Tenets of our Christian Faith: Challenges, Cautions, and Concerns

Erosion of the Biblical View About God's Sovereignty

The concept of an Almighty God who relates to His creation in self-giving love is often unintentionally watered-down by Christians who:


The Problem of Biblical Interpretation, Authority of Scripture

Scripture is a witness to divine revelation, not a source book of data on Israel's history. Its witness points beyond itself and on to a supernatural reality. Therefore, in order for us to come to a true understanding of the basic content of the Scripture, our inward eyes must be opened to the divine message to which the text attest.


Misunderstanding of Total Depravity

To teach that the original sin is biologically inherited throughout humanity is to view sin as a genetic deformity (hence, our sex organs are means of transporting sin). To make it biological is to render it excusable. Sin is basically a spiritual, not a natural, defilement even though it infects every part of our nature.


The Deity of Jesus Christ: Bounding Christ on Earth vs. Bounding Christ in Heaven

Two heresies today, one asserts Jesus to be only a historical person, and the second asserts that the Christ is a Spirit who transcends time and space. The truth is that Jesus Christ - the object of our faith and of biblical faith - is Himself very much God and very man man.


Removing the Conditional Nature From Substitutionary Atonement

For the most part, today the traditional meaning of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross has been drastically altered. Some have rejected the concept of propitiation (His death being the satisfactory payment for our sin) on the grounds that God's holiness does not need to be propitiated (satisfied), but only revealed. So, consequently they say that the sacrifice of Christ is the mediation of God's forgiveness (guilt cancelled) to the world, and not a conditional necessity (for turning away wrath). They go on to say that only humanity needs to be reconciled to God (cancelling guilt), and that God being pure love is already reconciled to His creation (no wrath to turn away).

Unfortunately, to believe such makes Christ solely the representative of God (upon the cross), rather than the substitute for humanity (for the wages of sin). The truth is that outside of Christ (and His grace - John 1:14, 17), God is wrathful. God is loving towards all in that He elected all to be in Christ, yet His wrath awaits those who rejects His election (John 3:16-17). The substitutionary atonement simply means that God takes upon Himself His own wrath out of His boundless love. The cross of Jesus Christ is to be regarded as both the condition as well as the revelation and mediation of divine forgiveness.


Confusing Salvation By Grace with Natural Goodness and/or Natural Knowledge

The classical debate on the relation of grace and nature has been revived by philosophies and theologies of a natural bent. For them salvific grace is a spiritual dimension or creative force within nature. They teach that grace (goodness) does not build on nature but transfigures it from within so that humanity is not so much elevated above the world as united with the ground and depth of the world.

The truth is that salvific grace is not a universal life-force, but rather the personal favor of God that results in salvation. It does not simply enable a person to choose good, rather it transforms the being of a person so that he can do nothing but follow a particular course open to him by God. You see, grace does not simply add on to nature, nor is it a creative energy within nature. Instead, salvific grace radically alters nature so that the person becomes a new creature. It is both superhuman as well as supernatural. It is as much above natural affection as above natural law. To attribute salvation to natural goodness, or to attribute revelation on to natural knowledge is failure to grasp both the "sinfulness of sin" and the "graciousness of grace."


Enemies to "Faith Alone"