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Give us your absolute bottom-line Christian essentials

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#81
I confess I'm woefully inadequate in my understanding of the Trinity. I have plans to fix that.
HI PZ,

When you've learned how to fix that:

Could you please pass the information on to us??
I've been waiting many a year to understand it !!

(even those that write books don't REALLY understand it)
 
R

Runner

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#84
Runner,
I was going to give you a :thumbsup

Then I had to stop!
I agree with everything you've said.
I like good ole' Fred myself and I've decided to do what Fred does.

Maybe it's because I had to teach it to kids, who knows, but I DO think it's important to know about the Trinity. I don't think one's understanding of it has anything AT ALL to do with their salvation or we'd all be doomed!
However I do think it's important to believe there is only ONE God and not three Gods. I will go that far.

Otherwise, I do believe we agree on everything.
So...
:thumbsup
I confess I'm woefully inadequate in my understanding of the Trinity. I have plans to fix that.
As the saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

I would have to ratchet back my approach to Christianity a great deal to become like Fred, and I don't think that's possible now if it ever was.

In my earliest days as a Christian newbie, with Campus Crusade, I said to my wife (then my fiancé), "It would be wonderful to be as simplistic about all this as most of our fellow Crusaders are, but that's just not the way I am." I later realized that one of the big factors was that I had not been raised in a Christian home or trained to accept anything on the basis of "authority."

I have absolutely no problem with someone who is content with a Vacation Bible School understanding of Christianity and feels no need to dive deeper, as I've tried to make clear with my Fred example. I have no disdain for a Christian like Fred. (On the other hand, I do have a strong sense, here and elsewhere, that this type of Christian has disdain for, or at least fear of, my type of Christian.) My guess is that what Fred is doing is what Jesus really wants.

Once you do decide to dive deeper, there is no bottom. If there are advantages to diving deeper, they are: (1) as you wrestle with the issues, you gradually arrive at a theology you really believe, as opposed to finding out too late that your supposed beliefs were a house of cards without a sufficient foundation to withstand life's challenges, and (2) you realize that sincere, well-educated, Spirit-filled Christians hold a wide variety of plausible, biblically supported positions on almost every issue. You are less likely to be rigidly dogmatic, unyielding and divisive about your own positions. You begin to ask, as I have here, what is really essential.

Instead of starting out and remaining like Fred, I see myself as having come full circle in terms of having wrestled with the issues to the point that I realize Fred is basically correct and that very little of what is argued about is really essential.
 

Papa Zoom

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#85
As the saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

I would have to ratchet back my approach to Christianity a great deal to become like Fred, and I don't think that's possible now if it ever was.

In my earliest days as a Christian newbie, with Campus Crusade, I said to my wife (then my fiancé), "It would be wonderful to be as simplistic about all this as most of our fellow Crusaders are, but that's just not the way I am." I later realized that one of the big factors was that I had not been raised in a Christian home or trained to accept anything on the basis of "authority."

I have absolutely no problem with someone who is content with a Vacation Bible School understanding of Christianity and feels no need to dive deeper, as I've tried to make clear with my Fred example. I have no disdain for a Christian like Fred. (On the other hand, I do have a strong sense, here and elsewhere, that this type of Christian has disdain for, or at least fear of, my type of Christian.) My guess is that what Fred is doing is what Jesus really wants.

Once you do decide to dive deeper, there is no bottom. If there are advantages to diving deeper, they are: (1) as you wrestle with the issues, you gradually arrive at a theology you really believe, as opposed to finding out too late that your supposed beliefs were a house of cards without a sufficient foundation to withstand life's challenges, and (2) you realize that sincere, well-educated, Spirit-filled Christians hold a wide variety of plausible, biblically supported positions on almost every issue. You are less likely to be rigidly dogmatic, unyielding and divisive about your own positions. You begin to ask, as I have here, what is really essential.

Instead of starting out and remaining like Fred, I see myself as having come full circle in terms of having wrestled with the issues to the point that I realize Fred is basically correct and that very little of what is argued about is really essential.
I don't like unanswered questions even though I know that seeking answers to difficult questions leads to more and more questions. But I'm wired that way. I like exploring topics. Plus I have a lot of books in my library that I've never read. I have more time for that now that I'm retired. I'm reading a book on essentials by RC Sproul right now. All I did was go to Amazon to look at what's there, explore a few table of contents (I shop more than buy) but I accidentally hit the "one click buy" button and there it was on my Kindle. So, I'm reading it. Kindle For Christ https://twitter.com/Kindle4Christ has lots of discounted books and some free. I'm a sucker for free.
 
