Saturday, February 14, 2009

Even the Church of Christ believe in Once Saved Always Saved

The churches of Christ joins with Arminian churches in denying that predestination means an all powerful sovereign God personally choses you for salvation. To them, predestination means that God looks down the corridors of time and sees individuals who would persevere to the end in faith, and chooses them to be saved. That is, using divine foreknowledge He stamps His approval on those individuals He knows will be faithful to Him.

But there's a logical problem here, because if God has predestined us based on our future faith then we will absolutely make it to the end and be saved--otherwise God saw wrongly. And God is never wrong. Which means that if you start with the premise of God forseeing faith then the doctrine of Perseverance of the Saints is a logical necessity. Which is a big problem, because the whole point of doing the Biblical gymnastics required to get predestination to mean the opposite of what it says is to avoid the conclusions of Calvinism.


Anonymous said...

yep, yep. :)

David Brainerd said...

"The church of Christ denies a personal, sovereign election, instead believeing that God predestines us based on our future forseen faith."

Your article starts at the very beginning with a false premise. What you're describing is Arminianism not the position of the church of Christ. There are two possible positions in the church of Christ: corporate election and Arminianism. The more liberal churches of Christ may go the Arminian route to entice Protestants to join. But the more conservative will stick with the more traditional view of corporate election. What that means is Christ alone is elect and nobody else. You are only elect insofar as you are "in Christ." You enter Christ by being baptized "into Christ." So nobody is elect until they're baptized. Also anyone who does not abide in Christ loses their elect status because you are only elect by virtue of being in the one elect, which is Christ. So the logical inconsistency you are describing is only present in the liberal churches of Christ that have rejected this in favor of Arminianism to be "relevant" to the Baptists.

Phil said...

Ah, yes, you're right, the criticism only applies if election is anchored in God choosing the individual to salvation. If election is instead a corporate phenomena then God predestines the means of salvation, not the use of it.

I discounted this (and perhaps I shouldn't have) because it doesn't seem to hold up under consideration. Does God predestine the cross for Christ? It seems to me He has to given what Peter says in Acts. But if He predestines the head, how can he not predestine the members of the body in just the same way?
Churches are just groups of people after all, so it doesn't make much sense to say He predestines individuals to be gathered together but doesn't predestine individuals to gathered together.

Arrival, Humanity, and Jesus

I recently rented Arrival (a worthy movie about aliens coming to Earth to communicate with us) and was immediately struck by the forcef...