Perseverance? Luke 8 says no.

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Alex Quackenbush, Dec 2, 2007.

  1. Alex Quackenbush

    Alex Quackenbush
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    In light of another conversation I thought this was a worthwhile focus:

    The word “persevere” has a certain meaning. Unfortunately in this day of theological obscurity, vague distinctions abound. Some wish to define “perseverance” synonymous to “preservation”. They are NOT the same nor are they historically treated the same regarding Christian doctrine, never mind their meaning and use outside of a theological context.
    Merriam-Webster:
    Perseverance is to persist in a state in spite of opposition and contrary forces.
    Merriam-Webster:
    Preservation is to be kept safe from harm or destruction.
    Even their common definitions, outside of their theological context, clearly make the distinction.

    An object that perseveres persists in whatever state it is, in spite of forces opposing it. The view in its definition is that of the OBJECT acting. This is echoed in John MacArthur’s words here:
    An object that is preserved, has acted upon it from an outside agency, its protection from destruction. The view in its definition is that of the object being acted UPON.

    Theologically the application of the distinctions between “perseverance” and “preservation” are a point of magnified debate within Evangelical circles. Stemming in large part from the P in Calvinism’s TULIP, perseverance is the view, as stated atapuritansmind, is:
    Before continuing, it is noteworthy and important that most proponents of PERSEVERANCE will state emphatically and correctly, that is it “the power of God” by which we are kept. That is NOT being argued here.

    The argument is the END of what erring doctrine of perseverance teaches; that we can know we are saved and the certainty of our salvation will be manifested by perseverance. And make it clear, perseverance has a very definite expectation of “persisting” in the state of a life of faith and an end of fruit bearing.

    The Calvinist view regarding this FRUIT BEARING expectation as a true measure of perseverance and that which is a MUST in the life of every single believer if they are "truly" or "really" or "genuinely" saved and this thinking and belief is well reflected by George Bryson:
    So this brings me to the parable in Luke 8 that was interpreted for us by our Lord for our benefit. What does it say about the guarantee of a fruit bearing life? What does our Lord have to say about those who fall away, whether they were really saved or not?
    Let’s look at Luke 8:4-8,11-15
    Now let's examine the 4 cases.
    1.Did not come to life.
    2.Came to life, "SPRUNG UP" but did not progress beyond infancy.
    3.Came to life, "SPRANG UP" came to life but did not grow beyond adolescence and bore no mature fruit (fruit to perfection).
    4.Came to life, "SPRANG UP". Mature and Scripturally ideal believer.
    1. The word believe used in case #1 is pisteuō and clearly is talking about faith in the gospel which results in salvation (believe and be saved). But that never happens

    In case #2 again the word believe is pisteuō, and it would require an incredible dismissal of all things hermeneutically sound to suddenly contend this is no longer belief in the context of salvation since the context hasn’t change a bit. And in fact it clearly shows that as a result of this belief case #2 “sprung up”, i.e. came to life.

    2. The one that withered (#2), the one that got choked (#3) and the one that bore fruit (#4) are treaded identically (SPRINGING UP) regarding having come to life. Case #1, the one that had the seed removed is the only one that is treated as never coming to life lest they believe and be saved.

    So if the 2nd one "SPRUNG UP" and the 3rd and 4th one "SPRANG UP" as did the 2nd one, you have a problem claiming two are believers with life and the other isn't when they are all three treated identically regarding their coming to life and only the 1st is treated otherwise.

    Summation:
    1. Never came to life. Did not believe and be saved.
    2. "SPRUNG UP"(phuō). Came to life but did not progress beyond spiritual infancy.
    3. "SPRANG UP"(sumphuō-compound word means the same as the root word phuo but to come up together with something else as the text noted it came up with the thorns). Came to life but did not progress beyond spiritual adolescence (immature fruit).
    4. "SPRANG UP" (phuō). Came to life and bore mature fruit.
    It is clear that some believers do not grow beyond spiritual infancy. One cannot spring up and be characterized as coming to life and then somehow not have really come to life. These contradictions aren’t only unreasonable but defy truthfulness.What stands as a betwixting dilemma for so many is the phrase, “for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away” in verse 13.

    It is clear that the context of “believe” is believing (pisteuō) the gospel. Secondly, they are differentiated from those who are not saved and designated in the same category of the adolescent and mature believer as one that springs up(phuō). Believing for a while makes it clear that not only did they hold to the gospel but had some brief period of post-salvational nutrition, “for a while”.
    Rooting is not ANALOGOUS to coming to life, it is analogous to GROWTH. What is pictured here is not someone failing to come to life, but failing to grow. The only guarantee is our preservation, not our perseverance.
     
    #1 Alex Quackenbush, Dec 2, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2007
  2. Amy.G

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    Jesus spoke in parables that the people could relate to and understand, so farming and shepherding were common subjects that people could understand.
    I've done enough gardening to know that when a seed is planted, if it doesn't get enough water, it dies. If it doesn't have a root, it dies. It's growth is not stunted, it dies. It doesn't continue to live in a stunted state. It dies.

    A seed can only sprout and continue to grow and live if it's planted in good soil and receives the proper sunlight and nutrients. Otherwise, it dies.

    This is what Jesus is teaching. When God plants a seed (His word) in good soil (a heart which He has prepared), the Word takes root and not only survives, but grows. It produces fruit.
     
