Monday, August 23, 2010

Two Posts to Read on the Trinity??? How fun!

Today I came across two separate posts on the Trinity.  Brett Kunkle posted a video on the definition and rationality of the Trinity, and Fred Sanders posted about his new book on the Trinity, with an excerpt from his first chapter.

I found both posts enjoyable and informative, although they took entirely different approaches.  Kunkle aims to help educate students in the definition of the Trinity, while Sanders seems to most tackle the methodology of our learning of the Trinity in his post.

Either way, both posts are attempting to clarify a deep theological truth of the Christian faith.  Christianity rests upon the idea of the Trinity and we need more people to help explain what it is, and how it affects every day life.

Friday, August 20, 2010

It is reasonable to believe in God. Conclusion

The End of a Long Road
Alright, it took me a little longer than I had projected to finish my short discussion on the reasonableness of belief in the existence of God.  Somehow, though its finished.  One last thing, lets wrap it up.

We began the series with my assertion that a very good case for the existence of God can be made cumulatively.  That is, these arguments strengthen each other, but all of them do not fall if one of them falls.

Next, I issued the evidence put forth by the Kalam Cosmological argument,  with some of the Scientific evidence supporting its claims.

In review, the basic argument goes like this:
1.  Everything that begins to exist has a cause
2.  The Universe began to exist
3.  Therefore, the Universe has a cause

Now, this did not prove the existence of God necessarily, but it did have some startling implications.  This cause is spaceless, timeless, immaterial, and personal.

After the Kalam argument, my next two posts were Teleological arguments, or arguments from purpose or design.

The first post draws evidence from the complexity of the universe, and it is inconceivable to believe it happened to be this way out of luck.  It would take a designer for all of the intricacies to be just right.

But, if that were not enough, the next post explains we find life is also too intricate to arise without a purpose.  Life is irreducibly complex, and could not just happen randomly, or in small steps.

I then moved to show evidence from the existence of an objective moral law.  Our legislation requires a law giver, why would a moral law be any different.

Lastly, I threw in a few more short arguments I think fun and helpful for belief in God.

Individually, the arguments are suggestive.  Together, as a cumulative case, they make belief in God a completely reasonable stance.

The question becomes, "Which God?"

I suggest starting that search with Christianity.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation? 15 Passages

Is Baptism a necessary condition for one to be saved?  Scripture declares, no!  Here are 15 clear passages showing this:

Romans 10:9 (Confess with your mouth, and believe in your heart Jesus is Lord, you will be saved)
1 Cor 1:13-17 (Paul says God did not send him to baptize, but preach the Gospel.  This shows the Gospel and Baptism are two different things.)
Eph. 2:8-9; Philipians 3:9; Gal 2:16; Rom 3 (We are saved by faith, as a gift from God, not works)
1 Cor 15:1-4 (A summary of the Gospel, with no attachment to baptism)
Acts 15; Rom 4 (No outward act is necessary for salvation)
Acts 3:12-26 (Peter doesn't mention baptism as a part of his gospel message)
Luke 7:37-50; Matthew 9:2; Luke 18:13-14; Luke 23:43 (People saved apart from baptism)
Acts 10:44-48 (Many people are saved before being baptized)

Baptism is the normal obedience of one who has trusted in Christ.  Because Scripture asks us to be baptized, anyone who is a Christ follower will react to their salvation by obeying Scripture's request for a baptism.  This outward sign does not create inner transformation, instead it shows inner transformation.

For more on this check here, here, here and if you still want more here.  These sites have some good reasons why verses commonly used for Baptismal Regeneration (baptism is necessary for salvation) are not saying baptism is required for salvation.