Theology, doctrine, and evidence. I don’t read Greek, and I don’t know the Bible well enough to write a commentary. But I know how to follow an argument through to the natural corollaries, and I can see patterns, both of which I think are an unfortunate rarity in most blogosphere commentary. More importantly, I’ve done a great deal of reading, thinking, and discussing on these topics. I don’t purport to be any sort of expert, but I do claim to have knowledge and interesting ideas.
As in any argument, or in this case set of arguments (“argument” being used in the mathematical/philosophical sense), the conclusion can only make sense in the context of worldview being espoused. Worldviews are, by definition, a framework through which we process and understand the events—personal and impersonal—that happen around us. They are necessarily incomplete because we are no omniscient, and they must have some amount of flexibility to deal with novel events. It is with this backdrop that I want to outline several core areas of theology, but to do so, I must first set up the framework without which none of my arguments can stand alone.
Outline of Argument
- Purpose of Life and Existence
- Theology of Human Nature and our Relationship to God
- Piecemeal Theology and Doctrines
- Limitations of Atonement
- Origins of Humanity
- Pain and Suffering
- Christology and Trinitarianism
- Mechanics and Purpose of Salvation
- The Proper Role of Faith in Politics
- Possibly more
The doctrines listed are, to some degree, stand-alone. One’s beliefs about the Trinity are not necessary corollaries of one’s beliefs about the origins of humanity or limitations of atonement. They interact, but do not necessitate one another, and that is the sense in which they are somewhat stand-alone. They cannot, however, stand alone outside the framework of an understanding of humanity and our relationship to God. To that end, although I will be more or less definitive in my description of the framework, I will attempt to give as many schools of thought as seem relevant to each piece of doctrine.
It’s important to note that I’m not going to attempt to prove the existence of God. For the purposes of this series, I’m assuming that an omnipotent creator exists. I’ve explored and experimented quite deeply in apologetics—albeit not on this blog—and quite frankly, I find the topic unfruitful at this point. If that’s what you are looking for, I recommend William Lane Craig  and others, but not this blog. My goal is not to convert atheists, but rather to explain—and consolidate my thoughts about—certain elements of Christianity. The only worldview I intend to confute is that of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism .