Which understanding of salvation is most Biblically based.

Into statistics? Curious what everyone else thinks? Then start a poll here.

Which option does the Bible teach

Universalism: God loves everybody and He's not going to send anyone to hell.
4
17%
Religious Pluralism: All sincere religious people go to heaven.
0
No votes
Annihilationism: those who reject Christ will just be no more
5
22%
inclusivism: those who don't accept Christ on earth, will stand before God and get another chance.
2
9%
exclusivism: those who hear the word of God and believe in Christ will be the only ones who go to heaven.
12
52%
 
Total votes : 23

Which understanding of salvation is most Biblically based.

Postby mikedsjr » Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:47 am

I think everyone would know where i stand. I don't know where everyone else exactly stands on what you see the Bible saying about salvation. This is fairly straight forward and allows atheist to give their stance on what they see the Bible teaches.

I took these options from the Wayne Grudem podcast's that I'm listening to.
Last edited by mikedsjr on Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens
Eccl 3:1
User avatar
mikedsjr
Senior member
Senior member
 
Posts: 1866
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 2:37 pm

Which understanding of salvation is most Biblically based?

Postby NH Baritone » Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:34 am

Here's an idea! Compose your question in English. And in the form of a question.

Allow me to suggest a re-write: Which understanding of salvation is most Biblically based?
Diversity is the offspring of Liberty. Nonetheless, frightened, mainstream ideologues treat diversity like a bastard stepchild, instead of like a welcome indicator of our overall well-being.
User avatar
NH Baritone
Senior member
Senior member
 
Posts: 3040
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 10:38 am
Affiliation: Agnostic Atheistic Meditator

Re: Which understanding of salvation is most Biblically based.

Postby marcuspnw » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:47 am

But aren't there scriptures that back each of these ideas? How do we choose? Do
the statements of Jesus take precedent over the Revelation of John if there
is conflict? What about the Old vs. New Testament ideas of eternity?

I guess I want to split my vote. My formal training tells me to select
exclusivity, my head tells me to go with universalism but my heart
chooses annihilation because after we die, we probably are no more.
I'm following my heart.
Another day, another step closer to the answer. How many more steps do I have I wonder?
User avatar
marcuspnw
veteran
veteran
 
Posts: 845
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:50 pm
Location: 'Hamster, WA
Affiliation: Atheist

Re: Which understanding of salvation is most Biblically based.

Postby mikedsjr » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:36 pm

I'm asking for people's understanding of what the bible teaches. Not what you believe is true.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens
Eccl 3:1
User avatar
mikedsjr
Senior member
Senior member
 
Posts: 1866
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 2:37 pm

Re: Which understanding of salvation is most Biblically based.

Postby humanguy » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:31 pm

I always thought it was the one that says if you believe in Jesus then everything's cool.
Most of us, just about all of us, have the capacity to be rock and rolled by a feeling of pure ecstatic raw joy. You do, don't you? We should respect each other for that.
User avatar
humanguy
Senior member
Senior member
 
Posts: 3870
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 3:50 pm
Location: Lumpen Post-Industrial District
Affiliation: Human

Re: Which understanding of salvation is most Biblically based.

Postby marcuspnw » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:57 pm

Mikedsjr,

Thanks for the clarification.

Your title is "Which understanding of salvation is most Biblically based" and
my comment was to question just how can we make a determination of this
without interjecting personal bias. Fundamentalists have one view, Catholics
have another as do the Unitarian/Universalists. They can all cite Bible verses
to back up their belief. Hence, my confusion at your request.
Another day, another step closer to the answer. How many more steps do I have I wonder?
User avatar
marcuspnw
veteran
veteran
 
Posts: 845
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:50 pm
Location: 'Hamster, WA
Affiliation: Atheist

Re: Which understanding of salvation is most Biblically based.

Postby Pseudonym » Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:26 pm

Just one comment: The description of exclusivism and annihilationism in the poll are perfectly compatible, so I had to mentally edit "exclusivism" to include the modern notion of "hell". Hope you don't mind.

