Eternal Security: Can You Be Sure?

Discussion in 'Books / Publications Forum' started by standingfirminChrist, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. standingfirminChrist

    standingfirminChrist
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    I am going through my copy of Eternal Security: Can You Be Sure? by Charles Stanley and am disturbed at this statement on page 126-127:

    He totally throws away the gnashing of teeth in hell that we see in Matthew 13 pictured as a 'furnace of fire'.

    The teaching that the outer darkness is in the kingdom of God is a heretical doctrine.
     
  2. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    1.Thanks for the quote. I was awaiting the quote from someone. Thanks for going through the trouble. It really helps to put things into perspective with Dr. Stanley.

    2. But I'm afraid, I cannot agree with him at this juncture.
     
  3. standingfirminChrist

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    I bought my copy of the book at amazon.com for a penny.

    I am still reading it, but I can see when I finish it will go on the fiction shelf in my bookcase.
     
  4. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    ..........:laugh:
     
  5. Martin

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    ==I have had a copy of Stanley's "Eternal Security" book since 1995. I believe it was the first Christian book I ever purchased. Having said that I believe his book suffers from several major problems. His view of the outer darkness is just the start. His understanding of the warning passages in Hebrews leaves much to be desired. In the chapters he devotes to those passages he is certainly guilty of very sloppy Bible study. I am also concerned that his book opens the door for the license to sin argument. Having read his book several times over the years I think someone who reads it could certainly come away with the impression that they can live in sin and still enter heaven. That is certainly not Biblical, in fact I would argue that it is a perversion of the Biblical doctrine of the Perseverence of the Saints. I am also troubled by Stanley's persentant teaching that people should never doubt their salvation. I think that is a dangerous teaching. Scripture advises us, on several occasions, to examine ourselves to see if we truly are Christians. A person who thinks they are saved and starts to doubt their salvation, due to sin, needs to examine themselves. Maybe God is putting the doubts in their heads, warning them to truly repent before it is too late.

    I do not recommend "Eternal Security: Can You Be Sure" to anyone. There are much better books on assurance.
     
  6. GloryImSaved

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    I remember reading a quote very similar and I too disagree with the statement you placed emphasis on. I wasn't sure who was quoted the last time I remember it being brought up.
     
  7. pops

    pops
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    Eternal Security

    Fiction? Are you serious ? What is your position on Eternal Security?

    Better books on subject? - Which ones give reasons and titles and authors please.

    No understanding of Hebrews? He has a pretty good background what is yours that you can make a flame like that?

    It seems to me that if a person has a problem with a book they should be more specific and not start taking down the individual! If you don't like it fine. If you wish to claim the book falls just short of Heresy you need to tell your qualifications to make these bold statements and your reasons for such a bold statement.
     
  8. standingfirminChrist

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    The book is fiction. Any book that states that outer darkness is within the kingdom of God is fiction.

    The Word of God tells us where Jesus is, there is no need for the sun for Jesus is light. One who is in the kingdom cannot be in outer darkness.

    Stanley's view of the gnashing of teeth is also wrong. He has the people in the kingdom of God gnashing their teeth because they are angry at themselves... not because of the obvious pain and torment the Word of God tells they are in.

    Yes, the book is fiction.
     
  9. Martin

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    ==Eternal security is a Biblical doctrine only in that it reflects the fact that salvation is forever. Many eternal security teachers, however, neglect the perseverence angle. The Bible teaches eternal security, but it also teaches that those who are secure will endure (Col 1:21-23).


    ==Sure:

    "Saved Without a Doubt" By John MacArthur (because he focuses on security and perseverence).

    "Once In Christ In Christ Forever" By William MacDonald (same as MacArthur)

    ==While I don't think I made the statement to which you are refering, I would agere with it. Stanley's understanding of the passages in Hebrews leaves much to be desired. The idea that 10:26-31 or 6:4-6 talks about believers is difficult to defend in light of the passages and their context.

    I am not sure that Stanley has any background in Hebrews beyond basic seminary courses. I am in the same boat, but my understanding of those verses take into account the historical situation of the book and the larger context. I am not sure that Stanley does that. He seems to be more intereseted in fitting "once saved, always saved" into the Bible.

    ==Stanley is a Godly man who has been use by the Lord, but that does not mean he is beyond error/mistakes. That is what has been pointed out in this thread.

