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Nicholas Olsen

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« on: January 09, 2012, 09:40:51 pm »
Currently i am in a little bit of a debate with my Campus Crusade leader because i simply posted this http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-christian-mans-evolution&page=1  following with.... "Learn the controversy"

Now i lean towards a vague interpretation of Genesis in terms of the science that is in there, but i certainly do not know what to really believe about it. Apparently the CC leader says "When God saves someone, it's one thing to struggle with an idea but be led to the truth, but it's a whole different thing if someone, even in the midst of struggling, comes out believing doctrines of demons and God will not let His children in the end believe lies about Himself. Press on, don't get wrapped up in silly myths, as the apostle Paul would say."

I'm not so worried about how to interpret genesis, but that comment saying saved Christians won't believe lies about Himself really strikes me. You can honestly be dishonest without knowing it, but believing on Jesus's life, death and resurrection seems to be minimized in this case.

I'd like to know 2 things on a Biblical basis.
1. Must a saved Christian believe every "correct" doctrine mentioned in the Bible?
2. Is it Biblical that saved Christian will be protected from believing lies about Himself?

If there is 1 thing i know about (my?) CC leader is that he makes assumptions on certain phrases and words. I don't know exactly what he means, but i feel like i'm missing it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyb7SQefYMA

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idunno

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« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2012, 12:28:08 am »
1. If every "correct" doctrine is determined by your CC leader then probably not.

   

   2. I don't think so, most of Paul's letters were written to dispel lies that the early church bought into.

   

   What do you think about ID and Craig's debate with Ayala?
“...these things- the beauty, the memory of our past- …are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never visited.”
- Clive

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Tetelestai

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« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2012, 12:42:47 am »
Hi Sonick

Let me take a gander at the two points you raise:

1. I certainly don't believe so. Paul writes that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ (I'm translating freely from my native tongue so it may read a little strange). He doesn't add a requirement that "...and believe the correct doctrine". Anything that calls for Jesus-plus-something to be saved is missing the enormity of God's grace.

Regarding correct doctrine, much of the early church and the writings contained of that period in the Bible shows us that there was lots of conflict on doctrine. Think of Paul arguing with Peter about relevance of the Old Testamentical customs. Paul in his letter to the Corinthians about variuos issues, notably, some of the other early figures' roles - Paul admonishes the Corinthians about being for Paul, Silas or Appolos. I'm sure thorough study of the New Testament will give several examples of issues around doctrine.

Furthermore, who are we, based on my above observation, to narrow down God's grace? I agree with you that the core belief is Jesus's life, death and his ressurection. Adding anything is not bibilical (did that criminal crucified next to Jesus really know all the correct doctrines? Did the travelling Ethihopian we read of in Acts really have a firm grasp on everything after having a conversation of a couple of hours with an apostle?) Sure, searching for the correct doctrine is important but not at the exlcusion of God's grace.

2. This just strikes me as odd. In fact, it is used to justify that the "saved Christian" (are there other types of Christians?) whoever he may be, cannot know anything false and therefore the doctrine he believes must be correct. QED.

Any Christian who believes himself perfect in any way is in trouble. We are reminded time and again in the NT that we must continue to grapple with our old self and our sins. Surely this includes the sin of following incorrect doctrine? Or excluding other believers based on doctrine?

Your intuition that "...saying saved Christians won't believe lies about Himself really strikes me. You can honestly be dishonest without knowing it..." is spot-on in my opinion. As Christians we know that we can deceive ourselves if not careful.

I know you may have much (deserved) respect for your CC leader and he may very well be a better Christian than you or I am but I believe on this (s)he is wrong. In all probability (s)he is saved, same as you and me though!

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Nicholas Olsen

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« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2012, 12:48:06 am »
I'd have to watch the debate, and thanks for the Biblical references of lies. In order to reasonably go about this; I would like to see if Paul thought of them as condemned for believing those lies. This is the type of objection i know i will get.

It's like he somehow makes doctrinal beliefs exempt from being mistaken, but that would make Christians sinless in 1 area and denominations would never exist.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyb7SQefYMA

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idunno

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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2012, 01:29:49 am »
I think another important thing to point out is that the lies that the early church were being fed, say by the gnostics or false brothers, had to do with Christ who is the very core of the CHRISTian faith whereas interpretations of genesis are secondary.
“...these things- the beauty, the memory of our past- …are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never visited.”
- Clive

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FNB - Former non-believer

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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2012, 11:07:19 am »
I'd like to know 2 things on a Biblical basis.
1. Must a saved Christian believe every "correct" doctrine mentioned in the Bible?
2. Is it Biblical that saved Christian will be protected from believing lies about Himself?

If there is 1 thing i know about (my?) CC leader is that he makes assumptions on certain phrases and words. I don't know exactly what he means, but i feel like i'm missing it.

