required beliefs for salvation, are unclear, for christians
the bible says if you confess with your mouth jesus is lord, and beleive in your heart that he was raised from the dead you will be saved. it also say if you believe in the lord you will be saved. it also has all kinds of other statements.
so what is it?
if you believe he existed or is God is that enough? probably not cause the bible says demons do likewise.
what about a list of of common beleifs? that you rely on him generally, that he is your savior, that you are a sinner, that he is lord, tha he rose from the dead, that he was incarnated, that he is God, that he is the son of God, substitutionary atonement v 'christus victor' etc etc.
ask different christians, get a different answer, almost every time. they just have 'gut feelings' but dont have firm answers.
some say you have to admit you're a sinner and that he is your savior. what if you believed all the other things and not these? or what if you believe you're a sinner, and that he's a savior, but not that he's God, or a various type of atonement belief. eg, chrsitaus victor v substitutionary.
some say that he is God is required, some say legal substitution is mandatory.
and how do you demarcate the requirements for those who are new to the faith, and those who are really knowledgeable? it might be seen a okay for a newbie to miss a thing or two, but less understandable for the expreinced etc.
so what's the magical formula?
First off, I offer my thanks to dairygirl4u2c for initiating this debate.
Considering Pro's lack of a statement detailing the parameters and structure of the debate and the presence of an argument in round 1, I am assuming the structure of the debate is informally freestyle. Therefore, I will use round 1 for opening statements, round 2 for rebuttals against the arguments made in round 1 (and possibly round 2), and round 3 for further rebuttals and conclusions. I am also assuming the scope of the debate is restricted to Christianity (see definitions), thus omitting religions that do not agree with the Bible.
Additionally, as seen in the comments and judging from the content of Pro's first argument, she is asking for what I believe are the requirements of salvation according to Christianity. Therefore, the positions argued for Pro and Con are as follows:
Pro: The required beliefs for salvation, according to Christianity, are unclear.
Con: The required beliefs for salvation, according to Christianity, are explicit.
Christian: n. One who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ
Christianity: n. The religion derived from Jesus Christ, based on the Bible as sacred scripture, and professed by Eastern, Roman Catholic, and Protestant bodies.
Explicit: adj. Fully revealed or expressed without vagueness, implication, or ambiguity : leaving no question as to meaning or intent.
Unclear: adj. Not expressed in precise terms.
Verses I use will be taken from the King James Version. For those who do not have a Bible, the following websites should be sufficient for looking up the cited verses:
The Bible is a very big book considering of a plethora of theological truth written within a span greater than a thousand years by many authors across different continents. At first glance, the historic schisms and modern theological differences within Christendom come to no surprise because of the contents of the Bible and the ancient Israeli/Jewish culture surrounding its contents. Such differences are made apparent whenever Christians argue against other Christians operating as open-air preachers (or "street preachers"), usually over the issues concerning the topic of this debate. All Christians, however, base their beliefs on the Bible, for it is the definitive and final authority of theological truth and conduct of life for Christians .
With that being said, as I have said before, Pro asked me for my views concerning salvation according to Christianity. Rather than fuel the fire of subjective ambiguity, I will let the Bible speak for itself; it is especially explicit on the matter of salvation, thus rendering the required beliefs for salvation explicit rather than ambiguous.
Shown below are portions of the New Testament explaining, first and foremost, how vital Jesus is when it comes to our eternal state.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Acts 4:10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Clearly, Jesus is the only one through which anyone can enter the Kingdom of God. Paul even made it clear that if righteousness comes by the law, then Christ's death would have been in vain (Galatians 2:21). No amount of human effort, whether from those who know the law or those who do not know the law, is sufficient for making one righteous in the eyes of God because all have sinned (Romans 3:19-23); no one is righteous apart from God (Psalm 14:3, 53:3; Romans 3:10-18); all our righteousness amounts to filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6); all are dead in sin and deserving of God's wrath (Ephesians 2:1-5; Romans 5:12-18). Being spiritually dead, the only remedy is to be born again, apart from which nobody can enter the kingdom of God (John 3:3, 5 => 2 Corinthians 5:17; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:3; 1 John 2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:1-4, 18).
To be born again, one must repent (Acts 2:38; 3:19; 8:22; 11:18; 17:30) and put his or her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is commonly said, especially among those within or in agreement with the holiness movement , that repentance is defined as turning away from sin or a life of sin. Although repentance results in turning away from sin and a transformed life (hence the classic story of a former alcoholic-turned-saved, former deadbeat-turned-saved, or, in Paul's case, former zealous persecutor-turned-apostle), repentance is not merely the turning away from sin or any other change of action. Rather, repentance is the changing of one's mind from that of animosity against God to agreement with God, resulting in a transformed life.
