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Brief Insights on Mastering Bible Doctrine


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THE BIBLE AND REVELATION 1. Are you a splitter or a joiner? 2. Don't worry about which tradition has the right canon. 3. Minimizing the Bible's human authorship undermines the doctrine of inspiration. 4. Canonicity is about God's providence, not voting. 5. It's bad theology to alter the Bible through our traditions. 6. Your Bible is and isn't inspired. 7. General revelation is important, but imprecise. 8. You can't write about what you can't know. 9. Any doctrine of biblical inerrancy depends upon defining what "error" means. 10. The doctrine of illumination isn't a promise that we'll understand Scripture by osmosis. THE SPIRITUAL WORLD 11. There was no rebellion of angels before the Fall. 12. Cosmic geography is a biblical concept. 13. All isn't one. 14. Angels image God, too. 15. "God of gods" means exactly what it says. 16. Israelites knew that the gods of the nations were real. 17. Angels don't have wings. 18. Sometimes "satan" is not the Devil. 19. The heavenly host does more than sing around God's throne like it was a camp fire. 20. Jesus believed in guardian angels. THE CHURCH 21. John 6 is not about the Lord's Supper. 22. The communion table isn't a confessional booth. 23. What was Paul thinking when he compared baptism and circumcision? 24. Motion or meaning (in baptism)---what's more important? 25. Let's not confuse the eternal state with the canon. 26. Sacraments or ordinances---a distinction without a difference? 27. Are spiritual gifts natural abilities or divine dispensations? 28. When the twelve apostles died, apostolic authority died with them. 29. The baptism of the Holy Spirit isn't about speaking in tongues. ISRAEL 30. The historic covenants God made with Israel were conditionally unconditional. 31. The Tower of Babel is the backdrop for the Old Testament teaching on election. 32. The Church is a new Israel. 33. The Promised Land---forfeited, fulfilled or yet future? 34. Israelite circumcision had theological meaning for women. 35. Israelites were forgiven through animal sacrifice in the Old Testament, but those sacrifices did not atone for ?many kinds of sin. GOD 36. The presence of the Holy Spirit with believers in the Old Testament was occasional and temporary. 37. Jesus wasn't God's only son. 38. The firstborn of all creation didn't have a beginning. 39. The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force. 40. God came to people as a man before Jesus. 41. God neither causes nor needs evil. 42. The humanity of Jesus is as important as his deity. 43. Jesus is and isn't God. 44. Just as Jesus is and isn't God, the Spirit is and isn't Jesus. 45. Just because you can't grasp a doctrine doesn't justify denying that doctrine. 46. There are two ways to think about the three Persons of the Godhead. 47. Don't assume the doctrine of the incarnation is easy to grasp. 48. God was never dumb. 49. God won't allow human evil or ineptitude to overturn his plans. 50. Jesus as God and man---addition or subtraction? 51. Even Trinitarians ght over the Trinity. 52. God's decrees and his intentions are not synonymous. HUMAN NATURE 53. You aren't a body, a soul, and a spirit. 54. Scripture is silent on the origin of the soul. 55. The image of God refers to what we are, not something put into us. 56. God is unlike anything that exists on earth---except for us. 57. You're a sinner because you're not God. 58. Can unbelievers ever please God? SALVATION 59. For by grace you are saved through faith without works is dead. 60. No one can merit God's favor. 61. We cannot avoid sinning, and we contribute nothing to our salvation. 62. Without sin there is innocence before God---and eternal life through the resurrection of Christ. 63. What isn't gained by moral perfection can't be lost by moral imperfection. 64. If you believe, you are eternally secure; if you don't, you aren't. 65. You should think twice about being more offended by the cross than God. 66. Don't fall for the false dile

About the Author

Michael S. Heiser (PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison) is scholar-in-residence at Logos Bible Software. An adjunct professor at a couple of seminaries, he's written numerous articles and books, including The Unseen Realm and I Dare You Not to Bore Me with the Bible.

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