This important work on the doctrine of perseverance examines Scripture's warnings and exhortations and their purpose in salvation.Scripture's commands to persevere, and warnings of the consequences if we fail, have been met with apathy by some, and led others to doubt the state of their salvation. The fearful and eternal nature of these issues warrants careful examination of what the Bible says about perseverance. Thomas Schreiner once again tackles this difficult topic in Run to Win the Prize. Clarifying misunderstandings stemming from his more detailed treatment in The Race Set Before Us (IVP 2001), Schreiner draws together an illuminating overview of biblical teaching on the doctrine of perseverance.Schreiner details how God directs the collective warnings and exhortations of Scripture toward believers as a means of preservation. We are to think of the call to persevere in light of the initial call to faith, both agents by which God leads us to final salvation. Those looking for a general treatment of the doctrine of perseverance will profit from the challenges and assurances in Run to Win the Prize.
In this clarifying overview of the biblical teaching on the doctrine of perseverance, Schreiner guides believers to carefully consider the overall message and purpose of Scripture's warnings and exhortations to persevere.
Thomas R. Schreiner is the James Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He holds an MDiv and ThM from Western Conservative Baptist Seminary and a PhD from Fuller Theological Seminary. He has published a number of articles and book reviews in scholarly journals.
The twin doctrines of assurance and perseverance are defined by our understanding of the gospel of Christ. In Run to Win the Prize, Tom Schreiner presents a masterful and faithful case for the doctrine of perseverance as set forth in the New Testament. The book is a must read for these times. A master New Testament theologian, Tom Schreiner offers an education in biblical interpretation and sound words of pastoral counsel. This concise book will help all believers run the race together.
R. Albert Mohler Jr.
President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Mature insight. Control of the sources. Satisfying interpretations. Schreiner takes a difficult topic and makes it look easy. Like the work of a master craftsman, this book will enrich understanding and inspire interpreters to see what is there.
James M. Hamilton, Jr.
Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; author, God's Indwelling Presence
faith to be saved has proved not only difficult, but has often led to excesses and imbalances. One imbalance ends up arguing that true believers can forfeit their salvation and be lost if they don't persevere; the opposite imbalance suggests that professing believers are saved regardless of whether or not they persevere in belief and good works. Tom Schreiner has done a masterful job of charting a course through rich biblical teaching that avoids both of these excesses. Here readers will encounter both the joy of knowing that God will not fail to save those whom he has elected and brought to true saving faith, while at the same time they will face squarely the necessity of persevering faith, love and good deeds that mark those truly saved through Christ and His Spirit. Here is biblical balance, and more important, biblical fidelity. All who long to understand better the nature of Christian faith and good works will benefit greatly from this lucid and biblical treatment.
Bruce A. Ware,
Professor of Christian Theology, Senior Associate Dean, School of Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
What must all Christians do? Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Professor Thomas Schreiner bases his answer on the first admonitions given to new Christians in the New Testament Epistles: persevere in the faith. Without losing any depth or urgency, Run To Win The Prize manages to put this profound doctrine into simple, layman-understandable language. Wanting his readers to clearly understand where he stands on this doctrine, Schreiner gives this Scripture-based explanation:
Believers are not exhorted to trust in themselves or to continue in the faith by virtue of their own efforts. They are to continue the Christian life in the same manner they began it: by the faith given to them by Gods grace. . . . the perseverance called for here should not be understood as works-righteousness . . . . it is nothing other than a continual reliance upon the Grace of God (pg. 17).<p>
Knowing that we are mortal and fallible, Schreiner uses each chapter to make further clarification: keys to understanding these Scripture warnings; not confusing perseverance with perfection or works-righteousness; and, standing firm in faith and assurance but heeding the Bibles counsels. A fitting closure, tying up loose ends and firmly nailing down the ideas contained in this book, the Epilogue closes with an important statement, Perseverance, then, does not lead to pride but to humility, for it is nothing other than clinging to Christ and his righteousness (pg. 114). As if that werent enough, Schreiner then goes on to provide an appendix: A Meditation On Galatians 5:2-6 (righteous by faith alone).
Run To Win The Prize is on the same subject as Schrieners earlier volume, a more thorough examination of this doctrine, The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology of Perseverance and Assurance (IVP, 2001). Happily for those of us who are not scholars but want desperately to learn ever more about Biblical doctrine, Schreiner decided to write an accessible to all (pg. 11) book on the same subject. This book achieves his accessibility aim. It will be appreciated by many: new and more mature lay Christians; busy pastors; teachers; and students. Dont expect to get through it in one sitting. While simply presented, it is jam-packed with information, requires a Bible for referencing, and presents spiritual challenges at every turn of a page. Donna Eggett, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com