I posted something about how theistic evolution could be true on this other forums site and I got the same response by private message lol… I am pretty sure 1., and 2., are not found in the bible anywhere. Paul warns about being led away by stuff like false doctrines, but I don't think he has anything in mind like your case.

I'll give it some more thought, because there might be instances of the bible which do disprove these. But off the top of my head, you can mention that St. Augustine, probably the greatest Christian theologian who ever lived, revered by the protestant reformers as well, thought they weren't seven literal days.

Also, Paul writes to a lot of Churches and has a lot of complaints about peoples false beliefs, but he still often addresses them as "saints" at the beginning of the letter.

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Nicholas Olsen

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« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2012, 11:43:25 am »
He quotes 2 Timothy 2:23-26 in his defense that God protects Christians from false doctrines, but in my defense. I never said i believed in the theistic evolution but rather that i think it has some credibility due to some context vagueness on Genesis. Yet the CC leader insists that a specific version is required or else it means that I'm not saved because he thinks it's a lie about God.

I'm not sure where the context lies in that passage but everything beforehand in that chapter makes specific instructions about useless chatter. In the last paragraph (which is the quoted verse) it is separated and i see no context to tie it in with believing any doctrines. Verse 25 says that "those oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that god will grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth." If anything that is about non-believers.

This has turned into more than just a creation debate, but whether or not this type of debate is even minuscule compared to others. He claims this is petty and says i can't be saved if i don't believe his interpretation of Genesis. It's not petty and useless chatter if salvation is at stake(from his POV)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyb7SQefYMA

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FNB - Former non-believer

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« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2012, 12:10:24 pm »
Gah, accidentally deleted my comments before I posted them. What I said is essentially that you have shown it's not petty because people lose their faith over evolution, and in fact, I did when I was in 7th grade. He is the one being petty if anything. WLC says Genesis could accommodate evolution, and his only doubts about it are scientific and not biblical. Your friend should also consider Matt. 5:22 more seriously before he goes around telling people they are not saved, and I wonder what CC actually teaches about such actions. I'd have a hard time imagining that they have gotten so big on university campuses while telling people they are unsaved if they so much as question whether Genesis allows for evolution.

Also the 2 Tim passage is talking about people who deny the final resurrection… a far cry from what you are doing.

Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.

(2 Tim 2:16-18, NIV)

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bdsimon

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« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2012, 12:15:00 pm »
Jesus wrote:  And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.' But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, 'Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!'
(Luk 15:27-30)

Read this passage very carefully. The shock of the Gospel is not exclusion of those that we deem to be unfit but rather their inclusion. It is not about perfect doctrine or perfect works but about a perfect savior who welcomes us home and places a ring on our finger and a robe on our back. He welcomes us joyfully in spite of the protests of those that deem us to be unfit.
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

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Nicholas Olsen

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« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2012, 08:33:24 pm »
More controversy over my former CC leader because he now says that evolution destroys the Gospel message. Apparently the "method" of creation is included in the "Gospel message", so if you deny that method of creation then it is grounds for denying the Gospel.

In all the videos i have seen and church services from Nazarene, Lutheran and non-denominational Protestant. I've never heard the method of creation being apart of the Gospel message. The only part i hear about creation is the 1st sin as a history of mankind from Eve to Noah's family to today. How does being in a right relationship with God include the method of creation? I don't deny a 1st sin, so i don't see where this is going.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyb7SQefYMA

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FNB - Former non-believer

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« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2012, 11:29:05 pm »
Sonick92 wrote: More controversy over my former CC leader because he now says that evolution destroys the Gospel message. Apparently the "method" of creation is included in the "Gospel message", so if you deny that method of creation then it is grounds for denying the Gospel.

In all the videos i have seen and church services from Nazarene, Lutheran and non-denominational Protestant. I've never heard the method of creation being apart of the Gospel message. The only part i hear about creation is the 1st sin as a history of mankind from Eve to Noah's family to today. How does being in a right relationship with God include the method of creation? I don't deny a 1st sin, so i don't see where this is going.

Perhaps ask him to define the "gospel message." Most people see it as a message of salvation… something like this: you are a sinner and helpless to save yourself, but Christ has died for your sins and purchased salvation for you if you only believe. Interestingly, some have challenged this such as N.T. Wright and Scot Mcknight, but neither conception of the gospel has to do with evolution. He perhaps thinks you cannot rationally hold to both inerrancy and that Adam was not a literal man. This may be a fair critique, but it doesn't seem to be relevant to the gospel message.

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idunno

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« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2012, 12:06:21 am »
Quote from: Sonick92
More controversy over my former CC leader

Did you get a new one?

