2 Stars Out Of 5
Adds More Confusion to the Conversation
October 12, 2010
The doctrine of perseverance is prevalent in the New Testament. Repetition in Scripture underscores significant doctrines. Thomas R. Schreiner wrote about this doctrine in his new book "Run to Win: Perseverance in the New Testament." This doctrine seems to cause quite a bit of tension and misunderstanding among theological traditions. Schreiner seeks to bring some clarity to this doctrine. He does a really good job of looking at the NT passages that encourage perseverance and warns of the consequences of falling away. Schreiner is fairly thorough with his treatment of these "warning passages." He presents a strong interpretation of these passages, but his conclusions seem to contradict his interpretations. The problem comes in the contradiction of the Wesleyan-Arminian belief that you can lose your salvation and the Spurgeon-Calvinist belief of eternal security. These two beliefs cannot co-exist. They are polar opposites. The doctrine of perseverance lends a tremendous amount of credibility to the Wesleyan-Arminian belief that a person can lose their salvation. But Schreiner concludes that just because these warnings are in the NT that you still cannot lose your salvation. Why would the NT be full of perseverance language and warnings if it was not possible to lose your salvation? Also Schreiner seems to be soft pedal apostasy and claims it is not a sin. Apostasy is the renunciation of one's religious belief. Apostasy is a sin because it is renouncing Christ. Schreiner does an excellent job at interpreting the NT warning passages about perseverance, but I believe his conclusions do not support these interpretations. For me, Schreiner does not bring clarity instead he muddies the water even more. This book is worth the read, but it is by no means the end of the conservation on the doctrine of perseverance.