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I use this newsletter to send Bible studies as much as once per week, sometimes less, but never more. See back issues.

Rebuilding the Foundations: Chapter 2

The Floor Plan

The original plan for Rebuilding the Foundations was to begin with verses that talked about the foundation of our faith. Obvious, right? Although it was obvious, it was the wrong way to start. As it turns out, the verses that talk about Christian foundations are written for Christians. Thus, in order to discuss the foundations of our faith as given by Scripture rather than centuries of tradition, I need to start with the Gospel because that is all messed up too. This book is written primarily for evangelicals. Though "evangelical" has no official definition, the following is what I mean by evangelical.

  • An evangelical believes that the Bible is either the primary or sole rule for faith and practice.
  • An evangelical believes that we are saved (born again) by faith alone apart from works.
  • An evangelical believes either: that every born-again believer is guaranteed to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven (go to heaven) no matter what he/she does ("eternal security"); or that a born again believer can lose his/her salvation and wind up going to hell.
  • An evangelical believes that salvation is by faith alone even if he/she believes that salvation can be lost by bad behavior (e.g., Assemblies of God).
  • My working definition of "evangelical" is derived from my own experience in the Assemblies of God, various charismatic churches, the Southern Baptist Church, and my interaction with Christians of many other denominations.

If you do not fit this definition, this book is not specifically written to you, but I suspect that you will benefit from reading it.

Finally, I have found the teachings in this book to be most well-received and beneficial for committed evangelicals that are living out their faith and influencing others, especially missionaries. Such Christians already know in their heart that these things are true, but long tradition has obscured their vision as well. These are thrilled when they see the scriptural backing for the lives the Holy Spirit has already led them to live.

That said, I feel free to challenge the evangelical gospel as well because we all know that a large percentage of evangelical converts either fall away or become nominal and even bored. This often happens within the first year of their conversion. Jesus said that good trees do not produce bad fruit.

Because of all this we will begin with the Gospel. Once we have established what we are supposed to believe when we first "believe" in Jesus. then we can look at the things that the Bible says are foundational for Christians. That foundation will lead us from concept to concept and from verse to verse until it has rounded up most of the New Testament and fit it into a paradigm that most Christians have forgotten or, worse, rejected.

One that paradigm, or model, is clear, I will show that there was a time when all the churches of the Roman empire held to that model.

Hopefully, you are now either skeptical or thrilled at the prospect of a base model of the Christian faith that was once universal. As said, I will begin with the Gospel because that model is for Christians.