A CONDITIONAL PROPOSITION IS TRUE?

18.)  WHAT MIGHT A METHODIST THEOLOGIAN SAY ABOUT PURGATORY?

19.)  WHICH BIBLE PASSAGES ELUCIDATE CORE ASPECTS OF CHRISTIANITY?

20.)  DO SELECTED NIV VERSES ELUCIDATE CORE ASPECTS OF CHRISTIANITY?

21.)  DO SELECTED AKJV VERSES ELUCIDATE CORE ASPECTS OF CHRISTIANITY?

22.)  DO SELECTED YLT VERSES ELUCIDATE CORE ASPECTS OF CHRISTIANITY?

23.)  DO SELECTED 'VOICE' VERSES ELUCIDATE CORE ASPECTS OF CHRISTIANITY?

24.)  COULD THE CONCEPT OF 'SALVATION ONLY FOR THE ELECT' HAVE BEEN ROOTED IN THE MIND OF AUGUSTINE BEFORE HE EMBRACED CHRISTIANITY?

25.)  DID AUGUSTINE RECEIVE PUSHBACK FOR HIS TEACHING OF 'SALVATION ONLY FOR THE ELECT' DURING HIS LIFETIME?

DO SELECTED AKJV VERSES ELUCIDATE CORE ASPECTS OF CHRISTIANITY?

Sets of selected verses are traditionally used to support the Core Beliefs of Christianity.    

Core Belief 1The Bible is the inspired, infallible and inerrant word of God -- is set forth in Section 1.3 of Theology Corner (TC) and further developed in Sections 13.15, 13.16 and 13.17 of Theology Corner and Chapter 10 of Christian Handbook of Reason and Insight for Scientists and Technologists. Core Belief 1 is not included in this Section of Theology Corner as a separate item.

Core Belief 8 -- Faith precedes regeneration; faith is an act of human free will responding to the grace of God – is also set forth in Section 1.3 of Theology Corner.  It is a companion to Core Belief 5.  Core Belief 8 is not included in this Section of Theology Corner as a separate item, but all the associated Scripture references are incorporated under Core Belief 5.

The remaining Core beliefs 2 through 7 and the associated verses are listed below.  These  include core beliefs concerning: 2. the Holy Trinity (TC 1.3, 12.10); 3. the theanthropic Jesus Christ (TC 1.3, 1.23, 2.5); 4. the inbred sin of mankind (TC 1.3, 8.6, 8.13, 12.11); 5. salvation offered to all men (TC 1.3, 8.6, 8.9, 8.11); 6. the Prevenient Grace of God (TC 1.3, 3.9, 3.10, 3.11, 3.12, 4.2, 4.8); 7. salvation by faith, the grace of God and the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ (TC 1.3, 1.4, 3.13, 10.8, 11.4, 11.8).  These core beliefs reflect a Wesleyan/Arminian theology.  Beliefs 4, 5, 6 and 7 represent four points of the Remonstrance.  The issue of “eternal security” is not critical to this discussion.

 

Core Belief 2 of Christianity

 

The one true God (Deut 4:35, 6:4; Isa 43:10, 44:6-8; I Cor 8:6; 1 Tim 2:5) exists as three distinct,

Transcendent (1 Kings 8:27),

Immanent (Acts 17:27,28; Col 1:16-17),

Infinite (1 Kings 8:27),

Eternal (Isa 57:15) and

Immutable (Mal 3:6) persons:

God the Father (John 5:18, 10:29, 14:28, 17:1-3; 1 Cor 8:6; Phil 2:11)

God the Son (Isa 7:14, 44:6; John 1:1-14, 5:18, 10:30, 20:28, 8:58 cf Ex 3:14; Rom 9:5; Phil 2:5-11; Col 1:15-18; Titus 2:13, Heb 1:8; 1 John 5:20; Rev 22:13-18)

God the Holy Spirit (Ex 17:7 cf Heb 3:7-9; Mat 28:19; Acts 5:3-4, 13:2 cf Gal 1:1 and 1 Tim 1:1; 1 Cor 3:16; 2 Cor 13:14; 2 Tim 3:16 cf 2 Pet 1:21; Heb 9:14).

 

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Core Belief 3 of Christianity

 

Jesus Christ is God the Son (Isa 7:14 cf Mat 1:23, 44:6; John 1:1-14, 5:18, 10:30, 20:28, 8:58 cf Ex 3:14; Rom 9:5; Phil 2:5-11; Col 1:15-18; Titus 2:13, Heb 1:8; 1 John 5:20; Rev 22:13-18).

Jesus Christ is man (Mark 2:27,28; John 1:14; Rom 1:3; Phil 2:5-11; 1 Tim 2:5; 1 John 4:1-4).

Jesus Christ is one person whose divine and human natures cannot be changed, divided, separated or mixed (John 1:14; Rom 1:3,4, 8:3, 9:5; Gal 4:4,5; Phil 2:5-7; 1 Tim 3:16; Heb 2:11-14; 1 John 4:2,3).

Jesus Christ was resurrected bodily from the dead (Luke 24:36-47; John 2:19-21; Rom 8:11; 1 Cor 15:3-7; 1 John 3:2).

Jesus Christ was born of a virgin (Isa 7:14; Mat 1:23).

 

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Core Belief 4 of Christianity

 

Every person since Adam and Eve (Gen 3:6-19; Rom 7:14-25), except Jesus Christ (Luke 1:35), was born with a sin nature.

No person (Rom 3:23, 5:12-18, 6:23; 1 John 1:8-10), except Jesus Christ (John 8:46; 2 Cor 5:21; Heb 4:15; 1 Pet 1:18-19, 2:21-22; 1 John 2:1, 3:3), has lived a sinless life.

