This page is a milestone 216th Section of Theology Corner. But why does Theology Corner, or, for that matter, the entire website – Christian Apologetics | Reason for Hope – even exist?
The website began over 20 years ago as a Christian Apologetics pamphlet called: Christian Handbook of Reason and Insight for Scientists and Technologists (CHRIST). This pamphlet develops the premise that Historic Christianity is founded on twin beliefs: Classical Logic represents the Truth of God and Sound Reason is the foundation of the Christian faith (See also Sections 13.15, 13.16 and 13.17 of Theology Corner). In contrast, modern Christianity frequently appears to be hanging perilously from a framework of bad science, fuzzy logic, and relative truth. This premise also implies that Christianity is either true or false, nothing in between. Finally, it implies that truth is accessible using Wesley’s Quadrilateral: Religious beliefs must be based on logic and reason supported by Scripture, personal experience, and the great traditions of the church. The pamphlet remains largely unchanged, in the READ and DOWNLOAD portions of this website.
The ENCRYPTED IN GENESIS portion of this website falls under the category of quasi-theological speculation. It presents technical articles based on the Judeo-Christian tradition that God arranged the 304,805-character string of concatenated words in the Torah to reveal not only a spiritual message but also to encrypt fundamental information about the beginning of the universe and its development over time. This contribution has no theological implications; it is simply an interesting aside.
THEOLOGY CORNER comprises the largest portion of this website and is theological in nature. It serves the hundreds of millions of seekers worldwide who sense the Prevenient Grace of God calling them, awakening them, drawing them near and convicting their souls. These seekers want to know what the Bible teaches. They are faced with a plethora of barely understandable denominational Books of Discipline, Articles of Religion, Confessions, Decrees of God, Statements of Faith and Message and other documents claiming to codify what Christians believe (Theology). But, in fact, many of these documents offer more confusion than clarification.
I hesitated developing Theology Corner for many years, believing more qualified individuals would rise to the occasion. But my thinking gradually began to shift because no one else stepped forward to stand in the gap: no TV preachers, no denominational leaders, no seminary professors, no Bible College faculty, no pastors.
Here are some specific reasons Theology Corner exists.
- All of Protestant Theology can be divided into Reformed and Wesleyan/Arminian. Unfortunately, they are separated by the breadth and depth of the universe. There is no such thing as a non-denominational or inter-denominational church which somehow blends or bypasses these two doctrines. They are mutually exclusive. The Reformed or ‘Calvinist’ Theologian believes:
God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass. (Westminster Confession, Chapter 3, Verse 1)
The Wesleyan/Arminian Theologian rejects this statement as unscriptural, illogical, blasphemy. This statement means every man and woman is executing a sinister marionette dance with God pulling the strings from behind His transcendence.
Does the internet demonstrate a balanced presentation of Reformed and Wesleyan/Arminian theology? Year after year, a search on Christian Theology Websites continues to produce, nearly exclusively, Reformed Theology Websites at the top. It is as if Arminius, Episcopius, Wesley, Watson, Wakefield, Pope, Miley, Wiley, and Chambers never existed. This is not the fault of Calvinists; they are simply exercising due diligence with respect to their convictions. It is the fault of Wesleyan/Arminian denominations failing to fulfill the Great Commission.
Calvinists sometimes attempt to whitewash their theology in order to mitigate certain troublesome positions (e.g., anti-missions, double predestination, limited atonement, etc.). The very fact that there is a plurality of views on Calvinism, designed to deal with certain perceived weaknesses, would seem to call for circumspection and humility with respect to the system and to those who disagree with it. But no such humility has ever been forthcoming. Calvinists long ago declared a ‘give no quarter’ war with the progeny of John Wesley whom they have universally labeled as ‘Pelagian.’ Curiously, most Wesleyan/Arminians want to be declared ‘conscientious objectors’ and thereby achieve exclusion from the conflict.
