Monday, April 20, 2015

How Does Someone Become a Christian?

Recently, a friend gave me two pamphlets and asked for my opinion of them. Both focus on what it means to become a Christian, and I would classify both as Evangelical Protestant documents. But they still have a good deal of difference between them, representing disagreement that exists between a number of churches (and even members of the same churches) under the wide banner of Evangelical Christianity. As is so often the case when it comes to my relations to other Christians, I do not completely agree or disagree with either of the positions presented by them. I also know I cannot present my own opinion in such a way that it will be completely satisfying to everyone else. Nevertheless, I intend to give my best attempt. I am going to go over each of these documents, specifically pointing out the areas I would criticize, and then I will conclude by presenting my own synthesis of what I consider to be their best ideas and my own ideas for what it means to become a Christian.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Why In Fact Did Jesus Die?

 This article shared by one of the members of the Facebook group is interesting enough, so far as it goes, and I hope everyone will take a few moments to read it. Unfortunately, it does not actually mention an answer to its own question. Why did Jesus die on a cross? It holds a theory known to me as the "New Perspective on Paul," which holds that the death of Jesus Christ was not substitutionary (ironically, the author of the piece calls the older view "relatively recent"). The New Perspective is an example of eisegesis, reading the right answer into the text. A number of verses in the Bible, such as Matthew 20:28, Romans 5:1-11, and Colossians 2:11-16 as a very limited sample, go to show that Christ's death actually accomplished something. The book of Hebrews even goes to great lengths to explain this, particularly in Chapters 9 and 10.