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Why this page? This is why:
Survey: Majority of American Christians Don’t Believe the Gospel
What is the Gospel?
What Is Biblical Theology?
What is original sin?
What is biblical faith?
New Testament Theology
[See, also, this page .]
15 Theses on Evangelical Theology
“… one shouldn’t stop with biblical theology but follow it through to its theological implications.”
[Ergo, the rest of this page.]
Who is Jesus?:
The Proper Understanding of “Jesus is God”
The Doctrine of the Incarnation
“Did Jesus ever claim to be God?”
“I am He.“
“There are three places in John’s Gospel in particular where Jesus’ self-characterization reveals his [claims of] divinity… In John 5:1–18 … [Jesus was] calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. William Hendriksen [Ph.D.] says the Jews ‘immediately understood that Jesus claimed for himself deity in the highest possible sense of that term‘… [which is exactly why] they sought to kill him… [I]n John 8:48 … Jesus claims that the Father glorifies him… [and then, ten verses later made the] startling statement: ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am‘… Here, Jesus indisputably claims his preexistence. If Jesus was merely human, he could not have met Abraham. If he had met Abraham, then he could not be merely human. The Jews understood this clearly. ‘So they picked up stones to throw at him‘ [ v. 59 ]… The very fact that the Jews sought to stone Jesus for blasphemy proves that they understood Jesus’ claim to deity very well indeed… [I]n John 10:30–33 … Jesus says, “I and the Father are one‘… For Jesus to be One with the Father yet distinct from him amounts to a claim to deity… [T]he [many] ‘I am’ sayings [made by Jesus throughout John’s Gospel also] affirm Jesus’ deity… [because] In the LXX [a.k.a. the Septuagint , which was the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, which Jews of Jesus’ day all knew backwards and forwards], έγω έίμί [‘ego eimi‘ in the Greek, or ‘I am” in English] is the translation of the tetragrammaton [a.k.a. YHWH, or Yaweh], the holy name of the God of the Hebrew Bible… [so the Jews of Jesus’ day fully knew and understood what Jesus meant when He used the term ‘ego eimi‘].”
[That article resides behind a paywall at one of the most useful and valuable theological periodicals available anywhere on Earth. Gaining access to that publication (by way of subscription) would be among the best expenses any reader of ASND could make.]
The Trinity “Explained”
[ASND wonders why, if the video claims we cannot comprehend the trinity, does the video claim to “explain” it? Explain that.]
How Do We Know the Holy Spirit Is a Person?
Using a Diagram to Illustrate Trinitarian Relationships
The Trinity: Illustrations & Errors
Loving The Trinity
Modalism, Tritheism or Trinitarianism?
A Formulation and Defense of the Doctrine of the Trinity
[Chapter 29, (unabridged) in Philosophical Foundations of a Christian Worldview, Downer’s Grove, Ill.: Inter-Varsity Press, 2003.]
And Yet They Are Not Three Gods But One God
“Anthony Buzzard, a prominent anti-Trinitarian scholar, has produced an article denying the conscious preexistence of Jesus Christ…“
The Attributes of God [In addition to the Trinity.]
The Holiness of God
“The fact is that, biblically, [merely] desiring to sin is sin.“
What Is Necessary for a Christian to Believe?
What makes a church or group non-Christian?
What is heresy?
What Is a Cult?