Does he realise he's adding requirements for salvation? If I were you I'd press him on these things. As emailestthoume pointed out WLC doesn't believe evolution is true for scientific reasons and I'm of the same opinion,  but I wouldn't say that if someone did believe evolution (at least a theistic version) is true that they couldn't be saved. If you have problems with a scientific theory, come at it from a scientific standpoint not from a section of scripture that is open to alternative interpretations.  

As for a Adam being a literal man, that's a thread for another day.



“...these things- the beauty, the memory of our past- …are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never visited.”
- Clive

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Nicholas Olsen

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« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2012, 12:29:19 am »
He doesn't really have the background knowledge of the claims of his position, because that interpretation lines in with the spiritual nature used in the Bible. He thinks the spiritual nature of things described in the Bible must be mimicked in every way to the physical world.

I can't really understand how he thinks because i've told him my thoughts on Joshua 10 describing how "the sun stood still". The people of the time only saw the sun move and Joshua's army prayed for it to stand still because they wanted sunlight to be out longer than normal. In relative to everything the sun does move, but we revolve around the sun, so in our modern understanding. The sun didn't stand still, so he responds by asking

"When scripture says the sun stood still; you think it didn't stand still?" ...... The army wanted the sun to stay out longer than normal, so they prayed in a way that makes sense to them.

I'm just flabbergasted at the thought that somehow the message of salvation includes "HOW" God created, so in his mind. The person can struggle with the concept, but in the end must believe in a fast creation because Genesis is in no way vague for him. If i were to take out the domino effect of sin, maybe? If i were to say Adam and Eve were the 1st modern "homo-sapiens". I don't see a problem, but where this guy makes these assumptions is really beyond me.

Even AiG's Ken Ham & Jason Lisle in a debate with Walter Kaiser & Hugh Ross has said that you can be dishonest when it comes to creation, but it doesn't prevent you being a Christian.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyb7SQefYMA

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idunno

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« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2012, 12:41:00 am »
Taking it a step further, I would say that belief in inerrancy isn't a requirement for salvation. Has he had any exposure to apologetics?
What's really messed up is when someone is this dogmatic on a campus full of students. It can be a real turn off.

“...these things- the beauty, the memory of our past- …are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never visited.”
- Clive

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« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2012, 12:49:44 am »
Sonick92 wrote: He doesn't really have the background knowledge of the claims of his position, because that interpretation lines in with the spiritual nature used in the Bible. He thinks the spiritual nature of things described in the Bible must be mimicked in every way to the physical world.

I can't really understand how he thinks because i've told him my thoughts on Joshua 10 describing how "the sun stood still". The people of the time only saw the sun move and Joshua's army prayed for it to stand still because they wanted sunlight to be out longer than normal. In relative to everything the sun does move, but we revolve around the sun, so in our modern understanding. The sun didn't stand still, so he responds by asking

"When scripture says the sun stood still; you think it didn't stand still?" ...... The army wanted the sun to stay out longer than normal, so they prayed in a way that makes sense to them.

I'm just flabbergasted at the thought that somehow the message of salvation includes "HOW" God created, so in his mind. The person can struggle with the concept, but in the end must believe in a fast creation because Genesis is in no way vague for him. If i were to take out the domino effect of sin, maybe? If i were to say Adam and Eve were the 1st modern "homo-sapiens". I don't see a problem, but where this guy makes these assumptions is really beyond me.

Even AiG's Ken Ham & Jason Lisle in a debate with Walter Kaiser & Hugh Ross has said that you can be dishonest when it comes to creation, but it doesn't prevent you being a Christian.

I know Wayne Grudem recognizes the use of (I think it is called) phenomenological language in the bible--which includes things like when scripture says "the sun rises," it doesn't make claims as to the movement of the star called the sun relative to the earth (rather than it appearing to rise because the earth turns). I think he may have given Joshua 10 as the example, but I cannot recall.

The message of the gospel, in my view and many others, has nothing to do with evolution or special creation. John Piper is one of the more conservative preachers and theologians, and I am willing to bet that if you check his site: desiringgod.org, he defines the gospel in such a way that claims about these specifics creation are irrelevant.

There are certainly fundamentalists out there that will equate biblical inerrancy, or a literal reading of the bible with Christianity. This is probably what you are dealing with. It may be that he is so closed minded that its not even worth discussing it with. I had some discussions on another forums like yours with your CC leader, and I think I just decided it wasn't worth it. Though, I think a good question I posed that they couldn't answer was: why do you think the earth is round? As there are many verses in the bible that speak of the "four corners of the earth." My point was that they were using something other than just the text in a vacuum to interpret the text. The weight of the textual evidence on an unsympathetic reading is that the earth is flat. However, if you recognize that God uses phenomenological language, and allow the text out of this vacuum, I think you can be rationally justified in holding to a round earth and biblical inerrancy.