15 May, 2006

Systematic Belief in the Believability of Our Belief System

I was reading a great article on the Council of Nicea. A discussion was being had as to the differing views that were debated concerning the Divinity of Christ and His relationship to God the Father and the God the Holy Ghost.

A total side note, but there was a great quote by Saint Augustine as to the Christian faith being a faith of thought. Christ preached first to the mind- Christianity is to be believed. The true faith is one that is believable as well as to be believed.

"No one believes anything unless one's first thought is that it is believable...not everyone who thinks believes, since many think in order not to believe; but everyone who believes thinks, thinks and believes and believes in thinking."


Andrew Duggan said...

As a follow up to Systematic Belief in the Believability of Our Belief System can we each mean something different by what we say that system of belief is? Do you think it uncharitable to point out those differences and discuss the consequences of those differences? More bluntly, do you have any Presbyterian Thoughts on ?

Andrew Duggan said...

Obviously, I meant do you have any thoughts on Presbyterians & Presbyterians Togther: A Call to Charitable Theological Discourse?

Joe Schelling said...

Discussion regarding similar beliefs is good, hearty work. The question is what are we using these discussion for?

Are we, through these "discussion" trying to convince others of our beliefs? Or are we trying to show how smart we are?

Are we taking these "discussion" out into the world, engaging in culture, and spreading God's Word, or merely "discussing" with other like minded fellows?

_________________________ said...

"...and believes in thinking."
We append "God's thoughts after Him, as He has revealed in His Word."

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. We are to hate what God hates, say sin when GOd says Sin, etc.

"Are we taking these "discussion" out into the world, engaging in culture, and spreading God's Word, or merely "discussing" with other like minded fellows?"

We affirm that we as the logical result of God's salvation of us that we will proclaim God's Word to ALL men.
"restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free Spirit. THen will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee." -Ps. 51:12-13

We distinguish between wise men discussing God's Word (those who by GOd's grace believe and obey God) and men who can cite any text and don't believe it and or don't understand it.

We distinguish between mere discussion of the Word treating it as some 'elitist' club textbook for fattening up our egos, and discussion meaning mutual edification, admonishment, building up in the faith, being taught all that Christ has commanded us, to the glory of God.

We distinguish between that which is milk to babes and meat to the mature.

Andrew Duggan said...

Or, do we distinguish between those who trust in Jesus Christ, and him alone, and those who trust in themselves that they are righteous (even if it is with just a little help from God or so they think)?

Do we earnestly believe and preach that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, the same in substance with and equal in power and glory with the Father? Do we believe and preach the good news of free redemption and reconciliation with God, on account of Jesus' righteousness and obedience? Do we preach because of His sacrifice in having laid down His life that we who believe and trust in Him might be free from guilt and punishment of our sin? Do we believe and preach He rose again on the third day that we might live forever in Him to the full glorifying and enjoying of God?

Do we believe in and preach Jesus?

Do we preach it's only Christ's righteousness that counts or do we have a new perspective and preach a believer must supply some of his own righteousness?

We should believe and preach that by grace we are saved through faith; and that not of ourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. We should preach Jesus and Him alone, because that's Good News, anything else is the same old bad news, new perspective or not.

If the meat be spoiled how shall the mature that partake thereof be nourished, shall they not be rather poisoned thereby and die, and spread their sickness and death wherever they go? How does one claim maturity when he cannot even discern the meat he is eating and serving to others is rotten and full of worms?

_______________ said...

"Or, do we distinguish between those ..."
"Do we earnestly believe and preach..."
"Do we believe in and preach Jesus..."
"Do we preach it's only Christ's righteousness..."

How often do we ask rhetorical questions, without seeing their drive or missing the actual putting of the question to one's heart and actually answering it and doing what's right? (Yes, this is an intentional written rhetorical question).

Andrew Duggan said...

Dear __________,

Did you read the paragraph that starts "We should believe and preach..."

[W]hat must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. Acts 16:30b, 31.

I actually do believe in and trust in Jesus Christ and him alone, and that is God's gift in his grace, as is His pardoning of my sins and accepting me as righteous in his sight only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to me and received by that faith by which I believe alone. Having put on Christ, I am clothed with his righteousness.

Should I sin that grace might more abound? May it never be. To be conformed to the image and likeness of Jesus Christ by the working of His Spirit, more and more dying unto sin and living unto righteousness is that work that God having started in me, will complete day-by-day, to the glory of God the Father through Jesus Christ the Lord.

That living more and more unto righteousness does not garner any favor with God, my standing before him, is solely on the basis of the person and work of Jesus Christ, I trust and plead Christ, he is my rock and my salvation.

__________, make sure you aren't trusting in yourself. Trust in Jesus, in him is real forgiveness of sin and real acceptance with God. The scheme of one being personally obedient as a means of gaining favor with God as advanced by some claiming new perspectives and covenantal visions, will lead to an outcome that does not include God's favor.

Trust in Christ, he is the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to God the Father, but by him.