The battle lines used to seem so clear. Religion taught that we earned favour with God by “being good” or “doing good works”. Christianity, on the other hand, taught that we received favour from God by grace, through faith. Ephesians 2:8-9. QED.
I have previously posted on the various views christians have on who will be saved (Can only christians be saved?). The exclusivists say only those who specifically believe in Jesus. The universalists say everyone, eventually. And the inclusivists say anyone who follows whatever light they have been given. Recently I came across a quote that […]
Evangelical christianity has historically had a strong emphasis on personal salvation, which it sees as coming from repentance and faith in Jesus’ atoning work on the cross. This is generally seen as the main purpose of Jesus’ life and death. This basic evangelical teaching can be drawn from the letters of Paul (although some theologians […]
I don’t believe in labelling myself, apart from being a follower of Jesus – Paul points out the dangers of this in 1 Corinthians 1-3. But it remains true that my formative years as a christian were within a moderate, moderately reformed, evangelical church. And I am very thankful for that time. But evangelicalism is […]
Almost exactly a year ago, I posted on the meaning of the word “gospel” (Good news?) and prepared a more detailed page on what seems to me to be a better understanding of the core of our faith and message (What message?). I still think this is one of the most misunderstood aspects of christianity, […]
Another common argument used against christian belief is that the New Testament is unreliable and historically inaccurate. The argument focuses on a number of apparent inconsistencies in the gospel accounts, which, it is said, make the accounts unbelievable. Is there any substance to these claims?
Bart Ehrman, a respected New Testament scholar who is not a christian, has recently written: “Jesus is best understood as a Jewish apocalypticist from the backwaters of a rural part of the Roman empire, a Jewish preacher who got on the wrong side of the law and was executed for crimes against the state, how […]
It doesn’t take long before a thoughtful Bible reader comes across some rather odd and nasty things, especially in the Old Testament. And non-believers use the odd and nasty things as a weapon against christians: “How can you believe in a God who is genocidal?” they might say. What are we to make of these […]
Whatever christians disagree on, we all pretty much agree that Jesus’ life on earth was pivotal in world history. But what was the purpose of his life? On that, you’ll get some different answers.
Not only did Jesus re-interpret many Old Testament passages (see Interpreting the Old Testament), but he sometimes undermined the authority of the Old Testament. This has some interesting implications.