The world translated as "repent" in all instances in the New Testament is Strong's G3340: μετανοP51;ω, or metanoe!3;. It is defined simply as "to think differently or afterwards, i.e. reconsider; feel compunction." repentance consists of a process beginning with the acquisition of new knowledge pertaining to the Lord and of one's self, followed by one's regret of his or her lifestyle, sins, or otherwise, and concluding with a change in action, conduct of life, or anything related . Elsewhere, its usage in the Bible is defined as "I. to change one's mind, i.e. to repent; II. to change one's mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one's past sins."  No act of repentance and placement of faith in Christ takes place without an inward transformation (Romans 6:2, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 2:20) manifested by works (James 2:14-21) and the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) which cannot be produced apart from Christ (John 15:2).
As I have said before, Pro asked me for what I believe are the required beliefs for salvation. To this, I answer with what is aforementioned: believe in Christ. Such faith requires knowledge of who he is and is manifested by works, which result from salvation rather than in salvation.
1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
19 We love him, because he first loved us.
I will now leave it to Pro to refute my statements and advance her arguments for why the required views for salvation are vague. Good luck.
 Strong, J. (2010). Greek Dictionary of the New Testament. The New Strong's Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Red Letter ed.,). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
*My point in citing these is to show different groups agreeing on the authority of the Bible.
it's vague just right there, cause what knowledge is required? just some knowledge? what if all you know is that he was born of a virgin? is that sufficient if you are a good person, repent, and have faith that christ existed? what if you are one of those people who just believe Jesus existed and taught a good message? this person would fulfill your criteria, cause 'believe in christ' is extremely vague. yet a huge majority of people say 'a good message' belief isnt sufficient.
Thank you for your timely response.
My opponent makes a two-fold statement: the amount of knowledge of Christ needed for salvation is unknown and the phrase "believe in Christ" is vague as well. If I am not mistaken, she attempted to portray portions of my opening statement as ambiguous in nature. However, no such ambiguity exists and I will explain why, specifically in the points she tried to point out as ambiguous.
Knowledge of Christ
Although it naturally follows that all who repent and put their faith in Christ know he is the Son of God (Matthew 16:15-16; Romans 10:23; 1 John 3:23; 4:2, 15; 5:1, 5), I will appeal to common sense.
Is it sensible to not know whether or not a man is the Son of God and the only way to the Father before going to drastic ends to remain loyal to him and placing the fate of your eternity in his hands? Among those that are central to Christian doctrine is Jesus' identity as the Son of God. Had the Apostles not have known of Jesus' deity, their selfless service to him would have been improbable.
Believe in Christ
Belief in Christ is not merely acknowledgement of his existence as, for instance, a good teacher. Belief in Christ extends to putting one's faith in Christ, being fully aware of who he is as the Messiah, Savior, and Son of God (John 3:16-18; Romans 1:16; Acts 10:43; 1 John 3:23; etc.). Without believing in Christ as who he is, spritual death is inevitable (John 8:24);
"What if you are one of those people who just believe Jesus existed and taught a good message?" For all intents and purposes, then, forget it.
I will not leave it to Pro to, for the final round, explain why salvation within Christianity is unclear. Until then, no such ambiguity exists.
and are you denying the bible? it says if you believe Jesus is Lord,and that he rose from the dead you will be saved con is trying to argue you also have to believe he is the son of God
it's funny, to see this poster making his 'magical' list, as if he definitiely know, while in another debate con is arguing different points acting the same way. they can't both be right.
it's not that drastic to rely on someone in faith, all it is and takes is faith. if you want to live forever, put your faith in him. it doesn't necessarily follow that he must be the son of God or that be a prerequisite for a beleif. i will grant most expereinced chrisitans could and would believe it, though.
now con is adding more requirements, savior, messiah. and he's adding son of God under this believe category when he just did it in the last category. again, what about that verse about beeliving in your heart and confessing with your lips? you add new material. or things like 'believe in the lord and u will be saved'.
heck, look at most sinner's prayers on the internet, those praryers that are said to bring one to faith etc. most do not list everything con has mentioned.
while his list might be suffiicent to be saved it couldn't cover everyone. so, as it is, the requiements are still too vague or listy. too inclusive or restrictive etc
I will run down the list. Most of Pro's contentions have been explained already in the preceding rounds, so I will be brief in my responses.
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