Here are some things I used to believe were essential components of the Christian faith. By which I mean, if you didn’t believe them, you weren’t really a Christian:

– A literal six-day creation
– A world that was little over 6,000 years old
– A pre-tribulation rapture
– The “inerrancy” of scripture
– “Hell” as essential conscious torment
– The penal substitution theory of the atonement
– Revelation, Matthew 24 and Danielic prophecy as yet to be fulfilled

Funny thing is, the older I get, the less I realise I know with any degree of certainty. If you asked me what I feel is critical for me to believe now in order to be saved, it would probably boil down to something like this:

– The sure knowledge that I am a pitiful sinner, utterly reliant on God’s gracious initiative for salvation
– Faith that Jesus is God’s messiah, and that he gave his life and rose from the dead to free me from sin and death and offer me eternal life as part of his body

I think that about sums it up. Simple, when it comes down to it.