Orthodox is defined as “pertaining to, or conforming to the approved form of any doctrine”.  The approved form of the Christian doctrine of salvation is that we are saved only through belief in Jesus and his death for our sins.  But what if there are questions about this orthodox belief?  Is there room in our Christian faith to question the first principles?  Consider the following contradictions within this doctrine.

  • If God is a God of love and justice, how can he condemn people to hell who have not heard of Jesus, who have a distorted view of Jesus, or whose culture and/or religion tell them Jesus is irrelevant (not everyone has the time and resources to question the culture and religion in which they were raised)..
  • Everyone agrees that God made us finite. Being finite means our ability to know what is true is limited.  Human existence is like living in a fog.  The things that are near can be easily seen but things at a distance are obscured in the mists.  So how can God require us to believe in the extraordinary events of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection which occurred over 2,000 years ago?  How can God require us to do something he made us incapable of doing?
  • There are well over 70 passages in the New Testament that teach salvation is through belief in God, or through our conduct, pattern of behavior, motivation, use of abilities, and repentance (see the page titled “What the Bible Says about Salvation” for a complete list). If salvation is only through belief in Jesus, why did God place these verses in the Bible?  Is God trying to confuse us?

Am I the only one who sees a problem when a major doctrine of Christianity has substantial contradictions within it?  In my conversations with other Christians, they recognize these problems but seem to have no interest in discussing a solution.  Why?  I have a very hard time believing that God would place such contradictions within a doctrine that is essential to our eternal fate.  There must be a solution.

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