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Christian Tractatus

(Text as at 12/08/2007 10:17:46)

The fundamentals that are essential parts of any minimal reconstruction of Christianity are given below. Without these, Christianity would be so denuded of content as to have little of great significance to say.

  1. The fundamentals:
    • The existence of a personal, good, loving and omnipotent God, interested in, but not confined by, the material universe.
    • The existence of ubiquitous corruption in the universe and man, resulting from a fall from initial righteousness, and of some form of universal need in man of salvation.
    • The existence of the man Jesus of Nazareth with a personality approximating to that with which he is portrayed in the Gospels.
    • The extraordinary status of Jesus as the unique Son of God.
    • The physical death & physical resurrection of Jesus.
    • The effectiveness of Jesus' death & resurrection in procuring salvation for the believer, and the efficacy of faith in Jesus to avail the believer of that salvation.
    • The continued and eternal existence of the believer, with a substantially preserved personality, in a state of happiness after death, commencing at or before some form of resurrection.
    • The ultimate restoration of man and the universe to a form analogous to that of the initial righteousness and blessedness enjoyed before the fall.
  2. The above is clearly not a complete account of the Biblical or of the various historical versions of Christianity. It excludes reference to Satan, Creation, the Second Coming, the Virgin Birth, the Holy Spirit, the Trinity, the Church, Special Revelation and, no doubt, much else of importance. My contention is that these doctrines, though important, may be, and in many cases have been, excised without destroying the very foundations of Christianity. I do not think that any of the items in the "official" list above can be done away with without this consequence.
  3. The predominance of salvation-historic items in the above list may betray my evangelical background. A more Catholic list might modify the item on Faith above and place greater emphasis on the constitution of the Godhead and the importance of the Church. A Charismatic emphasis would add the person and activity of the Holy Spirit to the list of essentials.
  4. When we come to consider fundamentalist Christianity we will need to examine items much less central than those above.

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12/08/2007 10:17:46 244 (Christianity - What It Is) Public Statement

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