R

Runner

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#86
I don't like unanswered questions even though I know that seeking answers to difficult questions leads to more and more questions. But I'm wired that way. I like exploring topics. Plus I have a lot of books in my library that I've never read. I have more time for that now that I'm retired. I'm reading a book on essentials by RC Sproul right now. All I did was go to Amazon to look at what's there, explore a few table of contents (I shop more than buy) but I accidentally hit the "one click buy" button and there it was on my Kindle. So, I'm reading it. Kindle For Christ https://twitter.com/Kindle4Christ has lots of discounted books and some free. I'm a sucker for free.
Get some of those multi-view books I'm always promoting, because they are true eye-openers. Christian scholars of the highest caliber interact with each other on the difficult issues, with each contributor commenting on each of the others' contributions. The discussions are often "lively," to say the least. I have not read one of them that was not worthwhile. I have the following titles on my Kindle, and there are quite a few more:

The Synoptic Problem: Four Views
Four Views on Christianity and Philosophy
The Historical Jesus: Five Views
Perspectives on Our Struggle with Sin: Three Views of Romans 7
Perspectives on Election
Four Views on the Historical Adam
Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy
Perspectives on the Doctrine of God
Three Views on Creation and Evolution
Four Views on the Book of Revelation
Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond
Four Views on Salvation in a Pluralistic World
Four Views on Eternal Security
Understanding Spiritual Warfare: Four Views
God?: A Debate between a Christian and an Atheist
Predestination & Free Will: Four Views of Divine Sovereignty and Human Freedom
Four Views on the Apostle Paul
Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views
The Nature of the Atonement: Four Views​
 
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#87
I don't like unanswered questions even though I know that seeking answers to difficult questions leads to more and more questions. But I'm wired that way. I like exploring topics. Plus I have a lot of books in my library that I've never read. I have more time for that now that I'm retired. I'm reading a book on essentials by RC Sproul right now. All I did was go to Amazon to look at what's there, explore a few table of contents (I shop more than buy) but I accidentally hit the "one click buy" button and there it was on my Kindle. So, I'm reading it. Kindle For Christ https://twitter.com/Kindle4Christ has lots of discounted books and some free. I'm a sucker for free.
Hi PZ,
You know what Italians say?:
If it's free, take two.

I've stopped asking. We don't have all the answers.
God is too great.
I accept.
I argue two doctrines because they don't represent the God I know.
Other than that, once an opinion is stated, what more is there to say?

I did hear a pastor say once that the bible is for everyone.
Very simple people could read it and understand it perfectly.
Very intellectual people could read it and gleen a lot from it and learn much from it.

It could be very simple.
It could be very deep.

What other book is like this?
None!
 
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#88
Get some of those multi-view books I'm always promoting, because they are true eye-openers. Christian scholars of the highest caliber interact with each other on the difficult issues, with each contributor commenting on each of the others' contributions. The discussions are often "lively," to say the least. I have not read one of them that was not worthwhile. I have the following titles on my Kindle, and there are quite a few more:

The Synoptic Problem: Four Views
Four Views on Christianity and Philosophy
The Historical Jesus: Five Views
Perspectives on Our Struggle with Sin: Three Views of Romans 7
Perspectives on Election
Four Views on the Historical Adam
Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy
Perspectives on the Doctrine of God
Three Views on Creation and Evolution
Four Views on the Book of Revelation
Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond
Four Views on Salvation in a Pluralistic World
Four Views on Eternal Security
Understanding Spiritual Warfare: Four Views
God?: A Debate between a Christian and an Atheist
Predestination & Free Will: Four Views of Divine Sovereignty and Human Freedom
Four Views on the Apostle Paul
Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views
The Nature of the Atonement: Four Views​
I was thinking over your above post before...
You'd never make a good Catholic!
I used to be catholic and there's no such thinking in that church that there could be FOUR VIEWS about anything! There's only one. Theirs!
LOL
 
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#91
"A SINCERE FAITH"
JOHN 6 NIV
28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

29Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
 
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#92
"A SINCERE FAITH"
JOHN 6 NIV
28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

29Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
Great reminder in that scripture that eternal salvation is absolute. Because God himself said so.
 
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#93
I am sorry you have arrived to this position because as you have already been instructed, there are three persons that compose our Triune God and one of them, the third in rank is the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit of our heavenly Father. The Spirit of the sovereign Lord that came down and remained upon Jesus.
Matt 10:NIV
On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

The Spirit Jesus sent into the world He received from the Father.
Acts 2:33 NIV
Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.

Fathers promise
 ‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
18Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.

John 14:16 NIV And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever--


God is Spirit.
Jesus certainly views the Spirit of His Father as separate from Himself. The "Father" does NOT.

Jesus read from the scroll of Isaiah and declared that scripture fulfilled in Him
Isaiah 61:1NIV
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,


God is not over His very being but is the mind of the Spirit. Just as we are not over our spirit but our spirit searches our minds and acts on our will. Remember Jesus stated the Spirit speaks what he hears not on His own

1corinth 2:11 NIV
or who knows a person's thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

SO the Holy Spirit is not shown as a distinct "person" from the "Father".
IN a believer the Spirit thats was sent in Jesus's name represents the presence and will of Christ and is in a believer at Jesus's will. As he is the One who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. No one comes to the "Father" except by Him and No one enters the Kingdom of God except by Him. The kingdom of God is within you.
 
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#94
We tend to think of the spirit as the spirit of a person.
Something within them that is not a real thing but only a concept.

