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Greg discusses whether or not the concept of the Trinity makes sense. 0:01 Does the Trinity make sense? 0:04 Now some people say the Trinity, the idea that there's one God who subsists in three 0:09 fully distinct but fully divine persons, just doesn't make sense. 0:13 Well, this depends on what you mean by the concept of "making sense."
Is baptism purely symbolic, or is baptism necessary for regeneration?
When the Bible was written, writers and historians were free to shift some things around a to make a point, and it wasn’t considered deceptive or an error. It was a different way of writing. It's the same with Genesis.
Arguing a point based on what Jesus, allegedly, did not say betrays a misunderstanding about the Bible that so-called “red letter” Christians seem to fall into. The mistake is thinking that red-letter verses (the words of Jesus) have more authority than the rest of the Bible.
In July 1995, Time Magazine made a stunning announcement. In an extensive article on the mind they wrote, “Despite our every instinct to the contrary, there is one thing that consciousness is not: some entity deep inside the brain that corresponds to the ‘self,’ some kernel of awareness that runs the show” (July 17, 1995, p. 52). In other words, there is no soul.
Yes and no. No, because they'd answer for different crimes and, as such, their judgment would be different. Just as there are degrees of sin (see John 19:11), there are degrees of punishment. Jesus said Sodom would fare better than Capernaum in the day of judgment (Matthew 11:24), though each would be condemned. Yes, because each person must ultimately answer for his own sins--Hitler for his, Mother Teresa for hers, you and I for ours. Unless, of course, Jesus is allowed to answer for them.
Second, the notion that God doesn't tamper with our free will presents problems in the area of prayer. For example, what exactly are we asking for when we pray for someone's salvation? Aren't our very words, "God, change this person"? Aren't we asking God to intervene by influencing a person's will in order to elicit a response of faith? It seems difficult to argue that God doesn't tamper with free will and then pray this prayer. The problem doesn't just present itself when praying for someone's salvation, though. It includes prayer for anything involving human agency.
God demands we live ethically. But what about those times when we don't? The most vital issue Christianity answers is "How can we be right with God when we are not thoroughly good?" There is profound misunderstanding on this point. Part of the confusion is because many err in defining goodness according to human standards. God, on this view, is concerned with what kind of individual one is "on average." If the good outweighs the bad—if good is predominant—then God winks at the occasional moral lapse.
I've always thought the slogan "God doesn't tamper with free will" was odd. Here's my reason. I have a friend who was on her way to India with a mission agency when she was diverted to Thailand because of an air-traffic controller's strike. Upon her arrival, she discovered that the mission team in Thailand there had been praying for more helpers. They hailed her rerouting as a wonderful answer to their prayers.
Over the years I've become increasingly concerned with one tactic of some well-intentioned ambassadors for Christ: leading a person in the "sinner's prayer." It can be meaningful, but it has a liability. The prayer goes something like this: “Lord Jesus, I am a sinner. I believe You died for my sins so I could be forgiven. I receive You as my Lord and savior. Thank You for coming into my life. Amen.”