This post is a response to a comment made in another Christian reading group on the internet.
It is all about self-sovereignty or God-sovereignty.
The Bible, Old Testament Judaism, and Christianity are the only things in all of human thought and experience that make that distinction.
As Abraham walks from the city of Haran towards Canaan…with each step he takes God is displacing the normative life Abraham would otherwise have lived in Haran…with a higher life-script Abraham could never have dreamed up in his wildest imagination.
No other worldview has this…not Islam, not Buddhism, not Hinduism, and certainly not atheistic materialism.
There are dozens of scriptures in the New Testament that talk about the salvation assurance for Spirit-born Christians.
This has to be the case in order to set up the conditions for the transition from the old covenant…where God calls people to become prophets and kings and deliverers…to the new covenant where every believer will know God from the least to the greatest.
No rational Christian would pick up their cross and follow Jesus into a risky journey of faith if their eternal salvation was contingent upon and in jeopardy upon the quality of our personal performance. No one would take that risk…and God would not expect us to.
The shift from self-sovereignty to God-sovereignty is the most difficult thing any human being can do…God knows this Himself from personal experience…see Jesus the Son of God in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:42).
The new covenant…following the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ…allows every Spirit-born Christian to experience a slice of this distinctive God-sovereignty that we see embedded in the life-scripts of Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Ruth, Hannah, Esther and Mordecai, Daniel, Peter, and Paul…to name but a few.
I am not saved one week, then lose my salvation for a few days, then become saved again for a few more weeks.
I can confidently enter into a risk-filled adventure of faith (and am in one) having the real possibility of the falsifiability of Gods plans and promises for me…and the inevitability of my own failures along the way…with the scriptural and inner assurance of my salvation in-tact so that I can pick up my cross and follow Jesus anywhere (David’s Psalm 23).
There is a lack of assurance of salvation in Islam. In Islam, salvation is based on our good deeds…plus the will of Allah. This is just another version of self-sovereignty…plus some future element of unknown determination.
It is easy to lump together Islamic terrorists, David Koresh, Jim Jones, the Crusades, and the Inquisition as moral equivalents.
Muslims claim that a violent interpretation of the Koran does not represent their true religion…and point to past bad actors and bad actions by so-called Christians for a corroborating likewise argument.
But my point in this post is that Muslims are still stuck in self-sovereignty…salvation being based upon our own good deeds according to our performance…plus the will of Allah on the judgment day.
Biblical narrative stories of faith transcend above all of this back-and-forth debate because these comparable misdeeds all occur in what I like to call the zone of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.
Biblical narrative stories of faith transcend far above the conventional because they all contain the cross of Jesus Christ…God displacing our way with His higher ways and plans.
This simply does not exist in Islam…or in any other form in any worldview.
This in my opinion makes a compelling argument that the Bible has a divine origin.
And it places the biblical narrative stories of faith…by reason of the utter unconventional nature of the cross of Christ…as contrary to humanism as can be…and entirely different from self-sovereignty as night is from day…far above critical reproach.