Eternal Security - Once Saved Always Saved issue - logos title recommendations please

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Kevin A Lewis | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Jun 18 2018 8:17 AM

Hi

I need to study this issue from all angles.

Can anyone give a recommendation for a Logos title that reviews the positions and arguments from a comprehensive perspective.

What don't want is the plethora of polemic titles that appear to talk passed each other from entrenched positions.

thanks in advance.

I would love something in the style of J. Dwight Pentecost's tome on the last days called "Things to Come" for those who are familiar with it.

Shalom

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Kevin A Lewis | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 18 2018 9:00 AM

Hi

Nice one Dal - sounds like exactly the sort of thing I need - any more anyone?

Shalom all

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scooter | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 18 2018 9:14 AM

https://www.logos.com/product/8376/the-perseverance-of-the-saints

by Roy Gingrich...20 pg...2.99 USD

:example -  [all Scripture are hot reads]

        31. The foundation of God standeth sure (1 Tim. 2:17–21)
      The false teaching of Hymenaeus and Philetus overthrew the professed faith of some professed Christians but it did not overthrow the faith of true Christians (the foundation of God, the vessels of gold and silver), for this foundation stands sure, for God knows (experientially knows, lovingly knows, favorably knows) them that are His.
      32. God fuels the faith that He ignites (1 Peter 1:5)
      “We are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.” Behind our faith is the power of God which keeps our faith flaming. God indirectly (through the word, the Spirit, and the trials of life) initiated our faith, 1 Tim. 1:14. Now he indirectly (through the word, the Spirit, and the trials of life) maintains our faith, 1 Peter 1:5 (remember the man in Pilgrim’s Progress who from behind the wall poured oil on the blaze in the wall).
      33. Christians are to prove that they are elected and called and then rest assured that they will never fall (2 Peter 1:5–11)
      We by manifesting the seven virtues of 1:5–7, prove that we are elected and called and then we have confidence that we will never fall, for elected and called persons never fall.
      34. The departure of professing Christians from the fellowship of true Christians proves that they were never true Christians (1 John 2:19)
      John says that if those departing had been of the number of true Christians, they would never have departed from the fellowship of true Christians.
      35. Christians cannot live in sin (1 John 3:9)
      The (Greek) tense of “doth not commit sin” is durative, “doth not practice sin.” Christians can’t live in sin because God’s seed (His word) remains in them and because they are born of God (God is their father). If Christians can’t go back to living in sin, they will never lose their salvation.
      36. All Christians are overcoming the world (1 John 5:4, 5)
      A correct translation of 1 John 5:4, 5: “Whatsoever (whosoever) is born of God is overcoming the world, and this is the victory that overcame the world, even our faith. Who is he that is overcoming the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”
      Since all true believers are overcoming the world, how can they lose their salvation?
Gingrich, R. E. (2004). The Perseverance of the Saints (pp. 14–15). Memphis, TN: Riverside Printing.
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Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 18 2018 10:09 AM

This is a lengthy quote from DeSilva's Commentary on Hebrews.  Your first recommendation probably is best for getting a variety of traditional views.  For an entirely different take on the issue, however, here is DeSilva...

A Closer Look: Patronage, Eternal Security, and Second Repentance——
While I am critical of the efforts of several authors who have attempted to integrate this passage into their theology, I am not unsympathetic to the troubling questions raised by Hebrews 6:4–8 that prompt such harmonizing and make this passage an enduring stumbling block to affirmations of God’s mercy, love, forgiveness, and even sovereignty. Therefore, I am impelled to address the theological questions raised by this passage, hoping that doing so from the insights gained through socio-rhetorical analysis will afford a new perspective on the passage and the theological enterprise itself.


