THE LITTLE BOOK OF PROVIDENCE & ITS 95 THESES

The aims and objectives may be summarized as follows:

A UNIFIED GOSPEL

1 God’s Good News for the world to be rightly understood by all Christians so that it can be clearly presented to those who may live to see Christ’s return. For unlike others (see below) they will have had no opportunity post-mortem to be enlightened and prepared for what the bible refers to as the renaissance, re-birth or restoration (Greek: παλινγενεσίᾳ) that Christ shall instigate (Mt19:28).

GOD’S BROADER BENIGN PROVIDENCE UNVEILED

2 The vastly broader scope of God’s benign providence and the global benefits of Christ’s saving work to be recognized and acclaimed (Ps66:4)

2.1 In terms of a theodicy, the evil and sufferings in this world perceived as necessary preparation for those who are children of dust to fulfil a destiny superior to that of the angels – such a reordering being a result of the incarnation of the Word of God as a Man – cf. Heb1:4; Heb2:7-11; Rom8:20)

2.2 Satan and his people (1Jn3:12) perceived to have fulfilled a paradoxical role in helping to bring this about – through the suffering and adversity they have caused to mankind – such suffering being the grist for glory (cf. Heb2:10)

AUGUSTINIAN THEOLOGY REVISITED

3 Augustinian-derived narrow dualisms deconstructed and replaced with a coherent synopsis of the bible, the outworking of which accords with God’s self-described compassionate nature and munificent providence (set out in The Little Book of Providence – made freely available to all as a PDF)

3.1 Augustine (not exclusively so, but above all others), revered by so many, shown to have led churches into profound error, especially in the West. For the doctrines derived from his distinctive teachings barbarize God’s nature, deny the existence of the human spirit and poison the Good News of God. In particular, he was able to convince the Western Church that it is Christ intention (Jn5:22) that the bulk of people who have ever lived should endure pain and misery through eternity (The City of God Book XXI): “Many more are to be left under punishment than are delivered from it, in order that it may thus be shown what had been due to all” (ibid chap. 12).

THE RE-FORMATION

4 As was the case in the first millennium of the Christian era, that there might be one united, catholic, apostolic Church. Only then shall the sacrificial, re-presentational, sanctifying and universally propitiating role of the Eucharist offered up by the Church as priesthood for the world be acknowledged and participated in by all true followers of Christ.

4.1 It is surely right and just that the world should have received a coherent account of God’s Good News of the Kingdom at the point Christ returns. He Himself has affirmed it, such a gospel shall be preached “as a testimony to all nations, then the end shall come” (Mt24:14). That can only occur if the churches are re-formed as one.

4.2 The ideal (I suggest only) precondition for such a reunion to occur is if all traditions can be shown to have been in substantial error (cf. Rom11:32). Who then would dare resist the divine will and hinder such a work by determinedly defending their ecclesiological tradition/denomination at all costs? For my part, I was an EvangelicaI Calvinist for 28 years; for the last 24 years a Roman Catholic, for which I am no longer an apologist as much as an apologizer. The Catholic Church’s main problem for the last 500 years is not so much her practice, priests or people but who is missing from her – in my experience, some of the most devoted and enthusiastic followers of Jesus Christ I have known. What mutual benefits there will be for the Church and the world when parent and children are re-united at last.

RECOGNISING THE TRUE SOURCE OF SINFULNESS WITHIN MAN

5. To clarify what the bible means by “salvation” – what it is from and what it is for. Regarding the former, that it is the procreated intellectual vessel (the bodily senses as processed through the brain) rather than the God-given soul or spirit that is the source of human sinfulness (cf. Rom7:21-24). In terms of what gospel salvation is for, it is not directly related to whether the soul goes to heaven (albeit there could only be one temporary resting place for a truly saved soul). Rather, it is to partake of the divine nature whilst still in mortal flesh (proto-theosis) in order that those predestined to fulfil the role can be fitted for immediate participation in Christ’s rule in the age to come (note #1). The key point being that religious faith or the lack of it does not determine the destination of the soul immediately after death. That pertains to –

NATURAL LAW AND LOVE

6. As was the case with earliest Church fathers, a recognition that a positive response to natural law is effectual and normative – not for what the bible means by salvation (above) but for humane living and final acceptance with God. For “nature” is not the creature of a lesser god. So-called natural law is really Christ’s law, through Whom and for Whom all things were created – the Son of Man who personally identifies with the poor and needy and enlightens every soul that comes into the world (Jn1:9KJV – note#2). Those who genuinely care for the needy are regarded and rewarded as having served Christ Himself (Mt25:40). In so doing they demonstrate that they are “of God” (1Jn4:7 cf. 3:12) and fulfil the ultimate purpose of God’s Law which is defined by Paul in one word: LOVE (Rom13:9; Gal5:14). Hence the joyful news that most souls (barring certain unsaltables) are to be reunited with those they have loved and lost in life.