My first comment is that there is no one "Biblically based" answer to this question. Different authors had different opinions on the matter. Pre-exile Hebrews, for example, probably didn't believe in an afterlife at all, and spent essentially no time thinking of or teaching about the possibilities for an afterlife. Opinion on this only really started being recorded in the inter-testamental era (you can see some of it in the Apocrypha). And when they did, they didn't phrase it in terms of accepting or rejecting Christ for obvious reasons. So in that sense, ignorance could be considered a Biblically-based position.

marcuspnw wrote:But aren't there scriptures that back each of these ideas?

Yes and no. There are verses which, taken out of context, could in principle be used to back all of them, I guess. However, if you analyse what the authors of the Bible likely thought, some of these positions can be pretty definitively ruled out. For example, it's likely that no Biblical author or figure agreed with the "religious pluralism" position, especially if "universalism" was available.

I voted for annihilationism (though "conditionalism" is probably more accurate) for the following reasons:

  • It best represents Jesus' opinion on the matter based on the teachings that we have recorded from him.
  • The evidence that we have from the Church Fathers is that there were diverse opinions on this topic, but generally speaking, those who believed that the human soul was inherently immortal were those who were influenced by Greek philosophy, most notably Plato. Without Plato, there would be no concept of an inherently immortal soul in Christianity at all.
  • Particularly, it seems to be implied in the Didache, which talks about the "way of life" and "way of death".
  • As far as we can tell, conditionalism was probably the majority opinion amongst the early Christian schools of theology. (The Roman school was the odd one out.)
  • There is an essentially unbroken line of conditionalist thought from the 2nd century to modern day in Eastern Orthodox theology. (It is a minority opinion today, admittedly, though a fairly large minority.)
  • It's the only reasonable way to reconcile the Hebrew belief that the human soul is not inherently immortal and the Christian belief in the resurrection of the dead.

In addition the the evidence in favour of conditionalism, there is what I consider the key argument against exclusivism: If there were a literal Dante-like "Hell", then it would be the most important information to know ever. The New Testament (at least) should, under that theory, talk about it a lot, especially in the records of evangelism.

In reality, there is almost no time spent on the topic of Gehenna. There are almost 8,000 verses in the New Testament, but the word only appears 12 times: seven times in Matthew, three times in Mark, once in Luke and once in James. There is no mention in John or the epistles of Paul, which were mostly addressed to Gentiles. No mention in Acts, so it obviously wasn't a concern in early evangelism efforts. It doesn't even rate a mention in Revelation, which is where you might expect to find it.

The only thing remaining is to explain why exclusivism became the majority position, despite the mountain of evidence against it. The best answer I have, unfortunately, quite cynical: Exclusivism is far more politically useful than the alternatives. Any leader who wanted to use Christianity for political ends would naturally encourage exclusivism (and those who advocate it) even if the theological argument for it was weaker.
User avatar
Pseudonym
Senior member
Senior member
 
Posts: 1629
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 4:26 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Affiliation: Liberal Christian

Re: Which understanding of salvation is most Biblically based.

Postby marcuspnw » Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:46 pm

Pseudonym wrote: The only thing remaining is to explain why exclusivism became the majority position, despite the mountain of evidence against it. The best answer I have, unfortunately, quite cynical: Exclusivism is far more politically useful than the alternatives. Any leader who wanted to use Christianity for political ends would naturally encourage exclusivism (and those who advocate it) even if the theological argument for it was weaker.


Now it's my turn to say yes and no.

Given the waves of persecution that Christians experienced, wouldn't exclusivism appeal to the persecuted? Wouldn't it help them "stay the course" and who could fault them
for a desire for justice from their oppressors? It seems to me that Christianity offered a bold, new vision of the afterlife. An afterlife modeled after the Roman empire.
We have one God who doesn't share power with any other deity; in fact, there are no other deities and yet this God is also generous to his human followers, making
them rulers with Him. Doesn't this seem to fit well with the idea of good Roman administrative government? Out of such heavenly visions, is it not inevitable to dream
up more ghastly tortures for the wicked, the traitors? Anyway, I am probably veering far off course but I enjoy this type of discussion/speculation. My apologies.
Another day, another step closer to the answer. How many more steps do I have I wonder?
User avatar
marcuspnw
veteran
veteran
 
Posts: 845
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:50 pm
Location: 'Hamster, WA
Affiliation: Atheist

Re: Which understanding of salvation is most Biblically based.

