Theology Corner

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

Theology Corner

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?

IS CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY COMPATIBLE WITH UNITARIAN UNIVERSALISTS THEOLOGY?

Two theologies are compatible if and only if their core beliefs can coexist without resulting in conflict on issues of faith.  Core beliefs may say the same thing in two different ways or may focus on different aspects of dogma.  Core beliefs may, for example, be expressed as an ordered list of sequential items (as given below), an ordered list of God’s Decrees (Decrees of Reformed Theology) or even a Christian Manifesto in which the core beliefs are somewhat obscured (1646 Westminster Confession).  But when the position of each theology on a given issue is determined, those positions must be identical if the two theologies are compatible. 

Incompatibility always results if a specific core belief of one theology is negated by a specific core belief of another theology (e.g. Wesleyan/Arminianism versus Calvinism).  Only one instance of core belief negation is required to conclude that two theologies are incompatible; once that instance is found, there is no need to search for additional examples.  Furthermore, once a single instance of core belief negation is found, any observed agreement between other core beliefs is irrelevant.

Wesleyan/Arminian core beliefs can be employed when comparing Christian Theology to other theologies – such as those of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormonism, Scientology, Universalist Unitarian or Christian Science.  The following formulation of Wesleyan/Arminian core beliefs is satisfactory for comparison.

 

  • The Bible is the inspired, infallible and inerrant word of God.

 

  • The one true God exists as three distinct, transcendent, immanent, infinite, eternal, and immutable persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

 

  • Jesus Christ is God the Son.  Jesus Christ is man.  Jesus Christ is one person whose divine and human natures cannot be changed, divided, separated or mixed.  Jesus Christ was resurrected bodily from the dead.  Jesus Christ was born of a virgin.

 

  • Every person since Adam and Eve, except Jesus Christ, was born with a sin nature and no person, except Jesus Christ, has lived a sinless life.

 

  • Salvation from the consequences of sin is offered to all persons by the grace of God and the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ.

 

  • The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all persons (Titus 2:11): (a) the requirements of the law are written by God on every heart (Rom. 2:15),  (b) Jesus Christ knocks at the door of every heart (Rev. 3:20), (c) the Holy Spirit calls and convicts each person (John 16:8) and (d) God’s eternal power and divine nature are evident in the world around us (Rom 1:20).  Nevertheless, many resist the grace of God.

 

  • Each person who responds to God’s grace and the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ by confession of sin, remorse, repentance, faith and obedience receives the great gift of salvation.  Each person who resists God’s grace is condemned to everlasting punishment.

 

  • Faith precedes regeneration; faith is an act of human free will responding to the grace of God.

 

UNITARIAN UNIVERSALISM

Well known teachings of Unitarian Universalism include: Jesus is not God, the Trinity is a lie, humans are not fundamentally sinful and we have within ourselves the power of our own salvation.  Their literature includes statements such as:

 

“What do Unitarians believe about God?  They are free to believe whatever persuades them.”  (Unitarianism – Some Questions Answered)

 

“Unitarians do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah either of Jewish hope or of Christian fantasy. They do not believe he is God incarnate or the second person in the Trinity…”  (What is a Unitarian, Look magazine)

 

“Jesus of Nazareth is regarded not as a supernatural being but as a pre-eminently inspired and noble religious leader.”  (Introducing Unitarian Universalism)

 

“Unitarians and Universalists reject the doctrine of the Trinity…”  (Unitarians and Universalists Believe)

 

“Man is not fundamentally sinful.  No man stands condemned.”  (Introducing Unitarian Universalism)

 

“…we have within ourselves the power of our own salvation…”  (Unitarianism – Some questions Answered)

 

These core beliefs of Unitarian Universalism negate the following Christian core beliefs:

 

  • The one true God exists as three distinct, transcendent, immanent, infinite, eternal, and immutable persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

 

  • Jesus Christ is God the Son.  Jesus Christ is man.  Jesus Christ is one person whose divine and human natures cannot be changed, divided, separated or mixed.  Jesus Christ was resurrected bodily from the dead.  Jesus Christ was born of a virgin.

 

  • Every person since Adam and Eve, except Jesus Christ, was born with a sin nature and no person, except Jesus Christ, has lived a sinless life.

 

  • Salvation from the consequences of sin is offered to all persons by the grace of God and the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ.

 

  • The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all persons (Titus 2:11): (a) the requirements of the law are written by God on every heart (Rom. 2:15),  (b) Jesus Christ knocks at the door of every heart (Rev. 3:20), (c) the Holy Spirit calls and convicts each person (John 16:8) and (d) God’s eternal power and divine nature are evident in the world around us (Rom 1:20).  Nevertheless, many resist the grace of God.

 

  • Each person who responds to God’s grace and the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ by confession of sin, remorse, repentance, faith and obedience receives the great gift of salvation. Each person who resists God’s grace is condemned to everlasting punishment.

 

It is reasonable to conclude, therefore, that Christian Theology is not compatible with Unitarian Universalist theology.