Thursday, March 19, 2009

Believe with your...heart?

I was just thinking about atonement. You know, one of those random moments of pondering. Actually, my thinking was induced by an email I received about The Shack from James Neely. The email led to an interview which led to a response.

It seems atonement (the theory of what Jesus dying on the cross actually did) is a hot topic in evangelical theology today. The reaction on the interview was very afraid. Of what, I don't know. He kept explaining that if you don't believe in the penal substitutionary theory of atonement, you are a heretic. Not wrong, a heretic. I wonder if he recognizes that one of the first Trinitarian theologians was a condemned heretic? Because an author disagrees on one point you shouldn't read his book? What if the book does not even talk about the topic? It is an interesting question that would drastically reduce my reading list.

All this got me thinking about what the Bible says regarding becoming a Christian: confess with your mouth and believe with your heart. Isn't the head the main believing organ? could they be talking about something other than an assent to mental orthodoxy?

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?

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