- Religion and Philosophy
Regular, Normal Christianity ~ The Premise And Definitions
I believe the Bible is the inspired and inerrant word of the one true God, it is His authoritative revelation of eternal truth and I want to line-up with what it presents as the truth regardless of the age I live in or the sway of my culture, and regardless of what is popular at the moment. I've entitled these articles "Regular, Normal Christianity" because when many today think of Christianity, the Bible, church, Jesus, etc, they are thinking of the great variety of tv preachers and agenda-defined churches that are not at all teaching what the historic Christian church taught nor what the Bible teaches - they are teaching an irregular and abnormal variation of Christianity. I believe many folks today are turned off, not by authentic Christianity, but by the too often ugly, discordant, and silly religion some have concocted and falsely labeled "Christianity" . . . my interest here is to present the historic, Biblical faith - authentic Christianity.
My Intent And Aspiration For The 'Regular, Normal Christianity' Series Of Hubs
If anyone is going to offer their own thoughts and views as publicly published material, it seems to me that they ought to count themselves to stand on somewhat unique ground - not that they must think themselves to be a very special person, but just that they must have something to offer that is not what everyone else already commonly thinks. I believe my essential temperament, life experiences, and personal interests have brought me to a place where I do not necessarily fall in-line with convention, I'm not so susceptible to the popular scheme - I'm inclined to investigate, to analyze, I tend to be skeptical, even iconoclastic.
The specific ground I stand on to offer a case for "Regular, Normal Christianity" is this; my family moved a great deal when I was young, I was always the new kid at school . . . this nurtured in me a capacity to register things others might not notice, to perceive things others might not recognize. I was not raised in a religious home, we never went to church, prayed over meals, or talked about God . . . no one was opposed to the idea of God or worship, etc, simply inattentive to such things. I always enjoyed the consideration of ideas, pursuing some philosophic notion, trying to grasp deep and consequential thoughts, etc. In my mid teens I began reading esoteric poetry, the Bhagavad Gita, the Koran, etc, and the Bible. I wasn't looking for truth, I wasn't dissatisfied with my life, I was merely pursuing ideas that intrigued me. I gradually left everything else behind and was reading only the Bible - it struck me as observably different, from a different place and presenting wholly different ideas.
In time I experienced a dramatic conversion, I became a believer, a Christian. I shared what happened to me with my high school sweetheart and she was very pleased, telling me that she had been fixing her own attention on God and faith as well . . . very soon after this we entered our married life together as Christians. Now, having no religious background whatsoever, my first thought was not about going to church, but rather I began to study the Bible, on my own. After a year or so I realized that we were not alone, that this same thing that happened to us must have happened to many others as well, and, oh yes, that's what churches are, places where Christians get together. But I had no clue at all what church I ought to go to.
I believe many folks are turned off, not by authentic Christianity, but by the too often ugly, discordant, and silly religion some have concocted and falsely labeled "Christianity"
So, after a year of studying the Bible, I began to investigate church history, I wanted to find out who the Baptists and Presbyterians and Methodists, etc, etc, etc, were, where they came from, and why there were so many different 'versions' of Christianity out there. My study of church history led me to the study of theology - what's the real differences, and ultimately, who is it in contemporary American Christendom who best articulates what the Bible presents as the truth.
That is who I am and where I come from. My approach to Christian teaching and Christian churches is not one of falling in-line with or rebelling against what I was taught, I have no favorites nor do I have an ax to grind, etc - my bias is aimed squarely at the Bible . . . I believe it is the inspired and inerrant word of the one true God, it is His authoritative revelation of eternal truth and I want to line-up with what it presents as the truth regardless of the age I live in or the sway of my culture, and regardless of what is popular at the moment. I've called this "Regular, Normal Christianity" because there is much out there today that many think of when they think of Christianity, church, Jesus, etc, that is not at all what the historic Christian church taught and not at all what the Bible teaches - it is an irregular and abnormal variation of Biblical Christianity.
Dictionarily speaking, 'regular' means "formed, built, arranged, or ordered according to some established rule, law, principle, or type" and 'normal' means "according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle" . . . as I use these terms here the rule or principle I'm attaching Christianity to is the Bible. In the weeks to come I hope to share with you here what seems to me to be observable deviations in much of contemporary Christianity from the Biblical principle and to directly articulate what I understand regular, normal Christianity to be. I believe many folks are turned off, not by authentic Christianity, but by the too often ugly, discordant, and silly religion some have concocted and falsely labeled "Christianity" - many who count the great variety of tv preachers and agenda-defined churches as Christianity may detest authentic Biblical Christianity (and many under these teachings and in these churches may prefer their false notions to authentic Biblical Christianity) but the truth is to be proclaimed and if any come to delight in the truth of the gospel, that is an added blessing to the honor of our call to announce God's message.
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Preface. "Regular, Normal Christianity ~ The Premise And Definitions"
1. Regular, Normal Christianity ~ "The Bible"
2. Regular, Normal Christianity ~ "God"
3. Regular, Normal Christianity ~"Jesus of Nazareth"
4. Regular, Normal Christianity ~ "The Trinity"
5. Regular, Normal Christianity ~ "Man, Sin, And Spiritual Death"
6. Regular, Normal Christianity ~ "The Covenant, The Promise, The Covenants, And The Gospel"
7. Regular, Normal Christianity ~ "The Atonement - Law & Grace"
The companion video series ~
Does The Bible Contradict Itself?
Why Are There So Many Different Denominations?
Is Christianity The Only Way To God?
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Next ~ we will continue, in an orderly manner, examining the concept of God, how Jesus of Nazareth is perceived, the concept of the Trinity, the atonement, the gospel message, the church, etc, etc . . . once we cover these essential Christian teachings from an orthodox historic and Biblical perspective, we will examine some of the specific ideas popular contemporary American Christendom advances.
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"Warm affections, without knowledge, can rise no higher than superstition; and that knowledge which does not influence the heart and affection, will only make a hypocrite"
~ John Newton