Monday, November 28, 2005

Basics of Salvation

On Scot McKnight's blog there is a discussion about the "tug of war" between evangelicalism and the Emerging Movement over how the EM should be defined. (You can read the discussion here.) I made the following comment:

I don’t expect the EM to have a detailed statement of theology on every issue, such as women in ministry or the character of the end times, but it is not unreasonable to expect ANY Christian group to be able to agree on certain basic doctrines (things like the nature of Jesus, the means of salvation, and the nature of the Bible) and be willing to define their beliefs on such core doctrines. Even if we move “across the borders” there are certain core doctrines that we should be able to unite around.

Scott M (not Scot McKnight) made the following response to my comment:

I just want to point out that one of the things you define as a “basic” doctrine, the means of salvation is, in fact, something that (in my mind) indisputable “Christian” groups have disputed over. While all agree it involves Jesus, the specifics have varied widely. So I see some danger in too narrow a perspective.

My response was:
I maintain that the means of salvation is a basic doctrine. This particular issue is not directly pertinent to the topic at hand, so I don’t feel that I should clutter up the post with a discussion of various views of salvation. My point was that there are certain basics about the nature of salvation that are essential. We can disagree on other issues related to salvation, but on the basics there should be consensus.

Here is the question for discussion: Are there certain basics about the means of salvation that are essential doctrine for all Christians to agree on? If so, what are those basics?

Here's my list of the non-negotiable basics about the means of salvation:
  1. Salvation cannot be achieved by any human goodness, works, or effort. Salvation is not attained through religion, baptism, church membership, or partaking of any sacraments. It is entirely the result of God's grace.
  2. Faith in Jesus Christ is the means by which we receive God's saving grace.
  3. Salvation was made possible by Jesus' sinless life, His death, and His physical resurrection.

Remember, we're focusing on the means of salvation, rather than the broad implications of what salvation is all about.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Well, after commenting on several other blogs during the past year, I've finally created my own blog. The real reason I created it was so I could post comments on other blogs that require a Blogger account. I don't know how regularly I'll post on here (creative writing is not my strength), but as I become more disciplined I will probably post more regularly, and maybe I'll post something that somebody else might be interested in reading.

You may be wondering why I titled this blog "The View from the Hill." There are two reasons, I suppose:

  1. I am a graduate of Western Kentucky University, home of the Hilltoppers! And yes, the name accurately describes the campus (especially Cherry Hall, where most of my classes as a history major were).
  2. Climbing a hill can be a metaphor for going through life. Hopefully as I progress through my life I will continue to grow closer to God and become more like Christ.

So if anyone is actually reading this, post a comment to let me know. The more comments I have, the more likely it will be that I will try to make other, more substantive, posts.