Good Deeds vs. Grace:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. This is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
“What is grace? The catechisms many of us learned as children give us the answer: ‘Grace is the unmerited favor of God.‘ The first thing that we understand about grace is what it’s not — it’s not something we merit… it is unmerit… [C]ondemnation is the only possible sentence for sinful men and women: ‘All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’ (Rom 3:23 )’… But those who trust in Christ Jesus [alone] have hope, for if we are in Him by faith, we have been ‘justified [declared righteous] freely by His grace’ ( v. 24 ). Note that justification is accomplished not by obligation, but freely through grace on account of the redemption purchased by Jesus alone. There’s no room for boasting, for we are justified not by our works but by grace alone through faith alone… Romans 4:4–8 is a key passage here: ‘Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”’ That’s grace. [The apostle] Paul couldn’t say it any other way. To him who works, it’s debt; if you merit something, it means that someone is obligated to pay you… With respect to the Lord, we are debtors who cannot pay. That’s why the Bible speaks of redemption in economic language — we were bought with a price ( 1 Cor. 6:20 ). Only someone else — Christ [alone] — can pay our debt. That’s grace. It’s not our good works that secure our rescue but only the works of Christ. It’s His merit, not ours. don’t merit anything. He grants us His merit by grace, and we receive it only by faith. The essence of grace is its voluntary free bestowal. As soon as it’s a requirement, it’s no longer grace. Grace should never cease to amaze us. God has an absolute, pure, holy standard of justice. That’s why we cling with all our might to the merit of Jesus Christ. He alone has the merit to satisfy the demands of God’s justice, and He gives it freely to us. We haven’t merited it. There’s nothing in us that elicits the Lord’s favor that leads to our justification. It’s pure grace. And the more we understand what God has done for us as sinners, the more willing we are to do whatever He requires.“
Unconditional Love? Far From It.
Why Good Works Are Necessary for the Christian
“There will be plenty of people in hell who said the sinner’s prayer.“
How Orthodoxy Was Established in the Ancient Ecumenical Councils
Contra N.T. Wright & William Lane Craig: The Biblical Atonement of Christ
How could a good and loving God condemn to hell an innocent person who’s never even heard of Jesus, let alone what He did in His life, death, and resurrection?
“First… God’s revelation in nature is sufficient only to condemn, not to save [ Rom 1:18-23 ]. Though [every single sentient person on Earth, regardless of their culture or location or time of life and death] ‘knows God‘ (v. 21), he [or she] ‘suppresses the truth‘ (v. 18) perceptible in nature and is therefore ‘without excuse‘ (v. 20). Humans aren’t guilty because they haven’t heard the gospel; they’re guilty because they haven’t honored their Creator. In other words, not because of the absence of something (faith), but because of the presence of something (rebellion) [which includes denial of God’s existence, holiness, and righteous judgment against those who persist in such denials]. So will God condemn the innocent [person] who has never heard the name of Christ? No, because there are no innocent [persons]. Scripture simply does not picture fallen humans as having some vague but noble desire for mercy and forgiveness. Moreover, we seem to have an inescapable pull toward enacting our faith in [idolatrous] ritual[s] [expressed as religions], liturg[ies] [expressed as religious worship traditions], and sacrifice[s] [also expressed as religious worship traditions]. So what does the [so-called ‘innocent‘ person who has never even heard of Jesus or His Gospel of grace] do? In the imagination of the inclusivist [who believes God would never judge such ‘innocent’ persons], he just cries out for vague mercy and forgiveness, claiming no merits of his own. In the real world, however [defined by almighty God, recorded in His Word, the Bible], he [or she] probably participates in a form of idolatrous… religion that contradicts and undermines the gospel of grace…
Second, the necessity of gospel faith for salvation is on display in Romans 10 …
1. The only way to be saved is to call on Christ’s name.
2. The only way to call on Christ’s name is to believe the gospel.
3. The only way to believe the gospel is to hear the gospel.
4. The only way to hear the gospel is to be told the gospel.
The [possibility] of another means of salvation besides faith in ‘the word of Christ‘ is [impossible] to square with this passage [and many others, e.g. John 14:6 , Acts 4:12 ] … it is not our place to subject the Creator to our finite and fallen notions of fairness. Our task is to take [God] at his word and trust his heart. His ways are higher and different than ours ( Isa. 55:8–9 ). He needs no counselor, for he is good and does good ( Ps. 119:68 ; Rom. 11:34 ). The Judge of all the earth will do right ( Gen. 18:25 ). And above all, we must stare at Calvary, the summit of wisdom and the intersection of justice and love. There, on a Roman tree, the Judge of all the earth hung in the place of rebels who wanted nothing to do with him.”
