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Chapter 69


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Chapter 69

  1. 1. TH 513 Systematic Theology II PPt. by Dr. Mark Hardgrove GEISLER, NORMAN SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY II
  2. 2. Geisler, Norman Vol. 3 Systematic Theology II Chapter 69 “The Content of Salvation”
  3. 3. The Content of Salvation In this chapter Geisler wrestles with the thorny of issue of what a person must believe (the content of his faith) in order to be saved. Though differences between denominations may be subtle or stark, the question of content is important in terms of establishing what we must believe in order to be saved, and thereby acknowledge one another as “brothers” and “sisters” in the body of Christ.
  4. 4. Distinctions  Geisler makes distinctions between different aspects of believing and of faith:  The Object of faith vs. the Basis of faith  The Object of faith vs. the Content of faith  The Conditions for Obtaining a Gift vs. Conditions for Losing a Gift  Absolute Conditions vs. Normative Conditions  One-Time Normative Conditions vs. All-Time Normative Conditions  Explicit Necessary Conditions vs. Implicit Necessary Conditions  Consistent Beliefs vs. Inconsistent Beliefs  Denying vs. Not Believing
  5. 5. The Difference Between Absolute and Normative It is normally but no absolutely necessary to use dry wood in order to build a fire. Similarly, God could will as normatively necessary what is not absolutely necessary for someone to be saved. For example, He could will as a normative salvific condition that all people believe in Christ’s substituionary death (atonement) on their behalf, even if this particularly belief were not an absolute necessity for salvation. The present issue is not whether in fact Christ needed to die for our sins in order for us to be saved but whether belief in that reality is an absolutely necessary condition for salvation.
  6. 6. The Difference Between Explicit and Implicit Normative Conditions What is implicitly necessary for salvation is not always explicitly so. It would seem that all essential salvific (saving) truth itself is necessary for salvation in its comprehensive sense. However, even granting this (as most evangelicals do) does not mean that a person must explicitly believe every element of it in order to receive the gift of everlasting life. It is possible, for example, that a certain truly saved person never heard about (let alone believed in) Christ’s virgin birth or ascension at the time he believed the gospel and was saved (cf. Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 15:1-6).
  7. 7. Geisler’s Assessment of Content In the final slide of this presentation is a chart (found on pages 544-545 of Geisler, vol. 3), in which Geisler, using the delimiters of absolute, normative, explicit and implicit, indicates what he believes is essential for salvation. Absolutely refers to what is nor isn’t an absolute necessity for belief today to be saved; that is, whether God could or couldn’t save someone unless he or she believed it.
  8. 8. Geisler’s Assessment of Content Normatively refers to whether something is mandated by God but is not absolutely necessary; that is, whether the belief is required by God for His own reasons, not because salvation wouldn’t be possible without that specific belief.
  9. 9. Geisler’s Assessment of Content Explicitly refers to whether a person must overtly believe in a specific truth in order to receive salvation. Implicitly refers to whether or not a certain truth, while not an explicit part of the belief content necessary for salvation today, is implied in another truth in which belief is explicitly necessary for salvation today.
  10. 10. Geisler’s Assessment of Content Familiarize yourself with the chart on the next slide. Ask yourself if you agree with Geisler’s assessment and why you agree or disagree.
  11. 11. What Is Necessary to Believe to Be Saved? Absolutely Normatively Explicitly Implicitly Only 1. Human Depravity No Yes No Yes 2. Christ’s Virgin Birth No Yes No Yes 3. Christ’s Sinlessness No Yes No Yes 4. Christ’s Humanity No Yes No Yes 5. Christ’s Deity Yes Yes Yes No 6. God’s Unity Yes Yes Yes No 7. TheTrinity No Yes No Yes 8. The Necessity of Grace Yes Yes Yes No 9. The Necessity of Faith Yes Yes Yes No 10. Christ’s Atoning Death No Yes Yes No 11. Christ’s Bodily Resurrection No Yes Yes No 12. Christ’s Bodily Ascension No No No No 13. Christ’s Present Session No No No No 14. Christ’s Bodily Second Coming No No No No
  12. 12. Reminders Know when your final paper is due and prep for the final exam.