In an earlier article, I suggested that the rhetorical situation governed the application of this text (together with the other warning passages of Hebrews). The author is addressing the hearers with this warning precisely to motivate them not to undervalue the benefits they have received and will receive from God, in order that that they might not reject these in favor of a return to the world’s friendship. He is not addressing those who had withdrawn, as he would consider it, unreclaimably. Hebrews 6:9–10 itself makes this clear. Those who “hear his voice” and “do not harden their hearts” (Heb. 3:7) may still reach the good end that God has prepared for them. To use this passage, then, as a basis for trying to determine when someone has crossed the point of no return, or to apply it so as to bar from the church those who do in fact repent, would be to remove the warning from its rhetorical setting.


Further investigation of the ethos of reciprocity, however, leads me to bolder conclusions about Hebrews 6 and theological debate concerning both “eternal security” and the “impossibility of repentance” (or “unforgivable sin”). In his lengthy unfolding of the complex dynamics of patronage and reciprocity (and, particularly, how to act honorably within that relationship), Seneca frequently articulates what can only be described as a “double mindset.” He appears at many points not to let the right hand know what the left is thinking. Clients are advised to think one way, patrons another. If these mindsets get mixed up or crossed, the beauty of reciprocity, the gracefulness of grace, becomes irreparably marred.


Speaking to the benefactor, Seneca says, “In benefits the book-keeping is simple—so much is paid out; if anything comes back, it is gain, if nothing comes back, there is no loss. I made the gift for the sake of giving” (Ben. 1.2.3). The giver is to adhere to the principle that benefits are given not with an eye to the giver’s advantage. Beneficiaries are thus not to be chosen on the basis of who will make the most profitable return. However, this is independent from the question of the obligation of the receiver and the ugliness of ingratitude (Ben. 2.25.3; 3.1.1). The point is that the giver should only be concerned with giving for the sake of the other, while the recipient should be concerned with showing gratitude to the giver. If either viewpoint is compromised (that is, if the client attenuates his display of gratitude based on the detachment the patron should keep from such considerations), reciprocity ceases to be noble and becomes ugly. This different set of “rules” for giver and recipient in the social “game” of reciprocity is made explicit in several passages:


The one should be taught to make no record of the amount, the other to feel indebted for more than the amount (Ben. 1.4.3);


In the case of a benefit, this is a binding rule for the two who are concerned—the one should straightway forget that it was given, the other should never forget that it was received (2.10.4);


Let the giver of a benefit hold his tongue; let the recipient talk (2.11.2);


In cases where a recipient has taken great pains to try to return a benefit but simply has not found a way to help one who is far greater than himself or herself, “the one should consider that he has received the return of his benefit, while the other should know that he has not returned it; the one should release the other, while the other should feel himself bound; the one should say, ‘I have received,’ the other, ‘I still owe’ ” (7.16.1–2). Seneca displays these different and even contrary mindsets in order to
keep before us the public good; the door must be closed to all excuses, to keep the ungrateful from taking refuge in them and using them to cover their repudiation of the debt. ‘I have done all in my power,’ says he. Well, keep on doing so.… You have done everything in order to make return; this should be enough for your benefactor, it should not be enough for you. For, just as he is unworthy of being repaid with gratitude if he permits all your earnest and diligent effort to pass as nothing, so, if anyone accepts your goodwill as full payment, you are ungrateful if you are not all the more eager to acknowledge your indebtedness because he has released you (7.16.2, 4).


The purpose of this lengthy inquiry of Seneca is to show that the author of Hebrews moves in a social ethos in which recipients of benefactions are led to act with one set of considerations in view: the importance of maintaining a response of gratitude and avoiding any course that would show ingratitude toward a patron. Benefactors, however, are led to act with another set of considerations in view: an emphasis on exercising generosity and magnanimity. This strengthens, I believe, my earlier observation that the rhetorical situation of Hebrews (as an address to clients of the divine patron urging the maintenance of loyalty and obedience) must govern its application and appropriation.


