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Saturday, December 19, 2015

I'm not an Evangelical!

A post over at the Otagosh blog recently asked the question "Are You an Evangelical?" http://otagosh.blogspot.com/2015/12/are-you-evangelical.html Based on the four point formula for identifying as an Evangelical given by America's National Association of Evangelicals, I guess I'd have to answer that question with an emphatic "NO!"

In the post, G.R. refers to folks who regard the Bible as their "paper pope." As I've stated many times on this blog, I do not subscribe to the theory that any human writings (even those that have been inspired by Almighty God) are perfect and without error. And I certainly don't believe that any book (whether human or Divine in origin) is capable of fully and completely comprehending the mind and purposes of God (God cannot be contained!).

My response to the four points:

1) God is the highest authority for what I believe. While the Bible, science, observation, reason and the musings of other humans have all contributed to my belief system, I don't consider any of them to be equal in authority to God or completely representative of "His" will.

2) Although I am willing to share with others who are interested the reasons for my devotion to Christ and the religion he founded, I don't feel compelled to convert anyone to that system or to encourage them to adopt my religion or Savior as their own.

3) Jesus Christ's death on the cross removed the penalty for my sins (death). Moreover, although I believe his death on the cross is also efficacious in removing the sins of anyone who accepts that sacrifice, I don't believe that everyone who has not made that profession in this lifetime is lost, condemned or otherwise removed from God's love and salvation.

4) I believe that God will save the vast majority of humankind through Jesus Christ, whether or not they have placed their trust in him during their physical lifetime on this planet.

So, I guess that means that I'm not an EVANGELICAL! What about you?


  1. "3) Jesus Christ's death on the cross removed the penalty for my sins "

    Why would you believe such a strange notion as that?

  2. I believe that "strange notion" because I have proven to my own satisfaction that 1) Of all of the possibilities, it is most probable that God does exist; and that this Force/Power/Entity chose to work through an obscure Middle Eastern tribe of nomads to introduce "Himself" to humanity. 2) Hence, I accept that enough of the statements and actions attributed to Jesus of Nazareth are authentic enough so as to constitute proof that he was of Divine origin and had the ability to remove human sin and reconcile those individuals whose actions and reasoning alienated them from the Divine.

  3. "statements and actions attributed to Jesus"
    At best 2nd-hand hearsay, not trustworthy.

  4. Scholars: Gospels & Acts (too late for 'Luke' to have written it)are best viewed as Double Hearsay
    "Double hearsay is a hearsay statement that contains another hearsay statement itself.

    "For example, a witness wants to testify that "a very reliable man informed me that Wools-Sampson told him." The statements of the very reliable man and Wools-Sampson are both hearsay submissions on the part of the witness, and the second hearsay (the statement of Wools-Sampson) depends on the first (the statement of the very reliable man). In a court, both layers of hearsay must be found separately admissible. In this example, the first hearsay also comes from an anonymous source, and the admissibility of an anonymous statement requires additional legal burden of proof."

  5. Minimalist, Sorry it has taken me so long to post this and respond (I haven't had regular internet access during this period). I think that you may be projecting your own conclusions regarding these writings when you suggest that it is the consensus among scholars that Luke and Acts are "late" and "Double Hearsay." Even if we allow that Justin Martyr, Irenaeus and Marcion may not have been quoting/referencing the writings we know as Luke and Acts, it is at the very least evidence that much of the material contained in those writings was known to them. Moreover, there is the internal evidence in the book of Acts to consider. Whoever wrote the book presented himself as being part of Paul's company in the last several chapters of the material that is part of our canon. In other words, part of the story is told from the perspective of an eyewitness.