But why bother with conflict? Can’t we all just get along? Don’t we all worship the same God? As a matter of fact, Wesleyan/Arminians and Calvinists do not worship the same God! The God of Calvinism 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). In other words, God predestined the vast majority of the human race to Hell; this implies that the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ covered only the elect of God who were chosen long before the creation of Adam and Eve. Wesleyan/Arminian expositors, far more qualified than me, should be standing in the gap but where are they? (See also Sections 1.3, 1.20, 1.21, 1.22, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.10, 2.22, 2.23, 2.24, 2.26, 3.16, 8.1 and 9.6 of Theology Corner)
- For the first time since 1937, fewer than half of Americans (47%) belong to a church. Church membership remained steady (68-70%) for many decades until a precipitous decline began around the year 2000. The United States of America is no longer a Christian nation! It is, instead, a collection of loosely bound, humanistic groups. A humanistic culture is one embracing the concept that men and women can begin from themselves and derive the standards by which to judge all things. There are, for such people, no fixed standards of behavior, no standards that cannot be eroded or replaced by what seems necessary, expedient, or fashionable. Theology Corner calls out humanism in all its varieties.
But why not just have a humanistic church. It would be overflowing with entertainment activities but hardly knowing what Christians believe and why -- this proverbial church is a mile wide and a foot deep. The pastor teaches that Jesus loves you just the way you are; you don’t need to change. Just allow Jesus into your heart and you will be saved! Don’t worry about confession of sin, remorse, and repentance; these are anachronisms from the past. You can decide what is good and what is evil without relying on some antiquated book called the Bible. If such a church appeals to you, look around. They are not hard to find. (See also Sections 10.1, 10.8, 10.12 and 10.13 of Theology Corner)
- Many Pages of Theology Corner can be viewed as a response to the current death spiral of the Protestant Church in America and beyond. The church is currently in septic shock caused by a massive internal infection. Protestants are succumbing to abscesses deep within the Christian community. Serious infections in the church are generally caused by corrupt Christians and not by external influences. Satan knows the best way to cripple the church is from within; he does this most effectively by corruption of church leadership. Powerful personalities among the upper echelon elite of Christianity practice lawlessness, apostasy, heresy and blasphemy all under the guise of making the teachings of Jesus Christ more palatable in this modern age and more in tune with progressive thinking. Many pastors quickly learn to serve the ones who pay their salaries, control their careers and teach them about the importance of political correctness. Many pastors become entertainment directors for country club churches having such shallow content that every corner of their great edifice is infused with the pall of spiritual death. Most pastors promote congregational ignorance for fear of losing control; an ignorant congregation is a manageable congregation. Most pastors fail to stand firm against the evil sweeping over civilization like a tsunami. Unprincipled pastors and other powerful leaders, propped-up by Seminaries and Bible Colleges, are the root cause of the Protestant Church death spiral.Theology Corner calls them out.
If all this is not sufficient reason for the existence of Christian Apologetics | Reason for Hope, consider the thoughts of Oswald Chambers.
“If you cannot express yourself on any subject, struggle until you can. If you do not, someone will be the poorer all the days of his life. Struggle to re-express some truth of God to yourself, and God will use that expression to someone else. Go through the winepress of God where the grapes are crushed. You must struggle to get expression experimentally, then there will come a time when that expression will become the very wine of strengthening to someone else; but if you say lazily – ‘I am not going to struggle to express this thing for myself, I will borrow what I say’ -- the expression will not only be of no use to you, but of no use to anyone. Try to state to yourself what you feel implicitly to be God’s truth, and you give God a chance to pass it on to someone else through you.
Always make a practice of provoking your own mind to think out what it accepts easily. Our position is not ours until we make it ours by suffering. The author who benefits you most is not the one who tells you something you did not know before, but the one who gives expression to the truth that has been dumbly struggling in you for utterance.” (Chambers, December 15th)