> One does not have to have all his theology correct to be a Christian.
> (I am not saying this applies to GC.)
> "whoever believeth on Him has eternal life." i.e. there is a
> minimum amount
> of knowledge that is acquired that converts a person. They do not need to
> know anything about Arminianism etc.
Hi, Berj -
I want to make sure you know that I am NOT saying that a regenerate person has to know anything about Arminianism! It really doesn't matter if a person has ever heard of the terms "Arminianism" or "Calvinism" or even "the Doctrines of Grace." What matters is this: Does the person believe the GOSPEL? "Whoever believeth on Him has eternal life." So what does it mean to believe on Him? That's really what matters. To believe on Him means to believe in the PERSON and the WORK of Jesus Christ. That is what makes up the gospel. If someone is wrong about the PERSON of Jesus Christ, that person does not believe the gospel. If someone is wrong about the WORK of Jesus Christ, that person does not believe the gospel. You wrote, "One does not have to have all his theology correct to be a Christian." What all Christians DO have correct is the gospel. (Note that belief of the gospel is not a CONDITION or PREREQUISITE of regeneration; it is a NECESSARY and IMMEDIATE FRUIT of regeneration. See the article "Doctrinal Regeneration" at www.outsidethecamp.org/doctregen.htm )
So what does it mean to believe in the PERSON of Christ? Very simply, it means to believe that Jesus Christ is the God-Man Mediator.
And what does it mean to believe in the WORK of Christ? Very simply, it means to believe that Jesus Christ, as a representative and substitute, by His perfect life and atoning death, established a righteousness that ensures the salvation of all whom He represented.
To believe the gospel means to believe in salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone. It means to believe that salvation is conditioned on the work of Jesus Christ alone. It means to believe that the work of Christ alone is what makes the difference between salvation and damnation.
Now let's think of the universal atonement advocates for a minute. What do they believe regarding the WORK of Christ? Do they believe that it is the work of Christ alone that makes the difference between salvation and damnation? No. They believe that it is the work of the SINNER that makes the difference between salvation and damnation. They do not believe the gospel of salvation conditioned on the work of Christ alone; instead, they believe a false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner.
I hope this helps.
To God alone be the glory,
<< By your logic then, all Christians must hold to 100% correct doctrines! Who does know all the correct doctrines 100% and who is going to decide what they are?? (Isn't that why we have all the denominations??!) >>
What? By my logic? Since when did I say or even imply that all Christians must hold 100% correct doctrines? How do you logically jump (or how do you say I logically jump) from "all who believe in universal atonement are lost" to "all who believe any incorrect doctrines are lost"? Quite a leap. OF COURSE Christians can be in error in many doctrines. I have said nothing that would even come close to saying that Christians are perfect in all their doctrines. Christians can be in error on things like eschatology, ecclesiology, baptism, etc. What they will NOT be in error on is the PERSON and WORK of Christ, which are essential components of the GOSPEL.
<< You seem to begin on the assumption that if one has any (untrue) beliefs only then is he lost. >>
ANY untrue beliefs? How in the world did you come up with that? I was talking about a specific belief in universal atonement. A belief in universal atonement strikes at the very heart of the gospel. You do not know the difference between essential gospel doctrines and non-gospel doctrines.
Let's use YOUR logic now. Suppose I say that everyone who believes that Jesus is not God is unregenerate. According to you, this would be the same as my saying that all Christians must hold to 100% correct doctrines and that if one has any untrue beliefs, he is lost. Make sense? Of course not.
There are some doctrines that EVERY CHRISTIAN believes. The deity of Christ is one doctrine that EVERY CHRISTIAN believes. The efficacious atonement of Christ is one doctrine that EVERY CHRISTIAN believes. There are some doctrines that NOT every Christian believes; these doctrines that not every Christian believes are NOT essential gospel doctrines. Get it?
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