Wednesday, February 22, 2012

MrsDrPoe: Life in the Son

For my next reading review, I present to you "Life in the Son" by Robert Shank.

This book discusses the Biblical viewpoint on the Calvinist doctrine of perseverance of the saints (i.e. "once saved, always saved"). Shank is a former preacher who essentially studied himself out of the belief he once held in this doctrine. The introduction is written by another preacher, who, though he still teaches the doctrine of perseverance, states that this book "will stand against any attempt to refute [it] from the Scriptures, and that the passing of time can only prove [it] to be finally definitive on the long-debated theological questions of...perseverance."

In "Life in the Son," Shank examines an extensive list of 'proof' texts for the doctrine of perseverance in their full context both in local passages and in the Bible as a whole. His knowledge of the ancient Greek is monumentally helpful in clarifying the nature of certain passages. Unlike many other books of its kind, this one is very much based on "the scriptures say" instead of "I believe."

To me, one of the most interesting passages investigated is that of the parable of the sower, particularly the wording of the explanation of the second and third types of soils. I learned a lot from this book; it definitely invokes thought, and I see many more readings of it in my future.

The only negative comment that I have is that this book is not the easiest to read. It's a bit older and some of the phrasing is 'out of date.' Having said that, I would definitely recommend that anyone interested in examination of this doctrine should buy this book, both to read (at least once) and keep as a reference. And, as always, I encourage you to read with an open Bible, carefully examining the passages referred to in this work; no book should ever replace the word of God.


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