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Questions tagged [soteriology]

the study of the mechanisms by which an individual is saved

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On what basis do Protestants extend the New Covenant to include gentiles?

Given "sola scriptura" and the explicit assertions in scripture regarding the participants in the covenant ("the houses of Israel and Judah") how do Protestants justify teaching it to be for gentile ...
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Atonement in Eastern Orthodoxy

The mainline protestant idea of Atonement is, as Luther himself put it, this: Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, died for our sins and was raised again for our justification (Romans 3:24–25). He ...
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Do Jehovah's Witnesses have one Saviour or Two?

Jehovah's witnesses firmly believe that Jehovah and Jesus are separate beings and that Jesus is NOT God because Jesus is an angel. What do JW's say about their Saviour? Specifically, Isa 43:3, 11, ...
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If Jesus's death was not eternal, then how can it be substitutionary for the eternal deaths of humans?

Sinful humans are judged and sentenced to eternal death. But did Jesus experience eternal death? If so, how? If not, how then can it be considered substitutionary for our deaths? How do those who ...
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What are the various beliefs about the fate of honest atheists?

Some atheists (or any explicit denier of Christian truth) claim that their disbelief in Christianity is an honest one, viz. if they had put their faith in Christ they would be lying to themselves and ...
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Anglican Absolution

In Anglicanism, both justification by faith alone (article 11 of the 39) and priestly absolution (found within the order of the visitation of the sick in the BCP ) are doctrinal stances in the book ...
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Which church fathers taught involuntary universal salvation?

Which early church fathers (including those now considered heretics like Origen) pre 1054 taught that "all will be saved", including all of the dead without "hearing and believing"? In other words, ...
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Salvation Possible After Death

Which early church fathers (pre 500) taught it was possible for a person after their death to hear and receive salvation in Christ Jesus? We know some groups teach the necessity of water baptism to ...
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Was universalism the majority belief of the early church?

I recently came upon an article that made this statement: According to historical records, Universal Reconciliation was the majority belief of the church during the first five centuries of the ...
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In Reformed theology, what exactly does the doctrine of “limited atonement” actually assert?

I have found it quite confusing to try and understand what traditional Reformed circles mean precisely in their doctrine of "limited/definite atonement"/"particular redemption", especially as not all ...
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What does “the Lord opened her heart” (Acts 16:14) mean, according to Calvinists?

Acts 16:13 (NIV) On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. I ...
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Immaculate Conception: Why was it necessary for our Salvation?

According to many Catholic apologists, like Dr. Robert Sungenis,1 the dogma of the immaculate conception of Mary is not simply binding because it is a divinely revealed dogma, but according to them it ...
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Who are the “extreme Anabaptists” who believed that regeneration makes people incapable of sin?

While reading Louis Berkhof's Systematic Theology, I noticed an interesting tidbit about the beliefs of "extreme Anabaptists" on regeneration. He argues: [Regeneration is not] a complete or ...
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Calvinism: Does God force people to be saved?

Calvinists often object to the criticism that their doctrine teaches that God forces men to be saved against their will. From what I've read, Calvinism teaches that God changes a man's nature and ...
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Where did Augustine say “It is certain that few are saved”?

I've noticed on several sites Augustine is quoted as having said "It is certain that few are saved." Does anybody know the source? I find the quote curious because he ascribes certainty to his ...
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Is belief in the suspension or replacement of any of the previous covenants necessary for salvation today?

Is belief in the suspension or replacement of any of the previous covenants necessary for salvation today? To those who wants a longer wording: Is belief in the suspension or replacement of any of ...
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1answer
351 views

Calvinism: Dealing with paradoxes

In a video entitled "John MacArthur: Calvinism vs. Arminianism", Todd Friel of Wretched gives a short introduction before showing a clip of John MacArthur at some event several years ago, allegedly ...
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158 views

What is the biblical basis for Christians quitting their jobs?

Recently upon travelling from university I came across a fairly new Christian sect called Jesus Christians. They were handing out DVD's which had a QR code linking to a Youtube channel called A Voice ...
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How do Calvinists argue that limited atonement is just and merciful?

Why is it just or merciful that God predetermines who is to be saved and who is to be damned, before they are even born? Does that not mean a murderer may be saved and a charity worker damned?
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How is the atonement sufficient for salvation according to Calvinists?

Because there is not a single verse in the Bible that explicitly states that Christ laid down his life only for believers (the elect), Calvinists typically defend their doctrine of limited atonement ...
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2answers
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What is the Protestant interpretation of Philippians 3:12?

Protestantism generally teaches that salvation is by faith alone, through grace. Paul seem to make a case for this in Philippians 3:9: and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own ...
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According to Calvinism, if Catholicism might lead to salvation, why to remain a Calvinist? (Henry IV story)

In his 1786 book, "The History of Heresies and Their Refutation", (saint) Alphonsus Liguiri wrote: I think the danger of eternal perdition, by dying separated from the Church, should be a ...
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Looking for an apologetic to the “Cosmic Child Abuse” objection

Recently during a discussion I got smacked with the "Cosmic Child Abuse" argument. I had heard of it before, but never really had to wrestle with it in real life. I discovered that I don't actually ...
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(LDS view) Do animals have a possibility to eternal life and is this dependent on Jesus atonoment applied to them?

This is my other question that was inspired by what a quotation in this other question says about pre-existence prior to conception. The highest rated answer quotes from The Encyclopedia of Mormonism,...
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From a Dogmatic Catholic perspective, what is the eternal destination of an unbaptized embryo?

This dogmatic statement from the Council of Trent makes it Crystal Clear that we inherit sin from Adam. If any one asserts, that the prevarication of Adam injured himself alone, and not his ...
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Do Protestants go to heaven? [duplicate]

According to the Roman Catholic Church, do Protestants go to heaven? Ideally I would like quotes from official sources on the matter.
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Did Abraham have faith in the future coming of Christ?