On one crucial point, however, Seneca contradicts both Dio Chrysostom and Hebrews. The latter authors assert that those who have insulted or affronted their benefactor will be excluded from future favors (Dio Or. 31.38, 65; Heb. 6:4–6; 10:26–31; 12:16–17). Seneca, however, promotes a willingness to help those who have shown themselves ungrateful in the past: “although we ought to be careful to confer benefits by preference upon those who will be likely to respond with gratitude, yet there are some that we shall do even if we expect from them poor results, and we shall bestow benefits upon those who, we not only think will be, but we know have been, ungrateful” (Ben. 1.10.5). He develops this later as the means by which a truly noble spirit shows itself—by imitating the gods:
“He has not repaid me with gratitude; what shall I do?” Do as the gods, those glorious authors of all things, do; they begin to give benefits to him who knows them not, and persist in giving them to those who are ungrateful.… Let us imitate them; let us give, even if many of our gifts have been given in vain; none the less, let us give to still others, nay, even to those at whose hands we have suffered loss. (7.31.2, 4)
If a person is ungrateful, he has done, not me, but himself, an injury.… What I have lost in the case of one, I shall recover from others. But even to him I shall give a second benefit, and, even as a good farmer overcomes the sterility of his ground by care and cultivation, I shall be victor.… It is no proof of a fine spirit to give a benefit and lose it; the proof of a fine spirit is to lose and still to give! (7.32)


What accounts for Seneca’s affirmation of restoring the ingrate to favor, something that his near contemporaries regard as impossible? It is the different audience and rhetorical situation. Seneca is addressing benefactors in these passages, directing them to their models for generosity (the gods, who pour rain “on the just and the unjust”) and to what would constitute honorable action for the givers. Dio, like the author of Hebrews, is addressing clients who are in danger of committing ingratitude against their benefactors. In such a situation, the desideratum is to motivate immediate remedies for ingratitude or pursuit of a response of gratitude. It would not serve in such situations to discourse on the ability of any high-minded benefactor to overlook slights and affronts, since such considerations would not spur the hearers on to the course which Dio and the author of Hebrews urge.


Thus Seneca proves relevant to the ultimate question of sin and repentance apart from the rhetorical strategy of Hebrews 6. Seneca (Ben. 7.32) even employs an agricultural metaphor (now in a way quite different from Ben. 1.1.2 or Heb. 6:7–8) to motivate benefactors to continue to show generosity toward the ungrateful and to cultivate virtue in the ingrate by surprising generosity. But Seneca consistently distinguishes between what considerations ought to guide the benefactor and what considerations the recipient should keep before his or her eyes. This sort of social game preserves the nobility of the system and helps us resolve the problem of interpreting and applying Hebrews 6. The author was shaped by, and writes within, a world in which the relationship between clients and patrons, and by extension human beings and the ultimate patron, is described dynamically rather than systematically, in which the declaration that the ingrate is forever excluded from favor stands alongside the exhortation to benefactors to be generous even to the ungrateful, as if by some means surprising generosity may win the ingrate over to a noble response of loyalty, respect, and service. Both considerations, though apparently contradictory, serve what was for the authors of our texts the higher goal of sustaining commitment to act honorably within the system of reciprocity.


The doctrine of eternal security certainly crosses the line from the perspective of Seneca, for pondering the expectation that a patron will be lenient and indulgent threatens to foster half-heartedness in the clients, who can too easily excuse themselves from making a fair return (particularly if it becomes inconvenient or costly). To teach that God would not ever give even the apostate a second chance also crosses the line, for patrons remain free to show favor on whom they will. Neither frame of reference is appropriate for Hebrews, which was formulated rather within the cultural context of patron-client scripts in a world where such roles were fundamental to the functioning of society. The author of Hebrews wants to motivate his hearers to remain loyal and honorable clients of the Lord who gave them unprecedented access to God (as well as other great benefits), and he arms them with the arguments and sentiments that will facilitate their completing their part of the reciprocal relationship nobly and reliably. Like Seneca (Ben. 7.16.2), the author wishes to close the door on every excuse for ingratitude, to eliminate every possible motive for responding to God basely and disloyally.


