First Principles: Part Three

TO UNDERSTAND TEMPTATION is to understand our tendency to sin; what Christian theology calls our "sin nature." Detractors often argue that it is possible to go through your entire life without committing murder, adultery, rape, theft; without cheating on your taxes or watching porn. I agree. However, to suggest that we have the human capacity …

I Am Redeemed!

WHAT DOES IT MEAN to be "redeemed?" Sure, I could list theological, psychological, and sociological definitions, and there is nothing wrong with that approach. Definitions help define us. They allow us to compare, analyze, ruminate, consider, relate. We quantify and qualify through definitions. Relative to theology, definitions establish parameters; they provide the comfort of knowing …

Jonah: A Reluctant Servant

Steven Barto, B.S. Psy., M.A. Theology THE THEME OF THE Book of Jonah is simple: The LORD is a God of boundless compassion, not just for "us" but for "them"—the wicked, the disobedient, the Jew, and the Gentile. Some scholars consider Jonah's story to be an allegory, using fictional characters to symbolize theological principles. Specifically, …

Only the Elect: An Exegetical Study

Steven Barto, B.S. Psy., M.A. Theology HOW CAN YOU KNOW if you are one of the "elect?" By simply trusting in Christ alone through faith alone for salvation. Regardless of whether faith leads to election, or election causes us to believe, what is sure is that our belief is evidence of our election. Clearly, the …

History of the Church Part Four: Dissension and the Protestant Reformation

Written by Steven Barto, B.S., Psy., M.A. Theology religious dissension : discord, strife, conflict, contention, variance; a state or condition marked by a lack of agreement or harmony; implies essential lack of harmony producing quarreling and antagonism. THE CHURCH NEEDED DRASTIC reformation even before Martin Luther came on the scene. However, before Luther could hope …

Having a “Grace-Receiving” Mentality

Written by Steven Barto, B.S. Psy., M.T.S. THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF words and phrases we toss around during our lives. Grace is one of those words. Those who have trusted in Jesus for salvation were never meant to live defeated, despairing, boxed-in, unhappy lives; rather to live in victory through grace. In Romans 5, Paul …

Let’s Go to Theology Class: Apologetics Interview

After some delay, I am able to share my final paper in "Apologetics" as part of my master's in theological studies at Colorado Christian University. Instructions were to interview someone who was an atheist or skeptic regarding Christianity. I hope you will find this paper beneficial. I really enjoyed doing this assignment. Introduction The primary …

Isaiah 53: The Gospel According to God

Who believes what we've heard and seen? Who would have thought God's saving power would look like this? (Isaiah 53:1, MSG) Written by Steven Barto, B.S. Psych. THE STORY OF SALVATION begins with a prophesy. One of the most profound predictions concerning Jesus is spelled out in the book of the prophet Isaiah. In fact, …

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