“What kind of a God would punish all people with the consequences of one individual’s [Adam’s] sin? In fact, it seems to go contrary to the teaching of the prophet Ezekiel… The prophet said that God treats every person according to his own sin. He doesn’t punish me for what my father did, nor does he punish my son for what I did… In protest we want to say, ‘No damnation without representation.‘ We don’t like to be held accountable for what somebody else did…”
“The folks who make up [g]od as they go are side-by-side with self-proclaimed believers who claim the Christian label but shed their ties to [biblical] beliefs and practices… People say ‘I believe in God. I believe the Bible is a good book. And then I believe whatever I want.’”
[No surprise there. People have been making gods in their own image as long as there have been people. The God of the Bible, however, reveals Himself to be rather different from “whatever we want.” To see what He wants us to know about Him, see below, but only if you “want“.]
Must We Forgive Those Who Sin Against Us If They Don’t Repent?
“If there’s no repentance, then there can’t be — really — a restored relationship. There can’t be reconciliation… Repentance required them to admit their sin so that they can begin to meet [the offended] person in the middle… If that’s not there, the relationship isn’t fully restored.”
“[T]rue repentance does not exist without a resolve to obey the Lord. It is not enough merely to recognize our sin, admit it, and ask for forgiveness; we must also intend to serve God and keep His commandments, even while we recognize that we will not do so perfectly (Deut. 30:1–10 ; 1 John 1:8–9 )… [T]o have no resolve to obey and no fruit of obedience whatsoever reveals the lack of true spiritual life, that is, the lack of the new heart given in regeneration that exercises saving faith ( John 3:1–21 ; James 2:14–26 ).”
Bible Chronology of the New Testament
Why The Virgin Birth?
Ordo Salutis (The Order of Salvation)
A Primer on Justification
The Liberal View of Justification
The Neoorthodox Way of Justification
The Antinomian Way of Justification
Roman Catholicism [on Justification]
Martin Luther’s 95 Theses
[Biblical] Evangelicalism [on Justification]
Think on These Things (Philippians 4:8)
Theopedia: An Encyclopedia of Christianity
“Formally speaking, the pagans [of New Testament biblical times] were not worshiping Zeus, Artemis, or any of the other dozens of pagan gods to whom temples were dedicated in the first century, for no such gods have ever existed. However, the pagans were worshiping beings that had a real existence — namely, demons ( 1 Cor 10:19–21 ). This comment has ramifications for how we understand non-Christian religions. Apparently, worship takes place in these religions, but this worship is really the worship of demons no matter how it may appear to the contrary. Furthermore, Paul’s statement in 2 Corinthians 11:14 that Satan sometimes disguises himself as an ‘angel of light‘ implies not only that demons are the true objects of worship in false religions but that these false religions were given to their adherents by the demons themselves, at least in some cases. This certainly seems to be the case in Islam, where Muhammad claimed that the religion of Islam was given to him from Allah through the angel Gabriel. Surely it is not hard to imagine a demon, maybe even Satan himself, coming to Muhammad in the guise of a holy angel to originate a religious system that enslaves millions. In any case, whether the non-Christian religion is monotheistic such as Islam or polytheistic such as Hinduism, all faiths apart from biblical Christianity worship demons. We must take this into account and pray against these evil spiritual forces when we evangelize members of other religions… It is common to find people of many different religions joining in interfaith worship services, especially after a national crisis or for a non-sectarian holiday. We cannot ever do this. To join in worship with others who do not worship the one true God is actually to worship demons, no matter how kind the people from these other religions may be.”
Now That We’ve Read Everything Above…
A Theological Test
What are some Christian Worldview Essentials?
What is essential Christian doctrine?