As a response to a comment, I was reminded of this passage, one that I had recently submitted at FaithWriters.com.
"In my previous life I was a "troubleshooter." Drawing from my own experience as a member of an engineering group, a similar dynamic within Christianity occurs to me. My employer engaged in financially critical applications of proven knowledge to solve large-scale, commercial power production problems. There was a book at manufacturing headquarters in Schenectady, New York, that was the creation of decades of modern generator design and operation data. This book was known as "the bible." On many occasions, either from a competing company or one of our own associates, an objection would be raised to a proposed "solution."
Now objections are healthy and many times very helpful. They show that people are concerned and alert. What I find uncannily relevant to the theme of this paper is the combination of a particular type of objection voiced by a certain kind of individual. On many occasions, a junior contributor would fret and insist the plan was flawed because of some basic engineering criteria. He would then proceed to demonstrate - to a captive audience of highly compensated and very busy men and women - his competence regarding a fundamental objection to a proposed solution that was over his head. Bear in mind, not all of the captive audience were technical experts, rather a mix of the customer's operation and upper-level administrators responsible for the final outcome. They had to decide between a proposed repair, rebuild, or replacement solution. The customer's decision was primarily based upon the "value added" trustworthiness and reputation of my employer's explaination of the pros and cons.
To the point, the self-impressed individual had introduced a negative contribution that now must be countered by someone competent in the various parameters and practical application of proven knowledge contained in "the bible." Therefore I suggest, Arminian salvation is the distracting contribution made to the understanding of Christian salvation by those who do not fully appreciate the value of the only person who can explain the Bible - Jesus Christ."
Well, what can you say?
2 Cor 10:1 Now I, Paul, appeal to you personally ... 10:3 For though we live as human beings, we do not wage war according to human standards, 10:4 for the weapons of our warfare are not human weapons, but are made powerful by God for tearing down strongholds. We tear down arguments 10:5 and every arrogant obstacle that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obey Christ. NET
Might I say, that I am shocked that many 30 year Christians have not an inkling that salvation flys under two banners, not one?
Should one gloss over lightly, or be puzzled by what may seem a "trivial" theological point about salvation - one that is thought to be only important to those who traffic in such matters - the letters by Augustine against the self-help views of the condemned heretic Pelagius and the letters between Luther and Erasmus are well known fundamental examples within early Catholicism, and later Protestantism. I have posted an article titled,"The Gospel of the Grace of God" that is an example of a grace gospel for the unsaved. Biblical grace may be properly defined as something given by God to the undeserving.
There are two systems of salvation, cruising along side by side in orthodox Protestant churches: (1) You either "know" you are saved because God's Word says so, and (2) You don't know for sure that you will be finally saved because tradition states: God's Word says you cannot know until you die.
The traditional answer is built upon a 350 year old, post-Reformation, Protestant theory of atonement (attributed to Hugo Grotius) that is taught in every seminary that believes you can lose your salvation (viz. Arminian theology).
Is the status quo more important than your own salvation and the salvation that you are sharing with others? If you are depending on yourself instead of Jesus for salvation, then what was the content of your saving faith? Is salvation received through faith and trust that you are forgiven and saved because of Jesus; or, is it a reward at the end of a successful personal battle with sin? The final critical question is: who saves who?
Well, what more can you say?
Copyright 2008 David Coulon. All rights reserved. Use with credit.