Perseverance of the Saints

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Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
As some of you may have noticed, Dr. Robert Gagnon is in the midst of making multiple lengthy posts and comments on his public Facebook wall arguing against the perseverance of the Saints. His sharpest criticisms are reserved for the more popular “Once Saved Always Saved” teaching, but he rejects “POTS” as well, along with most other aspects of Calvinistic soteriology.

What are the most thorough resources that defend the doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints, especially with regard to the idea that genuine salvation can be lost?



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Alethes

Puritan Board Freshman
Just like with many important Doctrine, in my opinion, Synergists are beginning with man and working their way back to God.

The most important aspects of the Doctrine are “those who HE predestined...HE will...etc”. God as the One who performs the actions.

We, and I’m guilty of this too, so often begin with what WE observe, feel, desire, etc etc. We observe those “leaving the Faith” that we observed as “strong Believers”, etc.

But God is beyond time. His observations are not our observations.

“Once saved, always saved” is a childish way of looking at it, again in my opinion, unless the individual is just simply confidently stating that the promises of God, when He saves, are once saved, always saved.

Generally, that isn’t the case, it’s more of an articulation of “I prayed a prayer” or “I felt some tingling inside” or “I walked the aisle”. Not HE promises these things in the following Scriptures and so I hope in those promises.
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
I was surprised to hear that Dr Gagnon taught at (still does?) a PC-Usa university. I suppose it's no surprise his theology is scrambled.
He is teaching at Houston Baptist University. He left Pittsburgh Seminary (PCUSA) several years ago. While his extended posting against Perseverance is new to some, I saw him do it when he was still PCUSA. (My recollection is that he disagreed with infant baptism even then.) He agreed with liberals on authorship of some books as well. I've heard that he does that with the Pastoral Epistles. Maybe he does that with the Johannine books as well. In these recent posts, he refers to the author of 1 John as "John the Elder" and the author of Revelation as "John of Patmos." That's a weird way to do it unless one is unsure that John the Apostle wrote those books, or perhaps denies it outright.

Evidently Houston Baptist University is pretty loose with its doctrinal standards as well, other than maybe wanting faculty to be "conservative." There is hardly any doctrine that most Baptists consider to be more inviolable than eternal security. Even teaching the Perseverance of the Saints is often controversial, much less teaching that genuine believers can lose their salvation.
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Sophomore
He is teaching at Houston Baptist University. He left Pittsburgh Seminary (PCUSA) several years ago. While his extended posting against Perseverance is new to some, I saw him do it when he was still PCUSA. (My recollection is that he disagreed with infant baptism even then.) He agreed with liberals on authorship of some books as well. I've heard that he does that with the Pastoral Epistles. Maybe he does that with the Johannine books as well. In these recent posts, he refers to the author of 1 John as "John the Elder" and the author of Revelation as "John of Patmos." That's a weird way to do it unless one is unsure that John the Apostle wrote those books, or perhaps denies it outright.

Evidently Houston Baptist University is pretty loose with its doctrinal standards as well, other than maybe wanting faculty to be "conservative." There is hardly any doctrine that most Baptists consider to be more inviolable than eternal security. Even teaching the Perseverance of the Saints is often controversial, much less teaching that genuine believers can lose their salvation.
Shame. I don't really follow him, but from his appearance on By What Standard, I thought he was more sound.
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
Shame. I don't really follow him, but from his appearance on By What Standard, I thought he was more sound.
It serves as a reminder that "conservative" isn't enough. But for far too many, what is really important is what your belief is on certain hot button social issues. That might as well be their religion.
 

Ryan&Amber2013

Puritan Board Junior
That's honestly not really a topic I have ever really been too interested in. In our reformed position though I do see how this brings more honor to God, as we ascribe complete credit to Him in keeping our salvation.

But practically, if somebody leaves the faith or is not counted as a genuine Christian, it doesn't really matter whether they were not elect or if they lost their own salvation. Either way, the reality is that they are not the Lord's, regardless of how that happened. A Calvinist can take great comfort that God keeps their salvation, but their terror could be that they were never elect If there is a falling away. For the non-Calvinist, there can be great comfort in knowing that the Lord has done a great work inside of somebody, but then the terror can be that they willingly somehow walked away from the Lord.

In either case, anyone's assurance is greatly affected by sin and lack of faith. The same warnings apply to all Christians, regardless of what systematic.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
If these words of Jesus can successfully be assailed, the Gospel is lost:

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one (John 10:27,28,29,30). Cf. also John 6:37,38,39,40.

Stability in the Christian life is knowing our Saviour and King is willing and able to keep His elect. Even if we fail grievously, in His love He will chasten His own so that we return to our walk of faith and holiness.
 
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