    ==Stanley's discussion of the outer darkness is weird. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth in heaven? Darkness in heaven? That does not fit what the rest of Scripture says about heaven. I would also argue, from passages like Matthew 8:10-12, that the Bible clearly teaches that the outer darkness is hell (not any porition of heaven or the Kingdom).

    Stanley's book on eternal security leans strongly on the teachings of Zane Hodges (formerly of DTS). Hodges is a antinomian who denies the need for repentance, perseverence, and obedience in the life of believers. Stanley probably got his understanding of "outer darkness" from Hodges. It would be interesting to know if Stanley still stands behind his statements in that book on the "outer darkness". I will see if I can find out.
     
  10. pops

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    eternal security

    My book on this subject by Dr Stanley is titled 'Understanding Eternal Security' and was written later then the book in question and in a slightly different format. So I bought the other book to see what the problem pages was all about.
    If we look at the chapter title we get a hint at what is going to be covered. His emphasis is on 'rewards' and lack thereof and not if you are going to get kicked out of heaven.
    Next I went to the commentaries that I have and looked up this section of Matthew. One commentary took a similar approach as Dr. Stanley and the other one took the viewpoint expressed above.
    So no real conclusion was made my me except a lot of time when you are reading and studying the bible you will get a different perspective then when you last read the same verses.
    In any case it does not justify giving personal attacks.
     
  11. Martin

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    ==Just an update, I am working on finding out if Dr. Stanley still holds to this position or not. I will post the answer when I find out.
     
  12. pops

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    Eternal Security

    While you are doing your research you might also research Dr J. Vernon McGee's Commentary 'Thru The Bible Volume IV page 136.'
     
  13. Chessic

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    Or....maybe he's just mistaken...
     
  14. standingfirminChrist

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    No maybe about it... Stanley is mistaken.

    And his book is fiction.
     
  15. Chessic

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    Labeling any Christian work that doesn't fit one's beliefs 100% as fiction makes for a very small non-fiction section of one's library. I submit that no matter what we believe, the Bible has at least one or two teachings that we struggle with or do not fully understand or ignore. And the Bible is not fiction, whether you agree with it or not.
     
  16. standingfirminChrist

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    The teaching that "outer darkness is in the Kingdom of God" is contrary to the Word of God, and therefore it is fiction.
     
  17. AAA

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    I read this to my wife some time last week and we both agree with you that Dr.S. interpretation is wrong...Weeping and gnashing of teeth is in referance to hell....
     
  18. Martin

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    Letter From In Touch

    I wrote In Touch Ministries about Dr. Stanley's position on the outer darkness. The statements in his book do not match what he has said elsewhere and, to my surprise, In Touch agrees:

    With regard to your question, we have reviewed Dr. Stanley 's definition of "outer darkness " in Eternal Security: Can You Be Sure? which reads: "To be in the 'outer darkness ' is to be in the kingdom of God but outside the circle of men and women whose faithfulness on the earth earned them a special rank of position of authority. "

    This seemed to be different than what he has said in the past, so we conducted a search and reviewed every sermon where Dr. Stanley talked about "eternal security " and everywhere he uses the term "outer darkness. " We found that in every instance he always refers to "outer darkness " as a description of eternal separation from God as he does in his study guidebook Understanding Eternal Security, and not as in Eternal Security: Can You Be Sure?

    We can only say that we honestly do not know why or how this contradiction occurred in this one instance. It may have been in the editing process or some other process of the book's publisher, Thomas Nelson. We are looking into other possibilities.

    Thank you for allowing us this word of clarification and we pray this "mistake" has not hindered your spirit. It is our prayer that we will continue to serve you as a source of spiritual growth and encouragement.
     
  19. righteousdude2

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    If My Name's in the Lamb's Book...

    If my name's written :type: in the Lamb's book of life, I have confidence that I have the security of eternal life. I just remind myself that God does not own an eraser.

    Pastor Paul:godisgood:
     
  20. standingfirminChrist

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    I think there needs to be better clarification from "In Touch" and Dr. Stanley.

    For one thng, from their quote,

    it is not denying the statement in "Eternal Security: Can You Be Sure" at all.

    Those who live in England can readily tell you that although they are in the Queen's kingdom, they are not in her presence all the time..

    Can You Be Sure implies that people are in the Kingom of God but not in the Light Jesus Christ. They are there, but in outer darkness. They are not in His presence according to Can You Be Sure.

    I do not think In Touch answered the question, but rather skirted the issue.
     

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