A couple of recent threads got me to thinking: Putting aside all of the various creeds, confessions and statements of faith for the moment, what are the absolute bottom-line Christian essentials? How simple could someone’s theology be and still qualify as Christian? When I was with Campus Crusade for Christ almost 50 years ago, we won souls (or at least thought we did) with the Four Spiritual Laws: God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life. Man is sinful and separated from God. Therefore, he cannot know and experience God’s love and plan for his life. Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin. Through Him you can know and experience God’s love and plan for your life. We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives. A mere 77 words, but you will find even these criticized on the Internet as “terribly flawed,” “unbiblical” and “human trickery.” Perhaps my own 110 words: You are a created being in a created universe, wholly dependent on the creator God. God is perfectly holy, just and loving. You and other humans have breached your relationship with God through disobedience and unrighteousness. You cannot repair the breach through your own efforts. God offers forgiveness and reconciliation through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. You can receive forgiveness and participate in the reconciliation by acknowledging and repenting of your disobedience and unrighteousness, prayerfully accepting God’s offer of forgiveness, asking the Holy Spirit to transform your life, being baptized, and prayerfully doing your best to follow the teachings of Jesus as set forth in the four gospels. What if the above was someone’s entire theology? His entire Christian life was those 110 words and doing or at least sincerely attempting to do what they describe. Would he (or she) be a Christian? The above says nothing about the inerrancy of the Bible, Adam and Eve, predestination, the Trinity, the divinity of Jesus, the Virgin Birth, the doctrine of Hell, or other doctrines that Christians love to wrangle over. Depending on one’s view of the Bible and how one interprets the biblical passages, perhaps there is a “probably correct” or even “clearly correct” position on most of those doctrines. Perhaps it is even important to be able to articulate a personal creed. But are any of them absolute bottom-line Christian essentials?