The Holy Spirit OTOH, is like The Christ.
The Christ is also a concept but is also a person called Jesus.

The Holy Spirit is a person made from the love that God and Jesus share.
He literally came to life because of their love.
But He always existed, just as God Father and God Son did.
They are all three of the same stuff.

Some people pray to the Holy Spirit for help.
The SON has His own spirit as in "Father into your hands I commit MY SPIRIT"
Jesus is Gods firstborn. At some point in history before the world began.
Col 1:17 NIV
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (not meaning the Father)
He is before all creatures. FIRST

Is Jesus God?
He never dies
Yes, He is all that the Father is.
No, He has always been the Son
 
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#95
The Spirit of our heavenly Father. The Spirit of the sovereign Lord that came down and remained upon Jesus.
Matt 10:NIV
On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

The Spirit Jesus sent into the world He received from the Father.
Acts 2:33 NIV
Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.

Fathers promise
 ‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
18Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.

John 14:16 NIV And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever--


God is Spirit.
Jesus certainly views the Spirit of His Father as separate from Himself. The "Father" does NOT.

Jesus read from the scroll of Isaiah and declared that scripture fulfilled in Him
Isaiah 61:1NIV
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,


God is not over His very being but is the mind of the Spirit. Just as we are not over our spirit but our spirit searches our minds and acts on our will. Remember Jesus stated the Spirit speaks what he hears not on His own

1corinth 2:11 NIV
or who knows a person's thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

SO the Holy Spirit is not shown as a distinct "person" from the "Father".
IN a believer the Spirit thats was sent in Jesus's name represents the presence and will of Christ and is in a believer at Jesus's will. As he is the One who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. No one comes to the "Father" except by Him and No one enters the Kingdom of God except by Him. The kingdom of God is within you.
Man I get tired of saying this but here it is:
The Bible the Christian holds today is divided into two major sections, the Old Testament and the New testament. The Bible Jesus, Paul, James and the others taught and still teach from today is the book or the scrolls we call The Old Testament making the following 27 books to comprise of 27 God Inspired Life Application Commentaries.



However, the Christian version of the Bible is one Book of one context from In the beginning… through the very last word of Rev. 22! The message throughout is of Salvation. As I said, “Someone has messed you up because the scriptures teach the Triune God and actually, if you will read the ToS you will find you are in violation of them teaching the errant One God (Modalism) on this site. That is not accepted Christian doctrine.​
 
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#96
Man I get tired of saying this but here it is:
The Bible the Christian holds today is divided into two major sections, the Old Testament and the New testament. The Bible Jesus, Paul, James and the others taught and still teach from today is the book or the scrolls we call The Old Testament making the following 27 books to comprise of 27 God Inspired Life Application Commentaries.



However, the Christian version of the Bible is one Book of one context from In the beginning… through the very last word of Rev. 22! The message throughout is of Salvation. As I said, “Someone has messed you up because the scriptures teach the Triune God and actually, if you will read the ToS you will find you are in violation of them teaching the errant One God (Modalism) on this site. That is not accepted Christian doctrine.​
I don't hold to modalism.
Jesus=Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
Paul=>Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.
 
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#97
I don't hold to modalism.
Jesus=Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
Paul=>Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came
Sorry about that bu5 I confused WT's post with yours.
That's what I get for reading to the end before responding.
 
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#98
Did you have a question in understanding the relationship between the Father,His spirit and His firstborn as there are those who know their Lord and can answer such questions even if the answers aren't liked.
 
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#99
My absolute bottom line Christian essential is a confession of having called on the name of Jesus and hopefully with at least some testimony as witness to begin with .
 
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The SON has His own spirit as in "Father into your hands I commit MY SPIRIT"
Jesus is Gods firstborn. At some point in history before the world began.
Col 1:17 NIV
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (not meaning the Father)
He is before all creatures. FIRST

Is Jesus God?
He never dies
Yes, He is all that the Father is.
No, He has always been the Son
Hey Randy,
The absolute bottom line for being a Christian is that you must believe Jesus is God and that the resurrection happened.

Every sentence in your post is wrong.

Why did you put "YES" after Christian?

There are not 3 gods.
There's only ONE GOD.
Try to learn the order of the Trinity.
That would be why Jesus said to the Father: Into your hands I commit My spirit.
God, the Son, the Holy Spirit.

The Son became flesh in Jesus. Jesus as a human was speaking to God the Father. No mystery.

Jesus is NOT God's firstborn, in history at some time before all began.

JESUS WAS NOT CREATED. Jesus always was and always will be.
Something created cannot be God. The spirit that created him would be God, but not him. Think about it.

Jesus is the breath and word and reason of God become human 2,000 yrs ago.

Colossians 1:16-17, which you posted, can be compared to
John 1:1

Jesus was the Word of God. The Word was from the beginning, because the Word IS God.

You said that God never dies.
Right.
But Jesus was fully God and fully human.
As Jesus He DID die.
As GOD He was resurrected 3 days later.

The trinity is maybe difficult to understand, but if you want to call yourself a Christian, you'll have to believe it.