Every now and then, I look back on my walk of faith and have a hard time believing just how much I’ve changed. I don’t mean in terms of virtue and character but also in my theological outlook. Things I couldn’t have imagined believing 10 years ago, I either do hold to them or don’t really care enough either way.
So I thought it’d be fun to list out some ways that I’ve changed. (I’m sure I’ll look back in 10 years at this list and realize how much I’ve changed–again.)
After you read my list, feel free to join the conversation. How have you changed as a Christian? Are you still hold to the faith?
Are you a Catholic turned Protestant?
A Christian turned atheist?
A Baptist turned … wait, what was I thinking? You’re Baptist. You’re already perfect! 😉
I’ll start it off:
-Where I once would have seen salvation in terms of Jesus getting us into heaven, I now see the Gospel as God’s message of how He intends to save the world–through Jesus Christ. The Gospel is about more than a personal relationship with God or social-justice work. God will destroy evil once and for all and establish the world in justice. All of this is accomplished through Christ, and anyone who’s willing, regardless of their sinful history, is invited to be saved and join the movement.
-I’ve gone from being a young-earth creationist to someone who thinks that the theory of evolution is valid and that our universe is billions of years old. Truth is truth. In this case, I think it’s found both in Genesis and through science.
-I used to be a four-point, John-Piper loving Calvinist. (The concept of limited atonement never stuck with me, even back then.) I no longer think that the Reformed concept of “election” matches up with what the Scriptures actually present to us.
-I’m no longer a biblical inerrantist. I’m not convinced that when the biblical writers described the Scriptures as inspired or God-breathed, they had “inerrancy” in mind.
-I used to think that only people who had heard the Gospel could be saved. I now think it’s possible that someone who hasn’t heard the Good News can respond favorably to the revelation they’ve received of the true God and be saved. It’s not within my power, though, to know who that might be or God might make that work (assuming such a thing is even possible). It’s certainly not an excuse to cast aside the Great Commission.
-I still hold to a traditional view of hell even as I hope I’m wrong about it. I hope that God would continue to offer mercy, but even if He did, I don’t think that guarantees anyone in torment would take it. (This scenario assumes that post-mortem repentance is even possible.) You can label me a “hopeful universalist,” because I hope that everyone, everywhere, of every time period, will come to know Christ, but I have yet to hear a convincing case for it from Scripture.
-When the Bible condemned homosexuality, I’m open to the view that it was attacking same-sex acts performed in the context of pagan worship and not within a committed relationship.
-Even if the traditional view is correct, I don’t think that’s justification for anti-gay marriage laws. I’m not convinced such laws are the best way to “protect” marriage–assuming gay marriage is an actual threat. I also find it odd that many conservatives want the government to be powerful enough to regular marriage when they cringe at the thought of government getting involved in health care.
-I’m much more willing to listen to different theological opinions than I used to be. Regardless of whether you agree with me on biblical inerrancy, I think we can all agree that none of our personal views are inerrant and all of us need to be challenged from time to time.
That’s it from me. Your turn!