Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Test of Essentials and Non-Essentials

C Michael Patton @ http://www.reclaimingthemind.org has a helpful test of "the essentials". He notes a list of the ranks:

Essential for Salvation (1): Those doctrinal issues which rank as a 1 will only be those that you believe are absolutely essential for the Christian to believe in order to be Christian. In other words, if one were to deny this doctrine or issue, they could not be saved.

Essential for Orthodoxy (2): Those doctrinal issues which you rank as 2 will consist of those that you believe are part of the historic Christian faith. Ranking them as a 2 means that you believe that a denial of this doctrine, while not disqualifying someone from salvation, does disqualify them from orthodoxy. Obviously, if you rank something an 1 it will also be a 2, so there is no need to rank it with both a 1 and 2.

Important, but not essential (3): These doctrinal issues are those which you believe are very important for the Christian faith, yet do not qualify as a 1 or 2.

Not important (4): These doctrinal issues are those about which you believe that a person may have a strong opinion but you do not believe have any bearing on a person’s salvation or orthodoxy and are not important in any way for the Christian faith.

Pure speculation (5): These doctrinal issues are those that you believe are pure speculation. In other words, not only do they not qualify for 1-4, but you do not believe that anyone can or should have any legitimate conviction at all.

Wrong (6): These are doctrinal issues that you don’t believe.

Here is a chart/graph to help visualize!

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