Thursday, November 30

Matthew's clever question of false premise....

Matthew know as Dyspraxic Fundamentalist asked me the following question in a comment on the Gojira's Stomping Ground blog:

If a person does not persevere in the Christian faith and walk, will she go to heaven?

This is an interesting question because Matthew asked for a simple yes or no answer. It is interesting because under his “Free Grace” belief system it is a valid question, but under my reformed belief system it assumes a false premise and bases the question on that false assumption. For example if I asked the following question: Could an airline pilot that new nothing about flying successfully land a jumbo jet? The false premise would be that someone that knew nothing about flying could be a pilot. Therefore, a yes answer would be incorrect and absurd, while a no answer would be correct, but would affirm the error that someone who knew nothing about flying could be an airline pilot.

So it is with Matthew’s question. Only he has loaded up with two false premises. The one that is implied is that perseverance is a work that is required for salvation. The other false premise is that it is possible for a Christian to not persevere. Therefore, if I gave a yes answer, I would be affirming the free grace theological position and if I gave a no answer then Matthew could assert that I held to a faith plus works salvation which is not true. Matthew would obviously be a good lawyer and I might add that he is extremely bright.

The question correctly framed is who is a Christian and will he persevere?

THE ANSWER: Eternal life (heaven) is assured once a person has been born again by the power of God. Faith follows shortly after this and a person becomes a ‘Christian’ at this moment. This is when his Christian walk begins and through the power of God’s grace he will persevere in this walk. (Philippians 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.)

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dead people can’t lose what they never had; they’re not in danger of dying if they’re already dead. But if God decides that they should be given life, who has the authority to usurp the Sovereign Lord? No one.

But that’s not why I’m visiting right now. Jonathan Moorhead (jokingly) said that you might disapprove of the picture of a cat I posted at my blog.

For the record, cats are better than dogs. They’re less cost, less noise, less cleanup, better ammunition for jokes, and my own cat talks to me. Okay, that last part isn’t true.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Jazzycat, I affirmed neither premise in my question.

Yes, you affirm that a person is justified by faith (though I suspect I would not agree with your definition of faith.

The problem is that the Christian knows that if she is saved, she must do works and perservere.

If she does not, it may turn out that she has 'believed in vain' or has only 'intellectually assented' to the truth.

In your theology, she must work out her salvation with fear and trembling, doing works otherwise, she will turn out to have been a lost person.

While in theory you affirm justification by grace through faith, in practice, this faith must be accompanied by works.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

bluecollar said...

It all comes down to one position not acknowledging regeneration again. New creations believe and obey, albeit imperfectly. New desires to look to Christ replace the old and natural desires to rebel and sin, and express hostility to God.

Regenerated people love their Savior. Unregenerate people hate Him. Regenerate people are kept by His power, as He ever liveth to make intercession for them.

jazzycat said...

I am having trouble posting a response from word.... I will try later this afternoon. Thanks

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark, so if I am a new creation, I must obey. If I do not obey, it proves I am not a new creation.

The believer is left to prove the reality of his belief through obediance.

God Bless

Matthew

jazzycat said...

Craver vii,
That is a funny picture. I am sure Jazzy would not approve; however, I have a childhood photo of myself doing almost the same thing (a loooonnng time ago). I never liked cats much until Jazzy as a small kitten crawled up my leg as I was reclining on a couch. She then came straight to my face, looked me in the eye and did that cat rubbing thing face on face. Well, my heart melted and she has owned me ever since.
That is also a well stated point about our condition before God moves in our life and our security after he moves.

Matthew,
Thanks for the visit. Here is a point by point response to each of your comments.
(1) Unless you are talking about a non-Christian failing to persevere, you very clearly state this false premise. As for the second premise of persevering being a work, you short sentence does not even hint at the divine act of grace being involved, but directly lays the failure to persevere on the person. Do you not mean a failure to perform works/deeds?
(2) We do define faith differently.
(3) There you go. You further affirm that you are talking about persevering in works/deeds.
(4) Non-Christians that are attempting to be saved through a works righteousness will not be successful (Gal. 2:16 and Rom. 3:20).
(5) You said…. In your theology, she must work out her salvation with fear and trembling, doing works otherwise, she will turn out to have been a lost person.
Wrong. Salvation and perseverance are about God’s grace and power. Take me up on my challenge and show me in my Photo Meditations where I affirm a salvation of meritorious works. Check out July 31 post on eternal security.
(6) Your said…. While in theory you affirm justification by grace through faith, in practice, this faith must be accompanied by works.
Let me reconstruct this sentence correctly. “I affirm a justification by grace alone, through faith alone that comes from the power of God alone and will lead to a person persevering in grace and truth that also comes from the power of God.” Take the challenge and show me where I assert these things you say I believe. Show me in my own words.

Mark,
Good points and I guess we just need to keep shouting it from the roof tops and maybe even if some do not believe us, it will prevent new Christians from believing the false caricatures of our doctrine that continue unabated.

W.H.

jazzycat said...

Matthew
check this Photo Meditation out! Eternal security is another word for perserverance
Eternal Security

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Phillians 2
12 ¶ Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling:

What does Paul mean by working out one's salvation with fear and trembling?

Is there a false faith which a person may posess leading them to think they are saved when they are not?

If so, how can a Christian be sure she does not have such a faith?

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

jazzycat said...

A retry...
Matthew,
check this Photo Meditation out! Eternal security is another word for perserverance.

Eternal Security

Gojira said...

Hey Matthew,

You should have read just a touch more and you would have seen why we are to do that with fear and trembling. It is because it is God working in us (as you have the conjunctive connecting vs 13 to the preceeding) You will also notice that God's working in us is two fold: He gives us the will and the work for His good pleasure.

I'll have to get back with you in a little on your next question.

jazzycat said...

Matthew,
You said….. What does Paul mean by working out one's salvation with fear and trembling?
If you notice Paul does not say earn your salvation with fear and trembling. Therefore, his meaning is about sanctification and not justification as he says ‘work out your salvation’ which indicates that the salvation is secure and he is talking about sanctification. In the next verse (13) he points out that it is God who is the source of sanctification when he says for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. This just confirms what I have been saying about God’s grace being what brings about perseverance and sanctification. It is not about a man generated works to prove sanctification, it is about a divine work.

You said….. Is there a false faith which a person may posess leading them to think they are saved when they are not?
Answer: Yes

You said…. If so, how can a Christian be sure she does not have such a faith?

John says the following about assurance: 1 John 5:13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. Therefore, I would suggest that a Christian read the entire book of 1 John since he says he wrote it for that purpose. I think this book is clear and he even gives the answer in 1 John 5:13 and amplifies how a person can be sure throughout this Epistle.

Samuel said...

I am a little lost here-Is Dyspraxic propagating a believer being able to lose his/ her salvation?

jazzycat said...

Samuel,
No, Dyspraxic is a free grace advocate. Some call it the carnal Christian or no-lordship view.