The Theory of Everything
The Holy Grail of theoretical physics—the king of the sciences—is sometimes referred to as “The Theory of Everything,” or TOE.
The quest is to integrate Einstein’s theory of relativity with quantum mechanics to provide a single theory that harmonizes the behavior of physical matter from the tiniest particles to the largest entities in the universe.
Garrett Lisi recently suggested the E8 Lie Group might be used to integrate relativity with quantum mechanics. A current analysis in Scientific American seems to disprove Lisi’s hypothesis.
Another attempt has been the formulation of String Theory. Confirmation of this theory awaits some experimental work with the Large Hadron Collider this coming spring.
The following treatise is offered as a theory of everything to those practicing the queen of the sciences—theology.
Like relativity and quantum mechanics in physics, the two opposing viewpoints in theology are: the Arminians who suggest one’s salvation can be lost. The opposing group is the Experimental Predestinarians that suggests if one is truly saved, salvation cannot be lost. A third group—the so called “Free Grace” people—holds that salvation cannot be lost, but eternal rewards can be lost. The source of data for all these groups formulating their respective theories is not a physics laboratory. Rather, the authoritative source for their theories is the Word of God.
The theological theory of everything, TTOE, seeks to harmonize all the data regarding salvation from the Bible.
Resolution of the seeming contradictions among the various groups is not difficult. Harmony comes from understanding what comprises the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Like the dual gospel of physics, relativity and quantum mechanics, the gospel of Jesus is comprised of two distinct promises from God. The first is forgiveness of sins leading to life. The second is freedom from enslavement to indwelling sin leading to God-pleasing behavior of God’s child.
The first promise is unalterable, irrevocable, and permanent irrespective of His child’s behavior before, or after, the promise becomes a reality in life through belief. In other words, salvation from the lake-of-fire judgment cannot be lost.
The second promise likewise becomes functional through belief. However, the real possibility exists that God’s child can decide not to pursue God’s second promise by faith. In that case, salvation from enslavement to sin can be lost during one’s life on earth with the concomitant reality that God’s child cannot please His Father.
Focusing solely on one promise or the other likely results in God’s child becoming a member of a group espousing one of the competing theological theories.
One other factor requires clarification: the life of faith required to maintain salvation from enslavement to indwelling sin. Indwelling sin, by heredity, infects everyone’s body. Indwelling sin is the source of disobedience to God’s commandments. Here is a perplexing paradox. God’s commandments are precisely the trigger used by indwelling sin to compel disobedience.
God has solved this human dilemma for His child by having His Son, Jesus, make His abode within God’s child. Jesus is perfectly obedient to His Father’s will in everything under all conditions at all times. So to please God, His child chooses not to obey God’s commandments (robbing sin of its trigger), but instead believes Jesus will manifest a life pleasing to God through the sin-infested members of the child’s mortal body.
So the passages in the scriptures that guarantee eternal life are correct. And the passages that warn of enslavement to sin (thereby loosing one’s ‘salvation’) and a life unpleasing to God are also correct. Rewards related to works for the child of God are indeed handed out at the judgment seat of Christ. Those works done by faith in Christ as Lord over indwelling sin are rewarded. Those works done by the control of indwelling sin are not rewarded.
Some interesting corollaries follow: ‘unsaved’ people (i.e., saints enslaved to sin) will be in heaven; saved people can loose their ‘salvation’ (i.e., saints who have triggered sin in their lives by choosing to obey, themselves, God’s commandments). Saints who live by faith in the indwelling Christ will receive rewards. Saints, who by their own rigorous and determined obedience to God’s commandments, will not receive rewards.