Closet Catholic wrote:
You focus on the concept of assurance. But why start there? Why not start with the concept of OSAS itself?
And I took a look at your blog, and I have a few questions. Take for instance your exegesis of Hebr. 6:4-6
. I can’t see that you actually define ‘repentance.’ You only say that it doesn’t necessarily include salvation. But I can’t see any real definition. And what weight should be put on the history og exegesis? AFAIK, OSAS is a modern idea.
And what about your exegesis of Jas. 2:14-26
? You write:
James 1:21-22, while seeming to contribute to the problem, actually offers us the solution and puts 2:14-26 in its proper context. Notice that it says the word implanted is “able to save your souls.” This word “soul” is psuche. It can mean either “soul” or “life.” In this passage, it should be rendered “life,” thus saying, “receive the word implanted, which is able to save your lives.” The word “save” here is the same word for “save” in 2:14. It is soze and means either “to save” or “to deliver.” Thus, the idea both 1:21 and 2:14 is “deliver your life [from death].” Neither of these passages refers to final, eternal salvation by grace through faith alone. What this passage is addressing is the ability of the Christian life to deliver a person from physical destruction!
Isn’t this begging the question? Why assume that psuche
doesn’t mean soul? Why assume that ‘save’ doesn’t mean to be saved from damnation? It seems that you are begging the question; that you are reading this by assuming OSAS? You do what you accuse us of doing?
I'm not going to get into a debate about my interpretation of OSAS passages in this thread
. How many times do I have to say it. If you want to have that conversation, open a new one?
In fact, I'll answer my own question. I've said it enough. From here on out, I'll just ignore such comments in this thread.
As to what is actually relevant in your post, I don't
start with assurance. I start with eternal security as biblically true and conclude therefore that logical assurance is possible. I'm telling you, though, that when it comes to dealing with OSAS advocates, you should start by discovering which "brand" they are: free grace or reformed (eternal security or final perseverance). The vast majority fall into the latter camp. For them, you can point out that while they insist they have logical assurance, they don't. In fact, all they have is moral assurance.
In other words, you don't have to convince them OSAS is wrong. You can do one better. You can show that even on their definition of OSAS, they still come to agree with the Church's doctrine of assurance
. As an evangelical who has spent ten years in formal ministry and has graduated twice (nearly three times) from evangelical seminaries and who paid for college by working in an evangelical theology library, I'm telling you that is a good approach to take, because logical assurance is so very important to us. I can't tell you how many times I've heard Baptist preachers end their sermons with an altar call, saying, "If you don't know that you know that you know that you're saved . . ." I always just roll my eyes. I want to stand up and yell at them: "YOU DON'T KNOW THAT YOU KNOW EITHER! YOUR THEOLOGY DOESN'T ALLOW IT!"
I obviously don't. That would be disrespectful, after all . . . but I've pointed it out in many private conversations with everyone from laity to clergy to professors of theology and always, always, always have found the conversation fruitful and enlightening. The same cannot be said about conversations with anyone in any of those groups that focus on why they've interpreted Heb. 6:4-6 incorrectly.
Same non-answer as always, I see. There is often more than one reasonable interpretation of a text.
Same non-answer as always, I see. Interpretations are reasonable given the reasonableness of the assumptions that guide them.
Hey, maybe I'll just agree with you and assume that objective interpretation really is impossible. Of course, that would make it difficult to know what you mean by the words "there is often more than one reasonable interpretation of a text." Maybe I could ask you to clarify! No, wait, that won't work, because you could only answer in words, and we can't objectively interpret words. I know. I'll find a supreme court of sorts to tell me what you really mean. But, no . . . that doesn't work again, because they would have to tell me what you mean using words, too, which I can't objectively interpret . . .
Okay, never mind. I guess I can't agree with you. I tried.