Postby Pseudonym » Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:10 pm

marcuspnw wrote:Given the waves of persecution that Christians experienced, wouldn't exclusivism appeal to the persecuted? Wouldn't it help them "stay the course" and who could fault them for a desire for justice from their oppressors?
[...]
Out of such heavenly visions, is it not inevitable to dream up more ghastly tortures for the wicked, the traitors?

I agree, and it's clearly a major theme of Revelation that the consequences for "the wicked" are not nice. Revelation, being apocalyptic literature, naturally interprets contemporary events in black-and-white, us-vs-them terms. That's a convention of the genre.

But I'd still draw a distinction between "those who oppress us" and "everyone who isn't us".

marcuspnw wrote:Anyway, I am probably veering far off course but I enjoy this type of discussion/speculation. My apologies.

No need to apologise. That last thought is the one part of my post which is pure speculation on my part, and I it out there partly to provoke discussion. I'm glad it worked.
User avatar
Pseudonym
Senior member
Senior member
 
Posts: 1629
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 4:26 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Affiliation: Liberal Christian

Re: Which understanding of salvation is most Biblically based.

Postby mitchellmckain » Sun May 02, 2010 3:38 pm

No I will not choose one of your answers just as I do not accept your definitions of these terms. So I will address each option and each definition seperately.

Universalism: No, people are often quite stubborn in their insistence on torturing themselves, avoiding what is best for them, and choosing death over life.

God loves everybody and He's not going to send anyone to hell. Yes, that is correct. Hell is created and chosen by the people who inhabit it.

Religious Pluralism: Yes, the diversity of human thought, culture and religion is a work of God.

All sincere religious people go to heaven. No, religions do not save people.

Annihilationism: No, the spirit is eternal. Spiritual death is not an end to existence.

those who reject Christ will just be no more Christ is the way the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through Him. But I do not believe this has anything to do with whether one accepts certain beliefs and doctrines.

inclusivism: Yes, I believe in an open set model of Christians ministry, where it is not a matter of some membership by which one has it made, but a matter of choosing every day what direction one moves in according to what one understands about what is right and wrong. Salvation is a matter of God reaching out to His children wherever they are at and whatever they believe to help them to either turn their life around or steer it in a better direction.

those who don't accept Christ on earth, will stand before God and get another chance. No, the connections we make in life are crucial, because there is simply no way in which new connections can be made after death. In death one looses the traction that is available in life for turning around and going in another direction, so that one very much tends to continue in the same direction that one is already going.

exclusivism: No, the religions, churches and organizations of man have no authority from God but only from men. Salvation is according to the work of God and He is not limited by these organizations or beliefs.

those who hear the word of God and believe in Christ will be the only ones who go to heaven. No, this is neither neccessary nor sufficient. There are no magical belief by which we can save ourselves. That we believe in Christ may or may not be a manifestation of a saving relationship with Him. Likewise the rejection of what some Christians are saying or the rejection of any sort of belief, may or may not be a manifestation of a rejection of God Himself.
Out of Skull for the Stars My first book is now available on Amazon.com
User avatar
mitchellmckain
Senior member
Senior member
 
Posts: 10316
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 1:32 am
Location: Salt Lake City
Affiliation: Christian

Re: Which understanding of salvation is most Biblically based.

Postby mikedsjr » Sun May 02, 2010 6:57 pm

mitchellmckain wrote:those who hear the word of God and believe in Christ will be the only ones who go to heaven. No, this is neither neccessary nor sufficient. There are no magical belief by which we can save ourselves. That we believe in Christ may or may not be a manifestation of a saving relationship with Him. Likewise the rejection of what some Christians are saying or the rejection of any sort of belief, may or may not be a manifestation of a rejection of God Himself.


