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 MIGHT A WESLEYAN THEOLOGIAN SAY ABOUT EFFUSION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AT PENTECOST?

The effusion of the Holy Spirit is previewed in Joel’s prophecy which is quoted by Peter on the Day of Pentecost:

 

“In the last days, God says,

I will pour out my spirit on all people.

 

Your sons and daughters will prophesy,

Your young men will see visions,

Your old men will dream dreams.

 

Even on my servants, both men and women,

I will pour out my Spirit in those days,

And they will prophesy.

 

I will show wonders in the Heaven above

And signs on the earth below,

Blood and fire and billows of smoke.

 

The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood

Before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.

 

And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 

 

(Acts 2:17-21 cf Joel 2:28-32a)

 

Consider the words of C.W. Carter:

 

“In the effusion of the Spirit at the first Christian Pentecost at Jerusalem the Holy Spirit was released upon the world of mankind universally in a very personal and special sense.  Two considerations confront the Bible interpreter concerning this effusion of the Spirit.  First, from that time to the end of the age every man is confronted with the Spirit of God in his life.  By His Spirit God made His presence personally omnipresent throughout the world of mankind to each succeeding generation.  If man yields his life to God in his encounter with the Spirit he will find salvation.  If he resists the Spirit in that encounter, he will stand condemned in his heart by the Spirit.  But there will be no possibility of escaping His presence.  Second, when the Spirit was released upon the world at Pentecost this was for all time.  In a technical sense there has been and can be but one Christian Pentecost.  There have been many subsequent special visitations of the Spirit, and many subsequent fillings with the Spirit.  However, at the Jerusalem Pentecost God poured out His Spirit without measure or restraint.  Thus, we need not pray for another Pentecost.  We need only to pray that God will assist us to so condition ourselves in relation to Him and His will as will enable us to experience the benefits of the Spirit who is already present with us in our world.

In this age of the Spirit no one will be denied His presence and blessings if he will open his life to Him.  Old and young men, sons and daughters, servants and master will alike have the equal benefits of the Spirit.  In Old Testament times only certain select individuals were Spirit endued, or in special instances indwelt by His presence.  At and following Pentecost the Spirit is God’s personal provision for every man.” (Carter, p 81)

 

The primary mission of the Holy Spirit, as the emissary of Prevenient Grace, is to call and convict each person (John 16:8).  The Holy Spirit begins by calling your soul; you may choose to ignore the phone and let it ring.  But until He senses a response in your heart He will go no further.  If you eventually answer the call, He will try to awaken you to the idea that there is something wrong with your soul.  As weeks and months go by while you ponder this thought, He is gradually drawing you closer to Himself.  Then comes the hard part!  You must confess your own sin nature and sinful behavior.  You must confess that your heart, intellect and will are corrupt beyond measure.  Only by acknowledging the poverty of your own soul can you enter the kingdom of God; those who are baptized with the Holy Spirit have a sense of absolute unworthiness.  You must be convicted of your own sin nature and behavior.  Without conviction, it is not possible to have true remorse in your heart.  Without remorse, it is not possible to repent.  Without repentance, there is no faith; belief must be preceded by repentance and followed by obedience to qualify as faith.  Without faith, there is no obedience.  Without conviction, remorse, repentance, faith and obedience, there is no salvation (See also Sections 1.3, 1.5, 4.5, 4.7, 10.11 and 10.12 of Theology Corner).

Of course, all this is claptrap to the Calvinist.  The Reformed theologian does not believe that something called the Prevenient Grace of God is administered to all mankind.  Instead, the Saving Grace of God is administered only to the elect!