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?

WHAT IS THE UNPARDONABLE SIN?

Matthew 12:31, 32 and Mark 3:29, 30 present the "unpardonable sin" of blaspheming the Holy Spirit.  Attributing, to Satan, Christ's authenticating miracles, done in the power of the Holy Spirit, is one path to blasphemy. 

In Heb 10:29, we encounter a similar but slightly different teaching:

 

How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace.

 

The ‘blood of the covenant’ is the blood of Jesus Christ which was ‘poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins’ (Mat 26:28). 

 

Treating the blood of the covenant as an unholy thing means attaching the label of evil to the substitutionary atonement.  Insulting the Spirit of grace means attaching the label of evil to the Holy Spirit.

 

The substitutionary atonement is the central, defining event that underlies the entire ministry of Jesus Christ.  Christians embrace the apocalyptic assumption that God is battling Satan for all creation and the souls of all mankind.  Jesus understood Himself to be the one in whom this battle was to be played out in a decisive way.  Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8) and establish God’s domain.  This objective was accomplished when God the Son allowed Himself to be crucified (Heb 2:14) as the only possible sacrifice to generate the reconciliation, expiation and propitiation that took place between God and His creation and God and the souls of all mankind.  The death of Jesus Christ occurred at a specific time and place (John 19:30); but the consequences of this substitutionary atonement instantly exploded throughout Heaven, Hell, and the universe, throughout all that has been, all that is and all that ever will be.

Although God could have simply restored and repossessed His corrupted creation and the corrupted souls of mankind, His purity of wisdom, holiness, justice and truth demanded a punishment for every evil, particularly that evil called sin which resides in the human soul.  Only one punishment, the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ, was great enough to redeem all creation from the bondage of evil and offer redemption from the bondage of sin to all mankind.  But Satan will never acknowledge the efficacy of that punishment.  He is battling God to retain possession of that which was given to him (Luke 4:5-7).  The substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ began a new phase of warfare.  It marked the denouement when God the Son redeemed all creation from the bondage of evil and began the process of setting creation free from the influence of Satan himself.  That denouement also marked the instant when God the Son offered redemption from the bondage of sin to all mankind and began the process of setting redeemed souls free from the influence of sin itself. 

The crucifixion must be regarded not merely as an occurrence brought about by mere circumstances, but as the great end for which Jesus Christ came into the world; the motive for the atonement is found in the love of God. Scriptures regard the suffering and death of Christ as a propitiation (1 John 2:2, 1 John 4:10; Rom 3:25), a redemption (Rom 3:24; Gal 3:13; Eph 1:7) and a reconciliation (Rom 5:10-11; 2 Cor 5:18-19; Col 1:20-22). Jesus was the propitiation which calmed the wrath of God and atoned for the sin of man. He redeemed or bought back each of our souls from the bondage of sin and He allowed God and man to reconcile.

To attach the label of evil to the substitutionary atonement, means to declare the essence, of what Jesus said and did in Scripture, to be based on deception and lies.  To attach the label of evil to the Holy Spirit means to declare the essence, of what the Holy Spirit said and did in Scripture, to be based on deception and lies.  In other words, God is declared to be the origin and embodiment of evil.

By the 1646 Westminster Confession (God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass) and the 1689 London Baptist Confession (God hath decreed in himself, from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely and unchangeably, all things, whatsoever comes to pass), God is the first-cause of all evil.  All tragedy, suffering, disease, decay, iniquity, corruption, immorality, wickedness and depravity covering the manifold of sin in heaven and earth were willed by God before anything existed except the Trinity.  Injustice also reigned since the greater part of mankind was predestined to eternal damnation by God's decree before the universe was formed (Mat 7:13, 14).  These documents declare God to be the first cause of all evil in the universe and sin in the soul of man.

Do these Reformed documents fall under the condemnation of Heb 10:29?  (See also Section 2.1 of Theology Corner)