With all the divisions in modern Christianity, is it surprising there is something wrong way down at the core? The Bible says
God's firm foundation stands, having this seal: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from unrighteousness.
This blog is directed toward my evangelical brothers and sisters, of whom I consider myself a part. Evangelical can be rightly said to be thoroughly leavened with Calvinism.
If, in your investigation, you probe into the history and influence of Calvinism, you will discover that its doctrines have been incorporated into the majority of the great creeds of the Protestant churches. ( McClintock, J & Strong, J. (Editors). Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature; cited in Osburn, G. 2019. "Calvinism." Web. The Apostolic Doctrine. Retrieved May 3, 2021 from https://www.theapostolicdoctrine.com/calvinism/)
I love the zeal, the worship, the evangelistic fervor, and the love of Jesus I find in evangelical circles. Nonetheless, "Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from unrighteousness" is not foundational to most of them. As a result, so many verses of the New Testament are "difficult" to them that Josh and Sean McDowell had to write a book called The Handbook of Difficult Verses. The Epistle to the Romans, which they see as extremely evangelical, is actually a confusing mix of passages on faith and works.
- 2:6: "[God] will pay back to everyone according to their works; to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and incorruptibility, [he will pay back] eternal life ..."
- 3:28: "We maintain therefore that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law."
- 4:6: "David ... pronounces blessing on the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works."
- 6:22: "Being made free from sin and having become servants of God, you have your fruit of sanctification and the result eternal life."
Never mind James 2:24, the verse that most directly contradicts Romans 3:28 (second on the list above) and which puzzled Martin Luther so much that he offered his doctor's cap to anyone who could reconcile it with Romans 3:28. The standard evangelical, and thus Calvinist, interpretation of Romans 3:28 causes contradiction right in Romans itself!
This blog is devoted to providing a proper and easily understandable foundation for understanding the Bible that does not produce difficult verses or contradictions. I cannot say that I found all this on my own. Some of my most troubling questions were answered by reading the writings of the earliest Christians after the New Testament.
My name is Paul Pavao, and I simply a devoted student of the Scriptures who has refused to accept the idea that some of the verses of the Bible do not mean what they say. Instead, I have devoted 39 years to honestly exploring the solutions to all the contradictions both within and between the various evangelical theologies. I have been debating, discussing, asking questions, reading books, and examining Scripture to make sure that when I teach something, there are no Bible verses directly contradicting what I teach.
I know that this is what most evangelical teachers would claim. The problem is that almost all evangelicals teach that salvation, from start to finish, is by faith alone, yet the Bible says, "You see then that by works a man is justified and not by faith only." This is the only occurrence of the phrase "faith only" in the whole Bible! They run into a contradictory Scripture on their most foundational doctrine!
Please try not to put me in some theological box. What I teach on this blog is the result of the process I gave above. It does fit into the theology of those earliest Christian writers I mentioned (all of whom can be easily read for free at http://www,earlychristianwritings.com).
I am delightfully married to Lorie Pavao, and we will celebrate our 34th anniversary in 2021. We have six children, though one is with Jesus awaiting the resurrection. As of May of 2021, we are the joyful parents of three grandchildren. We diligently pursue and preserve the unity of the Spirit with all those who name the name of Christ and depart from unrighteousness in Selmer, TN, no matter what house of worship they attend on Sunday morning.