R.C. Sproul's book on Romans, Chapter 10, page 106. "When Paul speaks of Abraham's justification as being by faith, that is shorthand for saying that Abraham was justified by the righteousness of ...
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What are Jehovah's Witnesses beliefs on how those who died before Jesus, or before JWs existed, will gain salvation?

Christian denominations have different beliefs about how those who died before Jesus existed, or before their denomination existed, can gain salvation. For example, some denominations believe that ...
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1answer
159 views

According to Catholicism, if someone receives last rites, is everything forgiven?

So you've killed dozens of people, cheated on wife, destroyed families blah blah. Then before dying the priest administers you the last rites. Is everything forgiven? Will you go to heaven because you ...
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1answer
157 views

Who does John 6:40 refer to according to Reformed theology? [closed]

For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. —John 6:40 NIV (emphasis mine) Does the bold ...
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Is the choice, or decision, to accept Salvation through Jesus Christ a Work?

While reviewing the superb answers to this question about free will, I was inspired to leave a comment for Ian that I realized ought to be its own question. As I understand (and possibly ...
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Understanding Zechariah's prophecy in Luke 1 as a Protestant, Evangelical Dispensationalist believer

In Luke 1:68–69, Zechariah says under the influence of the Holy Spirit: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people and has raised up a horn of salvation ...
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How do Calvinists understand “anyone” in 2 Peter 3:9?

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance From a ...
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Refute perceived differences in the Gospel between Peter and Paul from Sola Scriptura perspective [closed]

What is the biblical evidence in keeping with the Protestant, Sola Scriptura perspective, for refuting a claim that Paul's gospel differed from Peter's gospel? I see in Scripture: 2 Peter 1:1-2 ...
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In what sense do Presbyterians consider Christ's sacrifice “perfect”?

This question concerns in part the following quote heard regularly by Presbyterian Pastors: “Catholics deny the sufficiency of Christ’s redemptive work on the cross and by doing so, forfeit their ...
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What is the/any Arminian/Catholic interpretation of Hebrews 10:14?

Hebrews 10:14 reads: For by one offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. How do Christians who believe that salvation can be lost interpret this verse? I hear ...
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1answer
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In which writings does Tertullian apply the concept of satisfaction to salvation?

Everett Ferguson, in Church History, I.21.IV, cites Tertullian (d. ~240) as a proto-satisfaction theory of atonement thinker: The sacrificial or satisfaction theory had an initial statement by ...
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Is the Promise of Regeneration Enunciated in the Old Testament?

Regeneration of the human spirit is a cornerstone doctrine of the New Testament, taught in Jesus’ famous ‘born again’ discourse with Nicodemus. (John 3) Likewise, St. Paul explains our restoration in ...
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Salvation for Protestants who knowingly reject Catholicism? [duplicate]

Is there salvation for Protestants who have researched, prayed, and ultimately rejected Catholic teachings? Explanation: I am a Protestant aligning most closely with Baptists. I am engaged to a ...
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What is the biblical basis for the belief that Jesus' death made satisfaction for individual sins?

Among evangelical Protestants, especially, but also in various other quarters of Christianity, it is common to believe that "Jesus died for me" in the sense that Jesus' death made satisfaction for (in ...
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How can 1 Corinthians 15:3 be reconciled with Calvinism and limited atonement?

I have been studying the 5 Points of Calvinism (TULIP) for some time and I can say that I accept 4 out of 5. My biggest problem with Calvinism is the doctrine of Limited Atonement that says Jesus ...
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Was St. John Chrysostom Pelagian?

In this answer about Pelagianism (Did Pelagius believe in "faith alone"?) the author makes a sort of apology for Pelagianism and claims that St. John Chrysostom was Pelagian himself. The ...
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1answer
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According to Calvinists, is each person “dead in sin” at birth, or only after committing a sin?

First I thought that there is no difference between OS (Original Sin) and TD (Total Depravity) in the Calvinist pov. This is what I first thought : (OS = TD) Cain/Abel/Seth (and their next ...
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Was the Second Council of Quierzy (853) controlled by Hincmar against the Augustinians?

In a lecture, Reformed theologian and church historian Douglas Kelly says: Hincmar controlled a council – it was not a really representative council. He stacked it. […] The semi-Augustinian, proto-...
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216 views

Purgatory for those who are saved outside The Church

The Catholic Church teaches (Biblically) that some might be saved outside the Catholic Church. This question relates to those, for example a non-denominational Christian that lives his life ...
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240 views

What, exactly, happened to the good thief on the cross, and why? (Catholic perspective)

Jesus says to the thief on the cross "today you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43). What does this mean? Did the thief go straight to heaven when he died? Did he get to skip purgatory? If so, ...
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245 views

What did John Wycliffe teach about the fate of infants who die?

I saw a movie of John Wycliffe's life, and it portrayed him as disagreeing that those dying in infancy go to hell. Instead, he cited David's belief of seeing again his dead infant son as proof that ...
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872 views

According to the Catholic Church, do conjoined twins have two souls?

Do conjoined twins have two souls or one? The Catholic position would be useful to know.
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240 views

Do Lutherans believe that the sacraments are necessary for salvation (similar to Catholics), and if so, how do they reconcile this with Sola Fide?

During my internet adventures browsing theological articles and blogs, I somehow picked up the idea that in a similar way to Catholics, Lutherans believe in baptismal regeneration and that baptism is, ...
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Do good works always express saving faith in Christ, even when that faith is not explicit?

My understanding of the Catholic view on the relationship between faith and works is that faith and works are inseparable. Which is to say that true faith will always find expression in works, and ...