HELL – A DIVINELY ORDERED ESTABLISHMENT

7. I commented on this in a recent post from which I quote:

7.1 “It is insightful to refer to Jesus’ teaching in Mt5:22, carefully noting the gradations.  “I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be answerable to the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be answerable to the Sanhedrin, whilst whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into hell fire”. This shows the absurdity of traditional Western teaching on hell: It could never be “all or nothing”. Nevertheless, for those whose misuse of their bodily members and senses has compromised the integrity of their soul (Mt5:29-30), Jesus affirms directly in the context of hell’s punishments that such must “be salted with fire, SALT BEING GOOD. However, if the salt becomes unsaltable, how will you make it salty again? Better to have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another” (Mk9:49-50).

7.2 Neither is hell administered by demons with pitchforks as depicted in some medieval paintings, but by God, His saints and angels (cf. Lk16:25 – that is strictly Hades but note the overseer (Abraham) and why Lazarus is being comforted – it has nothing to do with religion or having lived a sinless life). For, Jesus had insisted, everyone must be salted, if not in this life, then in the next (cf. Lk6:24-25). My book explains why this must be (ch.7). Your Church is unlikely to, for most have yet to grasp this mystery, yet it’s potentially the most wonderful news of all😂. Hell incorporates an element of punishment (for sure) and is best avoided by having salt in yourself. But for most attendees it is primarily a place of learning (the hard way), self-enlightenment, moral correction, purification and preparation. For there is no distinction between the fires of hell and “purgatory” either in the bible or the writings of those who had received the Faith directly from the apostle. And whilst our God is a pardoning God, pardon per se is not sufficient for souls that have been poisoned or corrupted. Acceptance is one thing; fittedness for divine service is another. Purging and salting will be necessary for some; neither will it necessarily be devoid of suffering – sensual, mental or both. Yet even that shall not avail for all.

7.3 For in the worst cases, in view of what a few individuals have become in life (lawless, hateful and irredeemably corrupted), they could never exist within “new heavens and a new earth where righteousness dwells” that Peter sought after. In Jesus’ words it were better they had never been born – and best both for themselves and everyone else that after due punishment they cease to exist. For they are “unsaltable, good for nothing, to be cast out and trodden under foot” (Mt5:13). These are they who “lose their soul” (Mt16:26).

7.4 God’s hatred of evil, proportional punishment and redistributive/compensatory justice are the outworking of his love, as all who possess the mind of Christ should discern. In the starkest contrast to Augustine, this was third century Origen’s perspective on God’s punishments: “God confers benefits justly and punishes with kindness; since neither goodness without justice nor justice without goodness can display the real dignity of the divine nature” (Origen de Principiis Book II chap5 para 3).

GOD’S SECRET PLAN [Eph3:9-11)

8. “To turn the hearts of fathers back to their children, and the disobedient to the good sense of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord”. Such had been foretold of John the Baptist’s mission. He did not fulfil it – he was beheaded, whilst the One he heralded was also rejected by those foretold to be the children of the Kingdom (Mt8:12). This pertains to the most remarkably eluded mystery of all, even though Paul refers to it in Ephesians 3 and Romans 11: that in terms of Old Testament Scripture, the current age is effectively an inserted epoch🤣. Many OT prophesies have been deferred to the age to come (e.g. Is11:4-9 which like most can only relate to earth not heaven). It reaffirms the reality of a further terrestrial age (note #1)

THE SYNERGISTIC NATURE OF SALVATION

9. As well as turning the heart of the fathers back to their children, John’s other task, that in view of para 8 has also been transferred to the conclusion of the current age, was “to turn the disobedient to the good sense of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord”. That is, to inculcate a proper understanding of what is required on the believers’ part in the process of sanctification required of those who are to be re-formed into Christ’s image whilst still in mortal flesh (Rom8:29). So shall the children of promise who are alive at Christ’s return be suitably prepared for their role in the age to come.

THE NATURE OF THIS PROCESS

10 That these disclosures are perceived for what they are – not entirely new revelation, which they could never be, but new insights as to how the bible should be interpreted.

10.1 A recognition that such a disclosure was foretold in Scripture, to be set out in writing and made universally and freely available at such a time as this. For God knew that the necessary preparation, propagation and verification of such writing would require the research and printing facilities of the internet

10.2 I understand that what is happening was alluded to in Revelation chapter ten and more explicitly so in the Book of Enoch (93:10 & 104:11-14 Charles Version) – Link#1.

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NOTE #1 – As Wikipedia affirms [Link#2] such a premillennial perspective was the prevailing understanding of the early Church. The first “Christian?” opposition was from Marcion, a heretic who rejected the incarnation of Christ and the canonicity of the Old Testament. More significantly, third century Origen came openly to oppose the doctrine, having an over-spiritualized perspective on events relating to the second coming of Christ. Still more influential was Augustine’s change of mind on the subject. That typically ensured the doctrine was dropped by the Church thereafter. For as a leading Anglican scholar in the wiki article rightly observed, all medieval theology is essentially Augustinian – and the Protestant Reformers built on it. [If Augustine got it wrong, we are all in trouble, so here we all are]. Apart from the witness of those early premillennialists who had most immediately received the Faith from the apostles, my point concerning God’s secret plan (the inserted epoch) reinforces the rationale for a terrestrial age to follow the current one.

NOTE #2 – In terms of the translation, it is hardly likely that John writing in the late first century would be informing his readers that the Light (Christ) “is coming into the world” (some translations).

LINK #1 https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Book_of_Enoch_(Charles)

link #2 Premillennialism – Wikipedia

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