I don’t want to talk about this. I’m not ready. I’m still processing.
That is often the case for me. The process of processing is almost the end of the process! Forever processing information and experiences, concepts and impressions. It can’t be helped! It’s the way I was designed. Myers-Briggs profile INTP.
I can’t just let it stay there, however. I have to take it beyond the forever limbo of processing and do something with it. Make it concrete. So I sit here with my tiny laptop on the couch and I write these words. Actually the process is not so deliberate as that. In reality the words fall out of my mouth and my job is merely to insure they fall on this page and not on the floor.
What are the important, weighty issues on my mind? The ones that have been processing for weeks?
Protestant, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox differences.
I meet and engage people from all three throughout my work week. And guess what? Each thinks theirs is the only true version of Christianity. The implication of each is that if you aren’t in alignment with their Cosmology you’re barking up the wrong tree. It’s not hard to extrapolate that thinking to its logical conclusion:
If you aren’t them you aren’t saved.
Honestly sometimes I get tired, overwhelmed and discouraged over the conflicting arguments out there on the subject of Christian Salvation and Reconciliation.
It can’t be this hard!
Do I have to be a scholar? I mean that’s ok on one level, I wouldn’t mind being a scholar, but my time is already overcommitted to earning a living. I pursue Apologetics in my spare time.
If only scholars can be saved I’m in trouble!
As are most of us. Does God really make reconciliation and Salvation that difficult? Do I have to examine every detail of every claim of every version of Christianity to insure I’m not missing a position, point or piece of knowledge critical to my Salvation?
And what if I die in the meantime –is all lost?
Is death then to the Apologist like the buzzer on the timer announcing failure to the rat frantically looking for the cheese at the end of the maze?
Must Apologetics be redirected in a race against time to find Salvation itself? From its previous purpose of rationally defending and reinforcing the Salvation already revealed by Christ?
I am always thinking I need to know more and more and a little bit more. It is never done this accumulation of knowledge and facts. That’s exciting and healthy until I allow the spectre of fear raised by arguments over Salvation itself hijack my healthy passion for Apolgetics. The ensuing panic and desperation make it unmanageable and it takes a maniacal life of its own. The tail begins to wag the dog.
Does Salvation itself need to be uncovered by Apologetics?
It is already out in the open! There is nothing to uncover! The message of Salvation provided by Jesus Christ is uncomplicated, simple and clear!
The early Creed itself is proof enough!
Here’s why. The history of Christianity that expanded after the Apostles lived and the Gospels were written is a periphery subject –it does not and cannot change the foundation of Christianity itself. The foundation was already set by what Christ did and what was reported by the eyewitnesses themselves long before anyone called themselves Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant.
What about the arguments that The Creed was myth, wishful thinking or legend developed late in history long after the Crucifixion?
Blown away by those who’ve done their Apologetics homework!
The essence and purpose of Christ’s deity, death and resurrection was distilled by the eyewitnesses themselves in The Creed and outlined by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:3-7 (framed up by Paul in the first two and the last four verses).
Isn’t this the essence of Christianity and our Salvation? Didn’t this come first, before men got ahold of it and added their own embellishments?
Until I am convinced by evidence otherwise I am sticking to it.
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
1Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
9For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.11Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.