Why Only Soteriology? Well, that is the purpose of this particular blog, but I don’t include all my disciplines, works, ministry involvements on this blog.
(Listen to the first 13 minutes of THIS PODCAST to here a more thorough explanation.)
Why not dive into ecclesiology, eschatology, inerrancy or maybe even some SBC politics?
I understand that talking about one subject carries the risk of sounding obsessed, consumed and out of balance theologically. However, I have given careful thought to this direction, and here are my responses:
1) As an Adjunct Professor of Theology who teaches primarily online classes I have been challenged to come up with creative ways to engage students via online media. This particular topic can be difficult and has many various facets, so an online class is just one of my attempts to bridge that gap and make this topic as engaging and understandable as possible. There is more than enough subject matter to cover for a lifetime of discussions.
2) Some guys can talk about football, golf, fishing or a host of other topics for hours on end. And while I enjoy those topics at times, my real passion is theology. I especially enjoy discussing the doctrines having to do with salvation and God’s amazing grace. I submit this question for consideration: Is there really any more important subject in the world than God’s grace and our salvation?
3) Soteriology, as it relates specifically to Calvinism and its resurgence, is a pressing issue in this generation. It is a conflict in churches all over the country and thus many are looking for biblical perspectives to address theses difficult questions.
4) Soteriology is not all I actually talk, write, or think about in my “real life.” Those visiting the podcast and this blog are seeing a relatively small slice of the pie. I am typically focused on Youth Evangelism in Texas through directing or supporting events like Super Summer, YEC, Hot Hearts, SYATP, REFUEL, and Real Encounter. I am also a teaching pastor in my local church, a doctoral student at NOBTS, and a family man with a wife and three great children, and another child (jk – kind of). For those who are really bored, you can stalk me on facebook, twitter and my blog where I discuss other topics in life.
5) I was greatly impacted in my formative years through the theological journey into and then back out of Calvinism. My home church growing up went through a split over the doctrines and I was one of the individuals supporting Calvinistic theology in that split. In fact, I later became a staff member at the new “Reformed” church that was started as a result. Family members and dear friends were all significantly impacted by this conflict. I developed deep relationships with other like minded believers in that decade of my life. So, the journey into Calvinism hurt many of my relationships with my non-Calvinistic friends and family, then my journey back out of Calvinism hurt my relationships with my new Calvinistic brethren. Nothing about that was easy. It affected me deeply and still does to this day. It is a “passion topic” not only because of its significance theologically, but because of the role it has played in my life.
6) My doctoral dissertation involves soteriology, so at this stage in my life it is consuming more of my thoughts and energies than it has at other times. My desire is to develop a curriculum that helps young people better understand the historical context and culture of the biblical writings so as to interpret it more accurately. Westerns are typically individualized thinkers and many of us are ignorant of how a first century communal culture thinks or understands the world. In addition, few understand the concept of God’s judicial hardening of Israel and its unique purpose at the time of Paul’s writings, which leads to much confusion surrounding this topic.
Hopefully, this helps others to see why I’ve pinpointed my topic to soteriology alone. This does not mean if I’m directly asked about other topics that I wouldn’t engage them as well, but as far as this podcast/blog goes my purpose is fairly narrow. Blessings and let me know if you have questions.