Once Saved, Always Saved
Minton over at Cerebral Faith has an interesting viewpoint on the permanence of salvation:
I’m glad you found my Can/Won’t model helpful. By the way, to readers who don’t know what Jordan is talking about, he’s referring to my half-way house between the Arminian view of apostasy and that Calvinist view of “Once Saved Always Saved”, which I defend in a 3 part blog post series, here, here, and here. This proposal asserts that while Christians can lose their salvation, they won’t lose their salvation. They are able to exercise their libertarian free will and turn their backs on Christ, but this is a decision they won’t ever choose to make. In other words, apostasy is a possibility, but it’s a possibility that won’t ever be actualized. God utilizes His middle knowledge to keep the elect freely persevering. For some, the means are the various warning passages not to apostatize (e.g Hebrews 6), for others, God keeps them through Christian Apologetics, for others, he uses still other means. This view, I think, takes seriously the warnings in scripture about turning away from Christ while at the same time not shoehorning security passages like John 10 and Romans 8:38-39. We can take both the warnings and security passages at their straightforward reading.
I like this viewpoint, mainly because of the outworking of this position, as summarized in that last sentence.
The Resurrection and Fairytales
I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption . . . The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in metaphysics, he is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do, or why his friends should not seize political power and govern in the way that they find most advantageous to themselves . . . For myself . . . the philosophy of meaningless was essentially an instrument of liberation. The liberation we desired was simultaneously liberation from a certain political and economic system and liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom; we objected to the political and economic system because it was unjust. — Aldous Huxley, as quoted in Uncommon Descent.
Incidentally, he has just finished a series of evidences of Jesus’ resurrection in the flesh. This is not a problem for me for a range of reasons, but it could be beneficial to some of my readers… or even friends of those readers.
Now, there may well be people who just don’t know the historical evidence, and will be easily persuaded once they get all the facts. That alone makes the series worthwhile!
But I have a suspicion, though, that people – especially in the West – already know that Christ is King… but they just don’t want to kneel, worship, and obey. And they use stale, century-old, long-refuted objections to justify their refusal. Call it the difference between the official reasons, and the real reasons.
As the author writes:
Be Willing To Follow The Evidence Wherever It Leads
If you understand the importance of knowing whether or not Christianity is true, then you’ll take the time to either read this blog post series or read the book adaption of it. If you do take the time to listen to my arguments, please follow them to their logical conclusions. My friend Neil Mammen has a saying “Don’t let the consequences of your logic cause you to abandon that logic.” 6 Not everyone who denies the resurrection of Jesus does so purely on intellectual grounds or on the grounds that the evidence isn’t sufficient. Some people deny that the resurrection occurred simply because they want it not to have occurred. Some people aren’t Christians because there isn’t enough evidence to establish that it’s true, but because they don’t want it to be true.
If Jesus rose from the dead, then Christianity is true. If Christianity is true, then several implications follow. It means that if you’re living in sin, you’ll have to repent. Jesus said that if you even look at a woman with lust, you’ve committed adultery in your heart (Matthew 5:28), and adultery is one of the things God said not to do (Exodus 20:14). If you like to spend your evenings downloading and looking at pornography, you’ll have to get that out of your life or answer to God for it (2 Corinthians 5:10). But porn watchers don’t want to do that. Watching porn is fun! It’s exciting! Porn watchers don’t want to give up porn because they enjoy it too much. Others may want to sleep around, bouncing from woman to woman as Charlie Harper did on the hit sitcom Two and A Half Men. According to Hebrews 13:4, this is a no-no. If someone engaged in this behavior doesn’t repent, they’ll be facing judgment. Romans 1:26-28, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, and 1 Timothy 1:9-11 prohibit homosexual relationships. Some people don’t want Christianity to be true because it means they’ll have to stop having sex with their same-sex partner. 2 Corinthians 6:14 prohibits a believer marrying an unbeliever. Some people may not want Christianity to be true because they know that if it is, they need to become Christians or else they face Hell, and if they’re Christians themselves, they’ll be prohibited from marrying their boyfriend or girlfriend who is also an unbeliever.
For many people, it’s a purely intellectual issue. Merely being presented with the evidence in this blog series will be sufficient to persuade them to become Christians. For others, they’re resistant to following the evidence where it leads because they’re in love with their sin, and don’t like the idea of having to exchange their pet sin for a relationship with Jesus. Jesus talked about this when he said “This is the verdict: that light has come into the world. Yet men loved the darkness rather than the light for their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light and will come nowhere near the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.” (John 3:19-20). Echoing Jesus’ words, the mathematician and Christian Apologist John Lennox said: “If religion is a fairytale for those afraid of the dark, then atheism is a fairytale for those afraid of the light.” 7
So again, “Don’t let the consequences of your logic force you to abandon that logic.” Don’t let the consequences of Christianity being true to force you to swim against the current of evidence pointing against it. The Christian Apologist Frank Turek of CrossExamined.org often exposes someone as resisting Jesus on emotional or moral grounds by asking them one simple question: “If Christianity were true, would you become a Christian?” That’s the question I’m posing to you, dear reader.
This is a dark era, where the historical facts points to the light of life… but people prefer to back fairytales that point to the dark of the grave (“So long as we escape hell.”)
But this is God’s universe, and as the Kingdom of God expands, the darkness has no choice but to retreat.
Again, the initial post of the series is here.