The Values and Directives of “Beyond The Fundamentals”
(this is an initial draft and is subject to change - it will always be subject to change)
1. The Bible Comes from God.
2. The Bible is true.
3. The central idea of Christianity is the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Christ on the Authority of Scripture.
4. While Statements of Faith have served good group identification roles in the past, they have the downsides of being imperfect and forming artificial cognitive boundaries. Statements of faith become stale and static and serve the role of perpetuating mistakes and errors rather than clearly articulating valid truth.
5. Every Christian should become skillful at conducting their own sense-making, exegesis, and application from scripture.
6. Every Christian should become skillful at exercising discernment, separating signal from noise in anyone they hear.
7. Christian education should be focused on methodology that cultivates insights from the text rather than recitation and replication of other peoples’ conclusions about the text from the past.
8. Christians should not outsource their sensemaking to other people, whether past, present or future. They should not outsource their sense-making to a written confession or statement of faith. They should not outsource their sense-making to any organization or denomination.
9. Every born-again believer has access to the “Unction” from the Holy Spirit from which all operational knowledge, wisdom and understanding emanates with regard to scripture. It is unlocked or tuned into by:
a. Radical ongoing familiarity and fluency in scripture
b. Collaborative face-to-face interaction with other believers, interpreting scripture together
i. Be willing/able to truly articulate one’s own perspectives and findings
ii. Will not succumb to pressure to conform.
c. Exercise and increase skill in discernment
10. The collaborative effort process involvement is more important than the findings or outcomes of any particular session or episode. It’s important that Christians get good at conducting sound epistemology in real time rather than being compelled to agree that someone else at some time in the past conducted sound epistemology and that those results should constitute a stopping point for today’s Christians beyond which no collaborative epistemology is any longer needed.
11. Whether or not past Christians have observed an insight or synthesized a particular meaning from scripture is not an epistemologically sound metric for whether an observation in the present day should be considered valuable, insightful, or true.
a. When people ask, “Who in Christian history also held the view you now hold?”
i. There is no correct answer. No matter who is listed, the person asking the question will then list “false” things the person listed reportedly believed, make you guilty by association, and accuse you of following them.
ii. They are assuming that for anything to be true, it must have also been discovered and believed in the past.
iii. They are deflecting away from their lack of knowledge and skill to deal with the text of scripture at hand.
iv. The underlying assumption is that you should not conduct any sense-making or epistemology yourself, but that you should merely find reliable people in the past who did it, and you are to just parrot what they have concluded.
b. A Christian can have a good/true/valid insight that has never before appeared in any confession, statement of faith, or that has never been knowingly professed by any previous person or group.
12. Consensus is not a valid metric of the truthfulness of any perspective or position.
13. Alignment with anything considered to be “orthodox” is not a valid metric of the truthfulness of any perspective or position.
14. The Bible is to be approached and interpreted inductively.
a. Observe what the text says.
b. Suspend all presumed knowledge during the observation phase (except for BTF Premises 1 & 2).
c. Only use clear, vetted textual observations as axioms against which meaning can be synthesized.
d. Localize the meaning of each text to the immediate context first before comparing with observations from other passages.
e. Determine the meaning irrespective of how it affects the modern-day reader before any attempt at application is made.
15. The Christian edification activities should be that of cultivating insight, not rote transmission of old paradigms.
Examples of our findings using this methodology:
1. Scripture is from God and God cannot lie. (2 Tim. 3:16; Tit. 1:2)
2. Predestination is of existing saints to adoption/glorification, not sinners to conversion. (Eph. 1:5, 11; Rom. 8:23, 29-30)
3. Election is to service, calling and purpose, not to salvation. (Isa. 42:1; Acts 9:15; Rom. 11:28)
4. Adoption is the future redemption of the body, not conversion. (Rom. 8:23, 15-17; Gal. 4:1-6)
5. Sinners become sons of God through the new birth, not through adoption. (John 1:12-13)
6. There are 2 callings: Gospel and vocational, not inward or outward or effectual or ineffectual, etc… (2 Thess. 2:14; Eph. 4:1; Rom. 8:28; 2 Cor. 5:20)
