Friday, July 21, 2006

Does a Person Believe in a Person apart from Propositions about that Person?

Here's another question from the audience for Professor Hodges following the conference speech:

Question from the audience: I thought I previously heard you say that you can’t believe in a person apart from a proposition about that person, as in Gordon Clark’s writings. But now, was I hearing you say a person can believe in a person without believing in a proposition about that person?

Answer from Professor Hodges: No, you did not hear me say that. You’re very alert to have raised that question because, if you will notice, what I was saying all the way through here is that the person is believing that Jesus guarantees their eternal salvation. So, that’s the proposition they believe, but they’re focusing on the Person who guarantees that and not the auxiliary truths which support it. So, at least in my own mind, I’m free from contradiction there.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Is there a Minimum that People Must Understand about His Person?

Here is another question from the audience following Professor Hodges' speech on How to Lead People to Christ, Pt. 1:
Question from the audience: I just wanted some clarification on … I’m still a little bit unclear on what a person needs to know about Jesus, especially in light of new age religions today and confusion. Say someone believed or thought that Jesus was equated with Buddha, but yet named the name of Jesus but did not understand Who He was in light of Biblical truth. Is there a minimum that people must understand as far as His Person is concerned?

Answer from Professor Hodges: That’s a very good question, and I’m very thankful that I don’t have to make all the refined decisions that are related here. Quite obviously there are concepts of Jesus that move away from any kind of Biblical presentation of Him. I am aware of a movement that finds in Jesus just simply another manifestation of the same phenomenon that we found in Buddha and all the great mystics, that sort of thing. And so my first question is, Is somebody who believes that way, is he going to really believe in the exclusive claims of Jesus? But suppose he does. Then I’m going to leave it to God to decide whether he had his focus on Jesus, or if he was believing in Jesus/Buddha (somebody else). That is something I, frankly, would not even venture to try to decide because really God knows the heart of each individual who believes. The bottom line is, if the Jesus whom we are focusing our faith on is the Jesus of the Bible, that’s the Person we’re talking about, we’re trusting Him for the provision the Bible says He makes for the believer, that’s the person who’s saved. But I am going to admit there are cloudy areas here that God alone will be able to penetrate.

Question from the audience: So talking to an individual who had some beliefs such as this, would you try to clarify or give them assurance of salvation?

Answer from Professor Hodges: I would definitely try to clarify. Absolutely.