Religion, Theism, Christianity, and Why I Believe in Jesus

So, what motivated these posts on Why I am Not an Atheist?

Well, in part, because I am a Christian. I am a Christian, not in spite of my mind, but because of it. I am a Christian because I believe Christianity to be reasonable. I certainly live by faith, but my faith is always a faith that seeks understanding.

I believe Christianity makes sense … the most sense;
and provides meaning … the deepest meaning;
and gives purpose … the greatest purpose there is.

There is a God. This God is a Creator God and a Loving God. Humanity is the creation of that God and is designed for LOVE. Something has gone drastically wrong. Jesus is God with us to address the breaking bad world, and to repair and heal it.

RELIGION is the general term for any belief in the spiritual, the supernatural, and a transcendent Being of some sort.

POLYTHEISM is the belief in many gods. It may be the old Greek and Roman pantheons. It may be the animistic religions of tribal peoples through history—gods were everywhere and nature itself seemed to be divine.

PANTHEISM (and Panentheism) is the Eastern religious view of God. In these religions, god is not a personal God, but an impersonal force or energy. And life is illusion. All is one and one is all and all is god is the way to state this essential view. At the same time, such a view is very hard to believe and live, so these Eastern religions also tend to have another layer of polytheistic gods and spirits and powers.

DUALISM is the view that there are two equal and opposing forces in the universe.

MONOTHEISM is the belief in one supreme Being. This is the realm of a Personal Being. Judaism is the original and Islam is the later version. Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons are in this camp. None of these monotheistic religions believe Jesus is God.

DEISM is the view of a personal, but disinterested God. God is the Creator God, but after that not too involved with the universe he/she/it created.

TRINITARIANISM is the name of the Christian faith. In one sense, Christianity is actually MONOTHEISM as well. For Christianity does not believe in three gods, we believe in ONE GOD in three persons. Oh my, does that get complicated, but vital. Jesus is God, Jesus is the Son of God, Jesus is the second person of the Trinity. But Jesus is not a second god alongside the first god the Father (lower case was intentional there).

(Be sure to click on Colossians 1:15, 1:19-20; Colossians 2:9; and Hebrews 1:3.)

TRINITY – One God, one nature, one essence – but three persons. I’ll save that for another post.

Here is another one for another post. These religions are not the same. They are not even close. They are night-and-day different in what they believe about God and about life with God. The only thing they have in common is they believe in God.

An excellent book on how different these faiths are is God is Not One by Stephen Prothero.

If you are still with me, we are nearing the end.

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Atheism says all the above is nonsense. No matter what shape or form or belief system, all religion is just infantile deception. Of course, you know I disagree.

I believe in God.
The personal God.
The Triune God, Father-Son-Spirit.
Jesus who is God and the Son of God.

The Sunday sermon concludes our reJesus series and we will talk about the most important aspect of Jesus. You guessed it—Jesus is God. His God-ness fills every other aspect, every other role, every position, every title, every quality about him. God-ness and godliness flows through every particle of Jesus’ person, life, and ministry.

That is the Real Jesus and that is the Real Jesus with whom you want a Real Relationship.

See you Sunday when I tell you what God Jesus does to this thing called LIFE.

Pastor Brian

 

Brian Rice

What I love most about my job:

Having the ability to empower and resource leaders to bear much fruit that lasts. Being a part of a team of friends and missional servants committed to changing the world.
Brian Rice

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