I say this in the disclaimer at the end, but I should say it here too: The following should not be construed as representing the beliefs of any group, since its only my personal opinion.
In Acts 2 Peter preaches the first sermon after Jesus’ resurrection:
22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
I omitted the interpretations of prophecy where he uses prophecy to backup the point he’s making, so as to only list above the FACTS that he expects his hearers to believe without involving the argumentation with which he adds extra support to them. Here is a list of the FACTS that Peter preaches here:
1. Jesus was a man approved by God
2. Jesus did wonders and signs
3. Jesus was delivered up, crucified and slain
4. God raised Jesus from the dead (because he’s the one David prophesied of as coming from his own loins and being raised from the dead)
5. Of this the apostles are witnesses
6. Jesus has been exalted to the right hand of God
7. From the right hand of God, Jesus sent forth the Holy Spirit to the apostles
8. This same Jesus who was crucified and raised by God from the dead has been made both Lord and Christ
Now is not a large portion of Augustinian orthodoxy missing from Peter’s sermon? Yes indeed, very much is missing, like the following elements:
1. The virgin birth
2. Mother Mary the “theotokos”
3. The deity of Christ
4. The Trinity
6. The false dichotomy between faith and works
7. Idiotic jargon like justification, sanctification, glorification, and whatever other ifications you can think of — (Edit 9:10 PM, having just watched today’s PPT’s Gnostic Watch Weekly, I can add vivification and mortification to this list)
8. Predestination, election, effectual-calling, and other such-like moronic hogwash
9. The idea of a special priesthood or of “reformed elders”
10. The theory of Original sin
11. The authority of the papacy, or of any institutional church
12. Anything else forced upon people by the Catholic and Protestant creeds and confessions of men
Now, were the people who believed Peter’s sermon and were baptized that day in response to it saved? Well, yes.
So if they were saved by only believing the things in Peter’s list without the things in the Augustinian list, then doesn’t it mean that the Augustinian list is not necessary for us to believe for salvation?
“But inerrancy, inspiration, blah blah blah. You have to accept Paul! You have to! You have to accept his false dichotomy between faith and works and every stupid thing he ever wrote! Its inspired!”
Peter’s audience were taught none of those things, and without them all, they were saved.
Not only will you not find these “Pauline” doctrines and nonsenses in this sermon, but you will not find them anywhere in the book of Acts, not even in Paul’s own mouth! For instance, nowhere does Acts speak of a dichotomy between faith and works, but it does teach that gentiles are not required to get circumcised nor keep the rituals of the Law of Moses. Now, how is it that the real apostles (and even Paul) are able to teach in Acts that gentiles need not keep the ritual law, without recourse to a stupid and idiotic dichotomy between faith and works, and yet the “Paul” of the epistles seems to be incapable through incompetence of teaching the same without recourse to the most moronic misuse of terminology ever foisted upon man in the name of religion?
Furthermore, how is it in Acts neither the real apostles nor Paul teach Jews that they have to stop keeping the Sabbath and circumcising their children, rather teaching only that gentiles need not adopt these practices, while the “Paul” of Galatians rants against circumcision like a madman almost to the point of making it out to be from Satan? **Cough, because Galatians was written by lying and stupid monks, cough**
The book of Acts, particularly Peter’s sermons therein, shows us what is required belief, what belief is necessary to salvation…..and neither the virgin birth, nor Paulinism made the cut! This argues mightily against the inspiration of Paul, and of the first two chapters of Matthew and the first two chapters of Luke.
[My issue with the virgin birth, by the way, is that it prevents Jesus from really being a descendant of David, since genealogies are counted from the human father, and Peter plainly preached Jesus as a real descendant of David, so it demolishes Peter’s preaching, and it is well known to be the biggest obstacle to Jews accepting Jesus as the Christ since they maintain the Messiah must be a real descendant of David.]
Now, I would also emphasize that Peter does not preach any kind of predestination to salvation nor damnation to his hearers, nor does he teach them that they were born as sinners (i.e. original sin), nor does he tell them that believers in Jesus Christ will be damned unless they accept that salvation is entirely by faith alone!
When those who believed Peter’s sermon ask “Men and brethren what shall we do?” Peter tells them to repent and be baptized for the remissions of sins, without going into any long-winded digression about warning them that they should not view repentance nor baptism as in any way related to their salvation in the sense of somehow preceding it or procuring it.
He teaches them no theory–nor do any of the speeches in Acts teach any theory–to the effect that salvation is by faith alone and that all obedience to Christ is excluded from the process of salvation. Yet, somehow, he still is able in Acts 15 to show that gentiles need not be circumcised nor keep the ritual of the Law of Moses. He is able (unlike the moronic “Paul” of the epistles) to teach that gentiles are not required to keep the ritual law, without accidentally teaching that obedience to Christ (in things such as repentance, baptism, moral living) is either unnecessary or undesirable.
Just think about it.
Disclaimer: In all of this I should add, I have given my own opinion. The church which I attend believes in inerrancy and the plenary inspiration of the whole canon, including Paul (unfortunately). Yet somehow they still muster up the sense to reject the doctrines of original sin and predestination, and of faith alonism.