Romans 10
5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them.
....fyi....no one can do verse 5....all are sinners in God's sight......
6 But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down)
7 or “‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim);
9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”
12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.
13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?”
17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens
Eccl 3:1
User avatar
mikedsjr
Senior member
Senior member
 
Posts: 1866
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 2:37 pm

Re: Which understanding of salvation is most Biblically base

Postby mitchellmckain » Sun May 02, 2010 9:27 pm

mikedsjr wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote:those who hear the word of God and believe in Christ will be the only ones who go to heaven. No, this is neither neccessary nor sufficient. There are no magical belief by which we can save ourselves. That we believe in Christ may or may not be a manifestation of a saving relationship with Him. Likewise the rejection of what some Christians are saying or the rejection of any sort of belief, may or may not be a manifestation of a rejection of God Himself.


Romans 10
5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them.
....fyi....no one can do verse 5....all are sinners in God's sight......
6 But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down)
7 or “‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim);
9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”
12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.
13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?”
17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.


Yes all of that is true. On the other hand in Matthew 7:21-22, Jesus said "Not everyone who says to me 'Lord, Lord' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me you evildoers.' " I am sure that these people thought that they did believe in Jesus and that they were doing the will of the Father, but if they really understood they would not even be calling attention to these things as if such things proved or counted for anything.

On the face of it Matthew 7:21-22 seems to directly contradict Romans 10:13, but what it really does is point out how Romans 10:13 can be misunderstood if it is taken out of context. That context is the book of Romans where salvation is not something that one obtains by anything which you do, but as it says in Romans 6:23, is a free gift of God. Thus it is incorrect to think of Romans 10:13 as something which you can do to get salvation, for according to Romans 10:6 you should not even be thinking like that when you act in faith.

Romans is my favorite book of the Bible and the chapter you quote here is one of my favorite part of Romans. It is part of a long explanation starting in chapter 2 comparing those who have the law and those who do not, and comparing Gentile and Jew addressing question like "What advantage has the Jew?" Paul explains that the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law and so we have a righteousness which is based on the law and a righteousness based on faith, and from Romans 10:6 it explains the nature of the righteousness which is based on faith, saying that it does not ask who will go to heaven and who will go to hell. It does not ask Jesus, like the rich man in Mark 10:17 what can he do to get eternal life. All of that is not the attitude of faith.

It is like marriage, if you approach the relationship trying to see what you can get out of it before you give anything of yourself then the marriage is doomed. The attitude of faith simply gives yourself to it completely.
Last edited by mitchellmckain on Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
Out of Skull for the Stars My first book is now available on Amazon.com
User avatar
mitchellmckain
Senior member
Senior member
 
Posts: 10316
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 1:32 am
Location: Salt Lake City
Affiliation: Christian

Re: Which understanding of salvation is most Biblically based.

Postby Exrev » Mon May 03, 2010 11:30 am

mitchellmckain wrote:No I will not choose one of your answers just as I do not accept your definitions of these terms. So I will address each option and each definition seperately.

Thats right Mitchell is authority on religious definitions. I heard the Pope and Billy Graham answers to Mitchells Dictionary of Theolgical Words. LOL

Universalism: No, people are often quite stubborn in their insistence on torturing themselves, avoiding what is best for them, and choosing death over life.

You keep asserting this without evidence. But in reality majority of people will do anything to get out of death and they will certainly go to any legnths to avoid pain. While people might avoid what MITCHELL thinks is best for them, most people look for immedated relief of pain.


God loves everybody and He's not going to send anyone to hell. Yes, that is correct. Hell is created and chosen by the people who inhabit it.

Actually the bible is specific that God sends people there. No where does the bible say people would chose to go there. You cannot chose, something that is invisible. I can't see hell, i have no evidence that it exist nor do i have any evidence of its creator. Your statement mitchell is nothing more than a christian platitude. I'm so tired of canned and trite answers. No one would chose to go to hell if they know its as bad as it says it is. The problem you have is you can't accept the fact that people are free from fear that Christianity loves to poision this world with. And once your free from the fear of hell, your free to acutally use your mind fully.

Religious Pluralism: Yes, the diversity of human thought, culture and religion is a work of God.

