The Reasonableness of Christianity as Delivered in the Scriptures Themes

John Locke

Christian Themes

(Literary Essentials: Christian Fiction and Nonfiction)

Locke argues in The Reasonableness of Christianity as Delivered in the Scriptures that biblical text, when examined carefully by a rigorous rationality, provides a clear understanding of Christ’s life, teachings, and death. Christ’s activities on earth form a historical record that establishes his divinity and primary mission on earth, which was to bring salvation to humanity. The Scriptures, which contain the teachings of Jesus and a record of his life up to and just after his crucifixion, provide all the guidance that is needed for salvation. Paramount among the requirements for life eternal is the belief that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God. Faith by itself, however, is insufficient. Salvation cannot be achieved without repentance and a sincere obedience to the laws that God laid down, principally the Ten Commandments.

The teachings of Jesus and his disciples form a canon of law clearly evident from reading the New Testament. Despite the elaborate explanations of the Gospels by learned people, Locke asserts that the individual, to be saved, need only believe that Jesus is the Son of God, is the Messiah, was raised from the dead, delivered humanity from death, and shall come again to pass sentence on them. Learned writers who argue various interpretations of biblical text confuse the meanings of the text and mix in their own ideas. Those who are not as sophisticated as the learned interpreters, are untrained in discourse, or do not have the time, ability, or inclination to reason the mysteries of the Gospel, need not be concerned, for if they adhere to the fundamentals of Christ’s teaching with faith and obedience, they will be saved. God’s goodness and grace are not intended for only the educated or the wise. Locke’s message was that all who believe in God and follow his laws will be saved. God is not only good but also reasonable, and his message is likewise reasonable.