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When you ask your average Christian or evangelical what salvation means, more likely than not, he or she will respond with, “Jesus Christ died for your sins so that you will enter heaven after death, escape from the fires of hell, and instead spend eternity with Him.” And normally, they would equate that statement to be the basic meaning of the gospel.
However, that seems to be a very parochial understanding of the term ‘salvation’.
What did the Bible writers, especially the author of the Gospel of Luke, mean by the term ‘salvation’ or what it means to be ‘saved’?
Here’s an essay about the term ‘salvation’ here.
A Critical Assessment of the Reformed Doctrines of Original Sin and Solus Christus (Salvation in Christ Alone)
I just want to make this clear that these critical assessments of these core Reformed doctrines are in no way to undermine or question the validity of the Christian faith. We raise these issues and challenges to strengthen the faith and understand what Christians actually believe in.
However, I understand how emotionally involved persons who have adopted these traditions and doctrines to heart are and who take this personally. And I’m fully aware how nasty debates can become, even between faithful brothers and sisters in Christ. We do it because we take the truth seriously. We don’t want to engage in polemics attacking or pushing someone to adopt or reject another point of view. Its purpose is to raise thoughtful questions and engage and spur others to think things through.
We live in a complex and interconnected world today and many worldviews will come into contact with one another. It is important to take other viewpoints into consideration and call out those that do not make sense, are flatly wrong, or seem antiquated.
We raise questions, not to cause people to doubt their faith, but more so to realize that an unexamined faith is not worth believing in (to modify Socrates’ famous quote that “An unexamined life is not worth living”).
We welcome thoughtful discussion and disagreements with the ideas and viewpoints we present here, so please do comment if you wish.
This is theology in action – faith seeking understanding.
For our next meeting next Sunday, May 18, we’ll focus on the theology of John Calvin.
Please write a one page summary of one doctrine of Calvinism or Reformed Theology that you are familiar with and state your reasons for or against that particular doctrine (or one that you might have strong questions about).
In your summary, see if you spot any logical, philosophical, or even biblical inconsistencies or contradictions within Reformed theology. Or defend your position against any criticisms against Reformed theology- do you agree with a particular Reformed doctrine and state your reasons as to why.
You may go into the historical background and development of a particular doctrine as well.
Some views on the Reformed theology of propitiation and questions about whether or not there are biblical justifications for universalism (i.e. that all will be saved).
Submitted by Michael.
Since the group will be encountering John Calvin very soon in MacCulloch’s book, I thought I’d get a head start and write about one of the most famous and also controversial doctrines of the Protestant/Reformed theology – predestination or election.
It’s definitely a hot potato topic and if you want to rile up a bunch of Christians and see some heated conversations, just introduce the topic of predestination, sit back, enjoy, and watch the sparks fly.
Well, here’s my entry into this eternal theological boxing ring for all its worth.
Also, as you’ll see, it’s listed on a new sub-menu called “Reformed Theology” under “Theology” at the top menu bar.
Though I know what I present won’t be a novel position by any means, it did give me pause to think when I first read it in Eugene Boring and Fred Cradock’s The People’s New Testament Commentary (Westminster John Knox Press, 2004).
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this topic as well, so please do share if you have any.