In other post you've said that Christianity is not a religion. So now i'm confused is religion good or not Mitchell. And why would god great many religions that contradict each other. This is the silliest belief in the world.

All sincere religious people go to heaven. No, religions do not save people.

agreed, religions do not save people. And a relationship with Jesus also is not going to save you either.

Annihilationism: No, the spirit is eternal. Spiritual death is not an end to existence.
Evidence of a spirit outside of religion?

those who reject Christ will just be no more Christ is the way the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through Him. But I do not believe this has anything to do with whether one accepts certain beliefs and doctrines.
Sure it does mitchell says it right there, you just don't want to accpect that Jesus was an exclusive bigot. he also called non-jews dogs, Jesus was 100% jewish!
inclusivism: Yes, I believe in an open set model of Christians ministry, where it is not a matter of some membership by which one has it made, but a matter of choosing every day what direction one moves in according to what one understands about what is right and wrong. Salvation is a matter of God reaching out to His children wherever they are at and whatever they believe to help them to either turn their life around or steer it in a better direction.
People don't turn their life around by using people as a crutch they do by taking responsiblity for themselves and also believeing that they are worth something.
those who don't accept Christ on earth, will stand before God and get another chance. No, the connections we make in life are crucial, because there is simply no way in which new connections can be made after death. In death one looses the traction that is available in life for turning around and going in another direction, so that one very much tends to continue in the same direction that one is already going.

How do you know there are no new connections that can be made after death, LOL. No i agree without a brain and mind, with out eyes, nose, nerves, ears, its hard to really experience anythig, and to know anything. There is no evidence that there is something after we die, just wishfull think from animals that know they will cease to exist one day and from a desire to survive. Maybe it does help to easy that fact that we will no longer exist. But i'm not saying its impossible, It would be nice to exist again. But then again it might be better to not exist, i don't ever remember not existing.

exclusivism: No, the religions, churches and organizations of man have no authority from God but only from men. Salvation is according to the work of God and He is not limited by these organizations or beliefs.

Therefore no religious text has any authority. Who is to say there is even salvation or that even one needs it!



those who hear the word of God and believe in Christ will be the only ones who go to heaven. No, this is neither neccessary nor sufficient. There are no magical belief by which we can save ourselves. That we believe in Christ may or may not be a manifestation of a saving relationship with Him. Likewise the rejection of what some Christians are saying or the rejection of any sort of belief, may or may not be a manifestation of a rejection of God Himself.


So far off from traditional christianity. Jesus said if you believed in him you would be sved. Your contradicting the bible, maybe mitchell would care to re-write the bible himself, so he can make it clear to everyone. We can call it the MMV.
ExRev,

Should pigs trust humans to tell them what is good for pigs Emery

"Evil, in this system of ethics, is that which tears apart, shuts out the other person, raises barriers, sets people against each other
Rollo May



User avatar
Exrev
veteran
veteran
 
Posts: 522
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:45 pm
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Affiliation: agnostic-atheist, skeptic

Re: Which understanding of salvation is most Biblically based.

Postby mitchellmckain » Mon May 03, 2010 4:13 pm

I can see some merit in the fundamentalist Christians, they may be narrow minded but they actually believe in something other than themselves. But I can see no value whatsoever in ranting of fundamentalist atheists. Their narrow mindedness and willfull ignorance serves no purpose but that of hatred alone. I think it is a tremendous tragedy that people like this throw out everything of value in religion not out of any preference for reason, but just so that they can turn the complete irrationality they have learned or immitate to serve their own egos alone. But such irrational ranting deserves no more comment than the insane babbling of the Flat Earthers.
Out of Skull for the Stars My first book is now available on Amazon.com
User avatar
mitchellmckain
Senior member
Senior member
 
Posts: 10316
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 1:32 am
Location: Salt Lake City
Affiliation: Christian

Re: Which understanding of salvation is most Biblically base

Postby gary_s » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:41 am

Mitch, do you have a few atheists in mind that meet this criteria? Who might they be?
Just trying to get along
User avatar
gary_s
Senior member
Senior member
 
Posts: 1201
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:08 am
Affiliation: agnostic

Next

Return to Polls

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest