?? Following Jesus’ death and resurrection, Peter declared: Act 2:38 Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
And the question is: WHY would p-ists think otherwise?
Its too easy to suggest that the reason for a different interpretation is because one cannot ‘think outside of the box’. Years ago, I remember someone lending me a book which suggested that the NT narratives were all actually a coded recipe for magic mushrooms (it was the 70s). I didn’t reject it because I was incapable of thinking outside of the box (or orthodoxy), I rejected it because it IMO it was a very poor analysis of the writings under scrutiny.
The Bible can be read in TWO disciplines. As theology (which we extract from the readings). Or as literature. If I read the Bible as literature…unless they are using, what I consider to be figurative or metaphorical language…the meaning of what is being said - is rather straightforward. If someone reads something else into it - as literature…I wonder where they are coming from. Theology is what is extracted, from reading the Bible as literature.
And this article was published, in the Patheos Evangelical newsletter today.
Let me quote a bit - from the article:
Prof. McClymond says that there are many different theological approaches to universalism. A major strain is from Gnosticism and esoteric Christianity, which teaches that the soul is a spark of the Divine. Thus, at death, the spark joins the whole. As he says, there isn’t really a need for Christ, grace, redemption, or faith.
Some universalists, says Prof. McClymond, believe there is some kind of purgation after death, in which the soul is purified and then allowed into Heaven. Some believe the lost are simply annihilated, not punished eternally, though I’m not sure that is actually universalism. Others believe Heaven is everyone’s destiny, despite their sin or unbelief.
Calvinist universalists can just say that God elects everyone. Arminian universalists can say that everyone will choose Christ, even after death. Lutheran universalists, I suppose, can say that since Christ atoned for the sins of the whole world, the whole world is forgiven (holding to “objective justification” without “subjective justification”).
Liberals, of course, leave out all of the unpleasant teachings of Christianity. But even conservatives, these days, don’t have much to say about “fire and brimstone.” Evangelicals tend to believe in Hell and want to save people from it, but even they draw back from mentioning it.
Since the article mentions Esoteric Christianity, I offer up this:
Let me also offer up an annihilation articles, the quoted text might allude to:
Given my ignorance of this view that Davo says I should find simple to decipher, I’m not the one to answer this. But my sense is that sincerely promoting this view of grace as so unconditional is partly reinforced by an understandable reaction against the judgmental tendencies of more traditional believers, an attempt to take seriously the theme of a profound substitutional transaction already accomplished in the atonement, feeling that requiring human response pushes us back to a self-righteous works posture, and sensing that what can most transform our hearts and approach is proclaiming the magnificence of a gracious reconciliation already unconditionally complete. I.e. amid our struggles, someone like Chad is warmly trying to preserve what he perceives to be the most beautiful and needed Good News. And I resonate with much of that desire.
And I sense that all this is buttressed by recognizing how much Jesus’ focus was on fulfilling the promises to Israel, and the amount of futuristic texts that can be seen as already realized eschatology (esp. in AD70), such that no divine dealings with the problem of sinful rebellion can appear to remain yet unfinished for the future. Frankly, I think N.T. Wright’s development of these latter realities is part of why I was interested in trying to grasp where extending such interpretations leads. Varying ways to unite the pieces of the puzzle commend themselves to each of us.
Bob, i appreciate your extensive input in this thread. May i ask what specifically you studied re “Biblical theology”? To what levels did you attain in languages such as Koine Greek, OT Hebrew, ancient Latin? I now wish i had studied some of these lingos instead of French, etc, when in high school & college. Merci ;
A gracious and insightful answer, thanks Bob.
Thanks Bob, appreciate the kudos, we’ll leave it there. I’ll probably not get any further but love you and appreciate you none the less.
Church of Christ?
You seem to be saying that since Christ did everything necessary for each to be acceptable to the Father then it is unnecessary for us to repent (change our minds about how we have been living). Even if we have spent our lives torturing and killing and raping people, we don’t need to change, for we will all be acceptable to God because Jesus did everything that is necessary to be acceptable to God. Though we go on doing evil—harming or destroying others, God doesn’t see this any longer. When He looks at us, He no longer sees our sin but Christ’s righteousness and we are now acceptable to God no matter what evil we continue to do. Would this be an accurate summary of your belief?
But you seem to be somehow failing to realize that GOD made us the way we are.
So would you Randy sin, (whatever that may be) if you thought you could?
I don’t know what you mean by this statement Chad.
Only if I get an OFFICIAL license from heaven.
Look it up as a denomination in the USA.
Well, here’s what the non-denominational site, Got Questions - has to say. What part of their answer, should Pilgrim pay attention to?
Do you really have NO idea about that, MM? I think for starters that the works of the flesh might be a good beginning:
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: [a]adultery, [b]fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, [c]murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
I see those things all around me, and alas, some withing me. They all need repentance. IMO bro.