Illogical and Incoherent Thinking and Theology

This week, a church member sent me a link to this article: “Americans Love God and the Bible, Are Fuzzy on the Details.” In this article, Lifeway, a division of the Southern Baptist Convention, surveyed thousands of people to determine if they agree, disagree or are neutral to certain statements.  The results are disconcerting and reflect problems in the way people think in America.  For example, researchers identified that “7 in 10 say there’s only one true God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—two-thirds say God accepts the worship of all faiths.”  These kinds of answers reflect confusion and a lack of clarity. It seems Americans no longer feel the need to be coherent in their thinking.  The same person often voices ideas that are incompatible and conflicting. Christians must recognize that our God is not the author of confusion. We must be able to articulate what we believe to be true and why in a way that is defensible and reasonable. Let me give you one example of what I mean.

Orthodox Christians believe that Christ Jesus is the only way to the Father. We believe that when Jesus said he was ‘the way’ he meant ‘the way’ and not a way. Christians often say things that do not reflect confidence in this truth.  In reality, we often hope in some crazy way that there is a backdoor of good works or decent living so that our Mormon neighbor or Muslim coworker doesn’t have to go to hell.  We don’t realize the theological implications of our dualistic thinking.

If there is a plan B or plan C to salvation, that is to say, multiple roads that all lead to heaven; then we must ask this question: ‘Why did God send his only begotten Son to a Roman cross?' 'Why did Jesus have to endure God’s wrath for the sins of the whole world, if there is another way to heaven?’ If I say ‘yes’ Muslims can find God through the Islamic faith, then why did Jesus have to suffer? Why did he have to die? Why was he whipped, scarred, beaten, abused, and mocked? It doesn’t make sense. And it needs to make sense. It must make sense because the very character and nature of the Creator God are at stake. If I hold to a theological position that is conflicting and incompatible, my God is more like a human and less like the Sovereign Divine being of the Universe.

When I explain why Christ had to die and when I articulate the reality that Christ perfectly kept the law of God to be the ultimate Lamb of God, I am presenting tenants of truth that serve as foundational stones to a theological system that is dependent upon particular truths undergirding each other.  Jesus gave his life as an act of love from the entire Godhead. Jesus experienced incompressible wrath from God to satisfy God’s righteous indignation against sin. These ideas are not conflicting; they complement each other.

Check your thinking. Demand nothing but the best from yourself. Think about what you believe to be true and insist upon a system of faith that is rational, defendable, coherent, Christo-centric and Biblically sound. To be Christian, it must be 100% in compliance with the Apostle’s doctrine of the first-century church as revealed in the NT.

Is Isaiah 54:17 meant for Christians today?

Is Isaiah 54:17 meant for Christians today? Can we say no weapon formed against us will prosper? I was asked this question via email and here is my answer:

No Isaiah 54:17 is not a promise that individual Christians can claim and somehow think that the bullet will not be effective against them. Let me remind you that God permitted Stephen to die of stoning in Acts chapter 7. So the final stone that knocked the life out of him did prosper. In fact, nearly all the apostles died for the faith--some weapon meant to harm them prospered.  Read the devotion on this web page:

Now notice how there is some truth packed throughout the page, but the author did not consider to whom was the promise given. In Isaiah 54 the promise is given to corporate Israel.  Notice how the web page author claims nothing will harm the believer. How is she using ‘harm’?  Is she using 'harm' in the sense that no matter what happens to your physical body you are secure in Christ? Or is she using it like the lion will not be able to rip the arm off of the Christian in the Roman coliseums Nero?  The believer is secure in Christ, but Christ did not promise that a believer's body will not be destroyed or harmed. Christ’s body was crucified, and he died. Furthermore, he told his apostles to expect the same for themselves. Read Matthew 24 slowly and carefully and remember Jesus was talking to followers.

We know weapons formed against Christians are being effective in Iraq. Even today as I am writing this note Christians are being put to death for their faith in Christ.  Are you familiar with the ministry Voice of the Martyrs? ( )  Spend some time on that website and tell me weapons are not prospering in the hands of those who would seek to kill and destroy Christians.

If you want a promise to claim that applies to you, if you believe, read John 10.  John 10 is packed full of promises from Christians can claim, and John 10 provides clarity as to who genuine sheep are.  For they hear his voice and follow the true shepherd and bishop of our souls.

The promise you have as a Christians is the promise of life found in 2 Timothy 1:1!