 

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Core Belief 5 of Christianity

 

Salvation from the consequences of sin is offered to all persons by the grace of God and the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ (Deut 10:17; 2 Chron 19:7; Job 34:18-19; Lam 3:33; Ezek 18:23-25, 33:11; Mark 12:14; John 1:29, 3:16, 14:6; Acts 4:10-12, 10:34-35; Rom 2:11, 3:21-25, 5:12-18; Eph 2:8-10, 6:9; 1 Tim 2:3-5, 4:9-10; Heb 9:14-15; 2 Pet 3:9; 1 John 2:2).

 

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Core Belief 6 of Christianity

 

The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all persons (Titus 2:11).

The requirements of the law are written by God on every heart (Rom. 2:15).

Jesus Christ knocks at the door of every heart (Rev. 3:20).

The Holy Spirit calls and convicts each person (John 16:8).

God’s eternal power and divine nature are evident in the world around us (Rom 1:20).

Nevertheless, many resist the grace of God (Mat 25:46; 2 Thes 1:8-9).

 

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Core Belief 7 of Christianity

 

Each person who responds to God’s grace and the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ by

Confession of sin (Ps 32:3-5; 1 John 1:8-10),

Remorse (Ps 66:18; Luke 18:13),

Repentance (Mat 3:8; Rom 12:2, 13:14; Eph 4:23-24; Rev 2:5, 16, 3:3, 19),

Faith (John 6:29, 3:16-17; Acts 16:31; Eph 2:8-10) and

Obedience (Mat 28:20; Luke 11:28; John 14:15; Rom 1:5, 6:16; Heb 5:9)

Receives the great gift of salvation (Acts 4:12; Rom 1:16; 2 Cor 7:10; 1 Thes 5:9; Heb 5:9; 1 Pet 1:9, 18-19).

Each person who resists God’s grace is condemned to everlasting punishment (Mat 25:46; 2 Thes 1:8-9).

 

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Each of the indicated Scripture verses, as it appears in the NIV, is listed in section 13.20.  When the best exegesis is assigned to each verse, that verse is found to support the corresponding Wesleyan/Arminian core belief of Christianity.  Furthermore, when each verse from the Authorized King James Version (AKJV) is compared with the corresponding NIV verse, they are found to be identical in meaning.  Aside from archaic words and phrasing in the AKJV, the two translations are in complete agreement!

This is an unexpected finding considering that a plethora of problems have been detected in the AKJV.  Translators had access to fewer than 25 manuscripts of the New Testament; today more than 5358 manuscripts and manuscript fragments are known. Of the five primary uncial manuscripts now recognized, only Codex Bezae was available.  Dozens of AKJV passages are not supported by the best manuscripts and, in another dozen locations, text from the best manuscripts is missing.  Moreover, a multitude of words and phrases, in the AKJV, no longer have any meaning in the English language.

Furthermore, throughout its history, the AKJV has been charged with doctrinal bias.  Some have insisted that the translators deliberately favored the King’s beliefs regarding predestination, election and eternal security.  Attention has been focused on certain renderings as leaning toward Calvinism (Acts 2:47; Gal 5:17; Heb 6:6; Mat 19:23).  Bias would not be surprising since the AKJV, first issued in 1611, was a product of the Anglican Church. This church is fundamentally Reformed in the Calvinist tradition.  Anglican Article 17 of 39 articles of religion states, in part:

 

“Predestination to Life is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby (before the foundations of the world were laid) he hath constantly decreed by his counsel secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honor.”

 

This portrays the unconditional election of those chosen for salvation by God before the world was formed (see Section 2.22 of Theology Corner). 

Protestantism, in the 17th century was dominated by Reformed theology.  Wesley would not be born until 1703.  Arminius died in 1609.  Simon Episcopius and the Remonstrants were crushed by the Synod of Dort in 1618. (see Section 1.21 of Theology Corner).  The Westminster Confession was issued in 1646 and the London Baptist Confession was issued in 1689.

And yet, in the face of Calvinist domination, the Wesleyan/Arminian Core Beliefs of Christianity are revealed by the same critical selected verses in both the AKJV and the NIV!  Despite the overwhelming influence of Calvinism when the 1611 AKJV was produced, selected verses on Core Beliefs were not nudged or slanted or tipped in the direction of Reformed Theology.  How could this be?  This would seem to be an unreasonable finding.  Here is, at least, a partial explanation.

Reformed theology was invented by Augustine around 400 A.D.  It lay dormant for over 1100 years until it was rediscovered by John Calvin.  For Augustine and Calvin, predestination was not a Biblical doctrine.  It was, instead, the inevitable consequence for a process emanating from the logic and reason within their own powerful intellects.  The logic and reason goes something like this:

 

  • God is holy and sovereign.  No one can stand against His will.

 

  • Man is evil and helpless before God.

 

  • No man can be saved unless God changes his will, intellect, and heart.  Man is converted, not because he wills, but he wills because he is converted.  Regeneration precedes faith!

 

  • Not all men are saved which means God chose only certain elect men for regeneration. 

 

  • It is inconceivable that Christ should die for anyone other than the elect; otherwise, His mission is a failure.

 

  • Therefore, the atonement must logically be limited in scope to the elect.

 

  • The elect and only the elect are predestined for salvation by the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ.

 

This sounds fairly logical to the human mind, except for one thing; it is contrary to the character of God revealed in Scripture and the great traditions of the church.  When we sidestep Scripture and the great traditions of the Church, our intellect becomes our enemy!