7. Christ’s life, not his death is what saves. (Rom. 5:10; 1 Cor. 15:17)
8. Sinner is saved by regeneration, not atonement. (Tit. 3:5)
9. Glorification is what’s limited, not atonement. (Rom. 3:23; 8:17-30)
10. When Christ said, “It is finished,” on the cross, everyone was still in their sins as per 1 Cor. 15:17.
11. Atonement is one component of many components in salvation. It alone is not what saves. (Tit. 3:5; Rom. 5:10)
12. Atonement is a prerequisite for salvation, not the execution of it. (Rom. 5, 8; 2 Cor. 5; Tit. 3:5).
13. The Atonement must be received. (Rom. 5:11, 17; Jn. 1:12; 1 Cor. 15:1-4)
14. The Atonement does not glorify anyone. (Rom. 8)
15. What Calvinists call “the golden chain of redemption” contains no direct reference to the atonement. (Rom. 8:29-30)
16. Belief that salvation for anyone was secured on the cross constitutes a denial of the necessity of the resurrection (1 Cor. 15:17)
17. Salvation is eternally secured by the sealing of the spirit, not “election.” (Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30; 2 Cor. 1:22)
18. There is no sealing of the spirit before Pentecost or after the harpazo of the church. (Eph. 4:30; John 14:17; Heb. 6:4-6; 10:26-29)
19. There are two aspects to salvation: presence/effects of sin and lack of glorification. Nothing that eradicates sin glorifies the sinner. Both aspects must be resolved for salvation to occur. (Rom. 3:23; 5:8; 8:17-30)
20. Conviction of the Holy Spirit is necessary for salvation, but occurs to sinners alike, regardless of consequent faith or unbelief. It is not irresistible or unconditionally selective. (Jn. 16:7-11)
21. Grace is a ubiquitous reality, not a selective force. (Tit. 2:11-13)
22. Grace is just fine on it’s own as it’s found in scripture. Any modifier other than “free,” such as “sovereign,” “irresistible,” or “prevenient” indicate someone is either confused or attempting to confuse. (Rom. 3:24; 5:15; Jn. 1:16; Tit. 2:11-13)
23. ”Die(d) to save” is not a Bible phrase or concept. It is therefore senseless to pit it against “died to make men savable” since the premise is false to start with. This false dichotomy indicates confusion about what saves.
24. Sinners are born of God by the will of God after they receive Christ. (Jn. 1:12-13)
25. Monergism/Synergism is a false dichotomy invented in the 1890s. Calvinists are synergists based on their own definitions of these terms.
26. God is pleased to save those that believe, not cause belief in those he saves. (1 Cor. 1:21; Rom. 10:9-10)
27. Free gift unto justification of life to all men must be received. It’s not “universalism” unless irresistible grace supplants the biblical requirement to receive. (Rom. 5:11-18; Jn. 1:12; 1 Cor. 15:1-4)
28. “Foreknow” is being known by God in the sense of Gal. 4:9 after conversion and before glorification as if already glorified. It does not refer to any time prior to conversion. (Gal. 4:8-9; Rom. 8:29-30; 1 Pet. 1:2)
29. Nobody was “in Christ” before the foundation of the world. Nobody was “in Christ” before they were placed in Christ during their lifetime. (Eph. 1:4; 2:12; Rom. 12:5; 6:3: 16:7; 1 Cor. 12:13, 27)
30. Free will or lack thereof (or lack of a type of it, such as libertarian) is not a proper interpretive pre-consideration. Scriptural authority is the one and only concern, irrespective of the implications to man’s will. (Pro. 30:5)
31. Unbelief condemns a person, not because it is an unforgiven sin, but because it is the exclusive point of access to the grace. (Rom. 5:2)
32. Arminianism is a branch of Calvinistic thinking, and it is wrong for all the same reasons that Calvinism is wrong.
33. Israel is who’s being hardened in Romans 9. The recipients of mercy are identified in Romans 11:32.
34. The Holy Spirit is the only member of the trinity who doesn’t draw in the New Testament. (Jn. 6:44; 12:32)
35. God’s sovereignty in salvation means that he executes it in accordance with Scripture and not in accordance with Hindu Fatalism.
For the PDF of these findings:
Every word of God is pure…
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