We should not make Hebrews 6:4–8 have less force than it did for its first hearers, and many discussions of the passage written from the perspective of a conviction of “eternal security” seek to do exactly that. The text assumes the possibility that a person can fall away after receiving God’s gifts, and after participating as fully as anyone can in what blessings of the next age are open for our experience in this age. With the cultural context of patronage and reciprocity a course that brings open disgrace on the benefactor who has in all things acted reliably and nobly should be regarded as the ultimate crime against goodness, a vice for which there are no remedies nor sufficient penalties. We should, however, also not make Hebrews 6:4–8 to say more than it does. It does not reveal the ultimate condition of the benefactor’s mind, for he may always choose to extend forgiveness. Seneca shows us, however, that, when speaking to clients, one must promote one set of attitudes and trajectories, and that, when speaking to patrons, one may promote different attitudes (and these are, in Seneca at least, frequently contradictory).


These considerations are offered in the hope that a long-standing problem in biblical theology may be settled—in favor of not attempting to settle it! Once the tension is resolved one way or the other, the beauty of grace, both as God’s favor and our response, is threatened. The enterprise of biblical theology, particularly when the goal is to reduce the dynamics of a living God’s relating with his creation to a logical, systematic order, may be fundamentally at odds at this point with the creative and necessary paradoxes and tensions of living relationships. The author of Hebrews is not being disingenuous when he utters stern warnings outlining the terrible consequences of acting ungratefully, bringing dishonor upon the noble and generous Benefactor. From the perspective of the client, this is the face of reality. These same statements do not mean, however, that God is limited in extending forgiveness and restoring even the repentant ingrate to favor. From the perspective of the patron, this remains a noble option, but one on which the client cannot presume, any more than he or she should presume upon favor in the initial encounter. Favor is always fresh, always unmerited, always surprising, never to be taken for granted—and never to go unrequited!

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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 18 2018 1:14 PM

The Reign of the Servant Kings https://www.logos.com/product/28529/reign-of-the-servant-kings-a-study-of-eternal-security-and-the-final-significance-of-man

Not in Logos but one of the best i have read - The race set before us: A Biblical Theology of Perseverance and Assurance

https://www.amazon.com/Race-Set-Before-Perseverance-Assurance/dp/0830815554/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1529352699&sr=8-1&keywords=The+race+set+before+us%3A+A+Biblical+Theology+of+Perseverance+and+Assurance

 

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Into Grace | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 18 2018 4:48 PM

My suggestion is to spend more time in God's Word than any other book. Praying and asking God for wisdom should not be overlooked. The Bible correctly understood is more accurate than any systematic theology. Try to be as objective and neutral as possible. Keep in mind that problem passages are usually problem theologies. One benefit of studying this subject in the Bible is that there are many salvation passages. 

Here are some considererations (not all) as you study God's Word:

-Does a verse/passage present salvation as a completed action once attained, or present possession conditional on perseverance?

-What action (s) does the verse/passage emphasize?

-Are there warning passages in the Bible? if so, how did the original audience understand them?

-What additional information do Greek verbs provide? Keep in mind that Koine Greek verbs are more concerned with what kind of action and can provide more information than the English language. For example, in John 3:16, the word "believes" is a Greek present tense participle. What does this mean? 

May God richly bless your studies!

Posts 688
Kevin A Lewis | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 19 2018 2:10 AM

Thank you all

I have never studied this issue in any great depth. but I will take on board all these suggestions - even though some don't quite fit my original request brief - but that's okay.

Of course scriptural study is the best - but as you expanded this idea 'Into Grace' you moved into study of other things such as biblical culture, back ground and linguistics. Part of what I needed was a collecting together of the relevant scriptural passages that speak particularly to this issue.

To clarify, I was early on taught and convinced of the argument 'for' eternal security. However I have never been too enamoured by following a particular 'school' of teaching be it Calvinism or Armenianism (or any other). However I do value the work these teachers and scholar have put into to understanding the word and dispense with none of them, treating all to at least some respect. The Berea example has always been my approach.

