Often, when Christians think about loving God, they think of spending sweet time with Him in their devotions or worshipping Him through song in their church. Occasionally, someone will remember Christ’s statement, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” But did you know that there are no less than 18 verses of Scripture which directly correlate love with obedience? This correlation has many applications in our walk with the Lord as well as in other areas like parenting and leadership. There is much that could be said about this correlation, but let me just present the list itself, and see if any interesting conversations develop:
their savior. Those given to Jesus by the Father were not the Calvinist elect, but rather they were the ones who had already believed the Old Testament and thus were followers of the Father before they met the Son. The Calvinist that I was debating introduced John 10:26 as an argument against my view of John 6, and I’d like to share my response with you as well.
I was listening to Dr. James White’s podcast the other day and heard him defending the Calvinist TULIP and criticizing other floral acrostics attempting to provide a contrasting view of salvation. I’ve always disagreed with the doctrines of Calvinism, but I’ve never attempted to organize my disagreement into a simple acrostic which could stand toe-to-toe with the TULIP. That is, I’ve never done so before now. While listening to Dr. White’s podcast, I came up with a simple acrostic that I think defeats the TULIP with ease.
The idea that the lost will suffer eternal punishment has often been questioned by Christians who doubt that a God of mercy would condone such cruelty. Instead, they often come up with other ideas about the punishment of the lost such as the idea that they will simply be annihilated or that they will only suffer for a period of time before being given another opportunity to turn to God. There are several logical problems with attempting to reconcile either of these views to the accounts of Scripture, but in order to see that, we must actually know what the Scripture says about the punishment of the lost. Unfortunately, I have discovered that very few Christians have ever actually studied this aspect of God’s Word.
Over the years, I have had at least as many disagreements with other Christians as I have had with non-Christians, and it is disappointing to look back and see how often those disagreements have become disagreeable. I've been cursed, ridiculed, smeared and dismissed in far more Christian forums than in non-Christian forums. In fact, I was recently banned from two apologetics associations because my personal view of the Scriptural teaching on a particular issue was more conservative than they were willing to contemplate.
In the book The Faiths of the Founding Fathers, Christian historian David Holmes made the following statement about John Adams:
Like many of his contemporaries, he brought the religion in which he was raised into the court of his reason and common sense and judged it by what he found ... "Let the human mind loose," Adams once wrote in an outburst of Enlightenment passion. "It must be loosed; it will be loose. Superstition and despotism cannot confine it." He followed these words with the assertion that Christianity would surely triumph if the human mind were loosed. This statement indicates that Adams belongs somewhere in the category of Unitarian Christian or Christian Deist.
In yesterday’s article, I presented a view of the inspiration of Scripture which I think is more consistent with the actual contents of Scripture than any other view. In considering that view, we looked at several statements that both Peter and Paul made about their writings. Today, I’d like to look at a few pieces of circumstantial evidence which support that view.
Over the past couple of days, I’ve been doing a lot of reading on the topic of the inspiration of Scripture. This is a subject that I had always viewed in a more or less straightforward manner. I’ve been reading and studying the Bible for as long as I can remember, and I sort of developed a view of inspiration along the way. In all my years of study, I never found any reason to change my view on this issue, and now, after reading several books and articles on the subject, I still have not found any reason to change. I have discovered, however, that many renowned Christian philosophers have published views on this subject which differ from my own. In light of that, I decided to put my view of inspiration into writing and submit it to my readers for their consideration.
In my last article, I explained why I believe that Mormons are not Christians. After posting that article, I received a response from a young lady named Katie who objected to some of the things that I wrote. Katie's response is available in the comment section of the previous article, but let me copy it here to save you the trouble of clicking the link:
I found your blog post to be an interesting read, being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints myself. However, there are some flaws in your argument.
First, as a writer, it is untactful to pick and choose from another article rather than do the original research yourself. I highly recommend any of Mcconkie's work, and you should really quote that rather than another article as it is superfluous. It also takes away some of the credit being given to you as a writer. I have written and been published at the high school and the university level if you have more questions on this.
Secondly, the doctrine of the Atonement is difficult to grasp in any religion. The mere fact that a man so perfect and so good was willing to endure such pain, misery, loneliness, and criticism for me is unfathomable. The church doctrine is that every one will have eternal life but there are different degrees of glory that everyone can obtain. Jesus died so that everyone may be saved by grace, but those with the knowledge of the truth must also be saved by their actions. Those with the knowledge of Jesus Christ and God the Father are held to a different standard than those who never had the opportunity to receive the truth. How would it be fair to hold them to the same standards simply because they were born in an area that did not have the Gospel?
Thirdly, no where in your examples does it explicitly say that Christ did not die for our sins, because he did. Man is not perfect due to the fall of Adam. In order for us to return to Heaven to be with our Heavenly Father, Christ had to atone for the world's sins. This is basic Christian doctrine, and is also basic LDS doctrine.
I highly recommend visiting Mormon.org. Not only are these basic questions answered, but you can also ask the missionaries questions and arrange a meeting. In the future, before you discredit a religion entirely, please do actual research, so that others may have the opportunity to discern the truth from false claims for themselves. Thank you, and have a blessed night!
I wrote a reply to Katie, but it was far too long to be posted in the comment section, so I decided to post it as today's blog post instead. Here is what I wrote back to Katie:
Over the years, I have heard many reasons given by sincere Christians in an attempt to explain why Mormons are not deserving of that label. Some say that Mormons are not Christians because they do not have an accurate understanding of who God is. Others say that Mormons are not Christians because they do not have an accurate understanding of who Jesus is. Still others claim that a Mormon cannot be a Christian because he does not have an accurate understanding of the Word of God. In essence, these and almost every other reason that I have heard can be stated more simply as: Mormons are not Christians because they do not follow sound doctrine. This seems to be why most Christians reject Mormonism as a false gospel.
But let's take a moment to consider the issue in light of Scripture. Does the Bible teach that we obtain salvation by following sound doctrine? Does it teach that one must have an accurate understanding of God, Jesus and the Bible in order to become a Christian? Is it even possible for us as mere mortals to have an accurate understanding of the things of God? The answer to each of these questions is, no. The Bible teaches that there is only one way to become a Christian, and it is not through adherence to a particular set of doctrines. According to the Bible, one becomes a Christian by accepting the truth of the Gospel which is spelled out for us in I Corinthians 15:3-4.
Bill Fortenberry is a Christian philosopher and historian in Birmingham, AL. Bill's work has been cited in several legal journals, and he has appeared as a guest on shows including The Dr. Gina Show, The Michael Hart Show, and Real Science Radio.
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"Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning." (Proverbs 9:9)