Most Protestants are familiar with the five Solae of the Reformation, but what many are not familiar with are some of the supporting doctrines that dogmatically support the big five. One such doctrine is the Perspicuity, or clarity, of Scripture. It is commonly misunderstood, and I wanted to shed some light on the topic.
An excellent video answering this common straw-man argument by a member of the Calvinist Corner.
I've been dealing with lots of problems theologically as I've been interacting with other Christians on the web lately, and I figured that I would identify what I see to be the most damaging and problematic issues that we are dealing with currently. (These do not represent a specific order, only that there are ten of them, and that they are the top).
I want to start out by saying a few things:
Hello, I am a resident of the greater Boston Area. I heard what you did today, and I will be honest with you, my initial reaction to your heinous crime was disgust, anger, and hatred. That's because just like you, I'm a sinner who desperately needs a savior. As my wife and I rushed home to the relative (perhaps illusory) safety of our apartment my mind began to think of all of the people who you hurt, some of whom you killed. Men, women... children. People who were just trying to celebrate a day where we overthrew those who were oppressing us to give way to freedom, ironically... probably the same kind of sentiments that are going to end up driving your reasons for doing this. I became angrier and angrier.
Alright, bear with me on this one... it's a thought in motion.
I've been reading a lot of Karl Barth lately. Reformed folks... don't panic! I still believe that the Bible is the Word of God, I'm not a universalist, and it was originally Karl Barth who lead me to Reformed theology, I sincerely doubt that it will be Karl Barth who leads me away from it. Why reading Barth has led me to this post should become clear in a bit.
I was recently challenged as I thought about apologetics and was reading 1 Peter. I was reading chapter 3 where the famous verse 15 gives us the apologetic mandate.
Ok, brief recap of the situation. CEO of Chick-fil-A, a blatantly Christian company, made some remarks regarding his personal views on gay marriage and affirmed that his company is a traditional company that supports traditional marriage. Those who support gay marriage rights freaked out and accused Chick-fil-A of discrimination and began to organize boycotts and other demonstrations. Those who are opposed to gay marriage rights, led by Mike Huckabee, organized a support day for Chick-fil-A in which supporters would dine at the restaurant. The support day was a huge success, with millions showing up to support the chain's traditional stances.
Natural Theology, is a branch of theology that is defined as one that is "based on reason and ordinary experience." (Wikipedia) It tends to be highly philosophical in nature, and often makes little or no use of the Biblical texts as a foundation for its argumentation (although, it often points to a Biblical verse to validate the conclusion, but the passage itself is not typically used as a supporting part of the argument. This is in contrast with Revealed Theology which is based on scripture.
Today I gained a new appreciation of the concept of Resurrection. I opened what I thought was a devotional e-mail about Easter, and was shocked to hear of the death of a dear friend of mine.