Monday, February 11, 2008

A Case For the Cross

We have seen much discussion in the last several months over the content of saving faith. Some hold to the view that the only content required for saving faith is belief that Jesus can and will give eternal life to all those who believe in Him alone.

I reject this view. I maintain that, in today's dispensation, the lost are required to believe that Jesus is God, that they are sinners, that Jesus died for their sins and rose again, and that the only way they can be forgiven of their sins and have eternal life is by trusting in Jesus alone.

As such, a major difference between my view and the other view is that my view requires belief in the deity, death, and resurrection of Jesus. "The Cross" sort of sums up these requirements, therefore I have titled this series, "A Case For the Cross".

In this series I will be presenting arguments for my view, as well as arguments against the other view. Much of this is information that I have already presented at various blogs, but some of it will be new. And now it will all be together in one place.

Below is an outline of the points I will be addressing. I have been reading and participating in this general discussion for about 6 months now, and I feel I have a pretty good handle on all the major points coming from the other side. In fact, I have had personal email exchanges with Bob Wilkin, who told me that I understand his view well and he would make no correction of my understanding of this issue. I have also spent time reading articles and comments by the major proponents of the opposing view.

So, please feel free to interact and discuss any point you desire. And if you believe you have something that's not on my outline, let me know about it. If I agree that it is something not already covered that contributes to the discussion, I'll address it.

Outline for "A Case For the Cross":

I. Arguments For

a. John 3
b. Romans 3
c. "The Gospel"
d. 1 Corinthians 15

II. Arguments Against

a. Purpose of the Gospel of John
b. People in the NT were saved w/o believing these things
c. Saving faith is only "the right thing in the right object/historical person"
d. Meaning of the titles "the Christ" and "the Son of God"
e. John 11 (Martha)
f. John 4 (Samaritan woman)
g. 1 Timothy 1:16
h. Blind man in John 9
i. Paul's conversion
j. The jailer in Acts 16
k. Paul and Peter's presentation of Jesus throughout Acts
l. Miscellaneous verses

III. Pushbacks to "Arguments For"

a. No specific verse or explicit statement
b. "The Gospel" means more than just what is required for saving faith
c. 1 Corinthians 15 - the 500 witnesses should be required too
d. Too complex, too many subpoints, checklist evangelism, laundry list, etc.
e. Someone could believe these things and still not be saved
f. It's a moot point/theory because these doctrines are always presented by everyone anyway

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