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?

WHO WERE THE CHOSEN FEW WHO RECEIVED EFFUSION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST?

About 120 believers were gathered on the Day of Pentecost shortly after the ascension of Jesus Christ.  That particular Day of Pentecost marked the actual beginning of the visible Christian church. The disciples of Christ were assembled, and the Holy Spirit came upon them, making them the new temple of the Triune God.  Looking past the thousands of groups and denominations, there is only one church of Jesus Christ. It comprises all congregations of believers in Christ in which the pure Gospel is preached, the sacraments are duly administered, and the discipline of the Christian fellowship is maintained with purity.

Surely those gathered represented the Christian elite of that time, having the spiritual acumen of James Arminius and John Wesley, the ethical and moral strength of Mother Teresa and the structured theology of Richard Watson and H. Orton Wiley.  Surely these persons were at least the equivalent of modern day, ordained ministers who endure years of theological study and examinations by various councils of authority.

But wait.  Consider the description given by C. W. Carter:

 

“The 120 disciples awaiting the effusion of the Spirit included such diverse individuals as the impetuous and vacillating Peter; the hot-tempered James and John (sons-of-thunder), who at one time wished to burn up the Samaritans (Luke 9:53-54); the empirically disposed, doubting Thomas; Matthew, a former publican of dubious honesty; Simon Zealotus, a former member of a guerilla outlaw gang (Greek, sikarios), who likely had committed murder; Mary, the mild and affectionate mother of Jesus; undoubtedly the wealthy and cultured Mary, mother of John Mark; likely Mary Magdalene of former ill repute, out of whom Jesus had cast seven devils; possibly the “woman of Samaria” who met Jesus at Jacob’s well; and the brothers of Jesus who belatedly believed on Him – to mention only a partial number of the list of those now gathered in “one accord” awaiting the fulfillment of the promise of the Spirit…

Thus, the recipients of the first Christian Pentecost were the saved disciples of Jesus Christ, regenerated by the Holy Spirit, separated from the world, and designed by Christ to become the living evangels of His lordship to all men, subsequent to their baptism with the Spirit at Pentecost.”  (Carter, p 155-156)

 

Perhaps the rulers and authorities in Heavenly realms thought to themselves, “This looks like a strategic disaster; most likely Jesus has formulated another plan.  These men and women are ordinary, unremarkable, flawed, inconsistent and untrustworthy.  Surely the outcome of the Great War between good and evil cannot be allowed to depend on this rag-tag bunch of misfits.”  But, in fact, there was nor is no other plan!  It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that those present were entirely sanctified by the Holy Spirit on that day.  (See also Sections 3.6, 3.15, 3.17, 4.5, 4.6, 11.7 and 13.13 of Theology Corner)