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December 19, 2012
Posted at 12:29 pm

My confession

Though Fine Stories isn't a Christian fiction site, there do seem to be a fair number of professing Christians here. At least I've received favorable comments on the explicitly Christian nature of my stories, which has to mean something. :)

I thought I'd try to briefly tell y'all where I stand. I became a Christian in January of 1983, which means that next month I'll have been a Christian for 30 years. And after those 30 years, which I've spent studying and thinking on the Bible, as well as listening to sermons and lessons, talking with other Christians, and reading theology, I can sum up my position using three sets of five statements.

1. The five fundamentals of the Christian faith: i. The inspiration, and consequently the authority, and the freedom from error, of the Bible; ii. the literal nature of what the Bible says happened, including the creation account in Genesis and Jesus' miracles; iii. the virgin birth of Jesus; iv. Jesus' resurrection from the dead; and v. the substitutionary atonement of Jesus.

2. The five solas of the Reformation: i. Sola scripture - the Scriptures as the sole rule of faith and practice; ii. Solus Christus - Christ alone as the object of faith; iii. Sola gratia - salvation by grace alone; which iv. Sola fide - comes through faith alone; and v. Soli Deo gloria - all to the glory of God alone.

3. The five points of Calvinism, using the TULIP acronym: T - the total inability of human beings to be or do anything which can move God to save them; U - the unconditional election by God of some to salvation; the limited atonement of Jesus, meaning not that it has limited power, but that its effects extend only to the elect; the irresistible grace by which the Holy Spirit calls all the elect so that they willingly come to Christ, without exception; and P - the perseverance of the saints in grace, so that all whom the Father chose, the Son redeemed, and the Spirit calls will finally enter the presence of God.

I don't ask that all Christians accept these, though I would say that the first set of propositions are essential to Biblical Christianity, and without them the Christian faith is absent. I would also stand for the second set of propositions as equally essential to the Biblical faith. The last set I firmly believe to be Biblical, and wish that all Christians recognized that fact, but it's possible to be a genuine Christian without being a Calvinist (I was for a number of years). Nor do I require that everyone be a Christian - though I, to paraphrase Paul, wish that everyone were as I am, except for my faults.

All this is for y'all's information only, and you're free to read my stuff - or not - as you please. I wouldn't stop people who disagree with me from reading even if I could, and I can't. :)