More recently I am serving in a fellowship with some quite convinced 'we can lose our salvation' proponents, hence then need to review my ideas and understanding. Some of what is being taught sounds so convincing, but something about what is being taught doesn't ring true to me so I need to go deeper.

Thanks for all the assistance so far.

Any more logos recommendations would be gratefully received.

Shalom

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 19 2018 7:10 AM

Kevin A Lewis:
Any more logos recommendations would be gratefully received.

Not a new recommendation but an endorsement of one already made

Ted Hans:

I read this book in 2013 and found it insightful, explored "both sides" of the question and provided a very helpful different perspective.

Some reviews are at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1589472.The_Reign_of_the_Servant_Kings 

There is an updated version "Final Destiny: The Future Reign of the Servant Kings" which is not currently available on Logos (though was on prepub at some stage but cancelled due to lack of interest) and I haven't had the opportunity to read it.

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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 19 2018 7:38 AM

Graham Criddle:
There is an updated version "Final Destiny: The Future Reign of the Servant Kings" which is not currently available on Logos (though was on prepub at some stage but cancelled due to lack of interest) and I haven't had the opportunity to read it

One of those books that shouldn't have been droppedSad though I understand Faithlife's policy on Pre-Pubs. I was looking forward to having the updated version in Logos but have to be content with the Kindle and paper version. Hoping it will be offered again.

Regards. 

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 19 2018 7:51 AM

Ted Hans:
One of those books that shouldn't have been droppedSad though I understand Faithlife's policy on Pre-Pubs. I was looking forward to having the updated version in Logos but have to be content with the Kindle and paper version. Hoping it will be offered again.

Absolutely agreeYes

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 19 2018 9:36 AM

Kevin A Lewis:
Any more logos recommendations would be gratefully received.

I'd suggest Scot McKnight's "A long faithfulness - the case for Christian perseverance" - unfortunately it's not in Logos. I own the Kindle version. The book focuses on the 'warning passages' in Hebrews (for those, there is a book in Logos: https://www.logos.com/product/47077/four-views-on-the-warning-passages-in-hebrews ), and Scot looks at those in a holistic manner and from a pastoral perspective rather than someone solving an intellectual challenge from a scholarly ivory tower. 

Running Logos 8 latest beta version on Win 10

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Gary Osborne | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 19 2018 4:26 PM

Any study of this nature should surely include a book that, unfortunately, is not offered by Logos - “Life in the Son” by Robert Shank.  It provides the perspective of someone who actually moved from one theological position to another.  Highly recommended!  🙂

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Kevin A Lewis | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 21 2018 2:52 AM

Thanks guys and dolls

I have ordered most of your recommendations - by one means of another - mostly in Logos where possible.

Shalom

Any more for any more?

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Paul Caneparo | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 21 2018 3:57 AM

Kevin A Lewis:

Thanks guys and dolls

I have ordered most of your recommendations - by one means of another - mostly in Logos where possible.

Shalom

Any more for any more?

As it looks like you're open to non Logos books too.  I can recommend:

No Condemnation: A Theology of Encouragement by Michael Eaton  (This book is a reworking of his PhD submission and ultimately takes a "loss of rewards" view)

https://www.amazon.com/No-Condemnation-Theology-Assurance-Salvation/dp/1903689724/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1529578437&sr=8-1&keywords=no+condemnation+a+theology+of+assurance

Once Saved, Always Saved by RT Kendall.  (This is a more "popular" level book.)

https://www.amazon.com/Once-Saved-Always-R-Kendall/dp/080246064X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1529578488&sr=1-1&keywords=r.t.+kendall+once+saved+always+saved

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Gary Osborne | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 21 2018 6:59 AM

Kevin A Lewis:

Thanks guys and dolls

I have ordered most of your recommendations - by one means of another - mostly in Logos where possible.

Shalom

Any more for any more?

Well, I don't know if you can find it anymore, but a fantastic book on the subject is "If Ye Continue", by Guy Duty.  I'd consider it required reading similar to "Life in the Son" if you'd like to read positions that are not pro-OSAS.  

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