  3. Alex Quackenbush

    Alex Quackenbush
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    Knowing you are a Calvinist I will point out, your comment ONLY supports the position that it DID come to life and failed to grow, not that it never came to life.

    Secondly, you and a million other people do gardening as I have I. That is an irrelevant point.

    However, I prefer for now to wait for a more thorough response where the points of my argument are treated point by point with a refutation or at least a far more hermeneutically and exegetically based argument.
     
  4. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    This is incorrect.


    matt 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
     
  5. Amy.G

    Amy.G
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    Some did understand.

    My point was that Jesus told of ordinary things in order to make a spiritual point.
     
  6. Amy.G

    Amy.G
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    Sorry that my response was hermeneutically and exegetically inferior.

    Maybe you'll get a more intelligent response from someone else.
     
  7. JustChristian

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    Couldn't this approach be used to argue that any NT scripture and certainly any parable doesn't mean what it says and it really means what the reader wants it to say? I have a problem with that approach. The Parable of the Sower simply says what it seems to say.
     
  8. Amy.G

    Amy.G
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    ........Which is?
     
  9. J.D.

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    Not me.
    I think you shifted gears from perseverance to assurance. Related, but not the same. Do you want to discuss perseverence, assurance, or the relationship between the two?
    I don't know who George Bryson is, nor am I familiar with his teachings, else I might attempt to defend his position. There is a small faction of calvinists called Auburn Avenue theologians or something like that, that fold works into perseverence (I'm not saying Bryson is one of them). Take that up with them. I don't think anybody around here believes that. BTW Auburn Ave has been roundly condemned by most reputable reformed theologians.

    I quoted the 1689 in another thread, which accurately reflects my position on perseverence, and the position of most calvinists. Why don't you post that statement and we can compare it to scripture. Or, just post scripture and leave Bryson out of it.

    Is this deja vu, only all over again? Isn't this the passage that Amy obliterated you on already? Man, give it a rest.
     
  10. skypair

    skypair
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    Excellent treatment of the issue, Alex!! Perhaps some will read it again and understand.

    skypair
     
  11. skypair

    skypair
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    Umm, NO-O.

    Parables were meant to say something that would be HIDDEN -- you know, as in "Israel is partially blind until the fulness of the Gentiles come in."

    They, of course, are not meant to say what the reader wants them to say. They say what only the "spiritual man" can understand (1Cor 2:14).

    However, many Calvinists are showing "fruitlessness" in their spiritual discernment in just these areas --- parables and mysteries given us in scripture.

    skypair
     
  12. Isaiah40:28

    Isaiah40:28
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    Alex,
    Your thread deserves only one response, utter condemnation. My post is written towards that end.
    These statements are absolutely horrendous and a gross perversion of the word of God.
    Again, I say to you Alex, repent.
    This is false teaching and is leading God's people astray.

    The apostle John's words completely destroy your position.
    If you want Luke 8 to say that genuine belief was there without fruit(aka "unfruitful believers") in two of the soils, then you must be prepared to deal with Jesus' response to the Jews' professed belief in John 8.

    And also in John 2:23-25:
    Many believed in his name, but yet Jesus did not entrust Himself to these false professors for He knew their hearts.

    Spurious faith is seen by God for what it is.
    Genuine faith is seen by a holding, an abiding, a remaining to Christ's teaching. This is the mark of a true disciple, is what Jesus teaches those who profess belief. IOW, peseverence is the mark of one who is truly believing.

    And please remember, it's far easier to propagate this false teaching in North America where the Christian life is "easy" compared to North Korea(et. al) where acceptance of Christianity practically guarantees horrific persecution, certain death and many other unthinkable atrocities.
    Pastors of the persecuted church are far more committed to teaching and preaching the realities and duties of the Christian life and God's Spirit is at work creating a South Asian church that is predicted to outgrow it's North American and European counterparts within the next 50 years.
    Anyone want to start a thread wondering why?
    Gross perversion of salvation, discipleship and perservance in our land surely must be at the top of the list.
    When the church is persecuted, yet perseveres, growth is the norm. Church history is replete with examples.


     
  13. Isaiah40:28

    Isaiah40:28
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    George Bryson is not a Calvinist.
    Bryson is the author of the book, lamely entitled The Dark Side of Calvinism. I heard him "discuss" his views with James White several years ago on Hank Hanagraff's radio program, The Bible Answerman.
    There is a YouTube video portion of another debate with White and Bryson easily found through a Google search.

    The problem with the quote is that Bryson assigns a definition to "eternal security" that many non-Calvinists would not agree with.
    Namely this:
    Obviously here on this board, we have those who think this way about eternal security, but in my own experience this is not true for many of my synergistic friends.
    Bryson paints with too broad a paintbrush, thus showing he lacks much credibility on this topic.
     
  14. webdog

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    So salvation is based on how we behave? :confused:
     
  15. Isaiah40:28

    Isaiah40:28
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    Who suggested that?
     
  16. webdog

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    "Obviously here on this board, we have those who think this way about eternal security, but in my own experience this is not true for many of my synergistic friends."

    You did.
     
  17. EdSutton

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    No, webdog, that is not what many are saying, at all, at least not directly. (Never mind what they may happen to "really, (and) truly, completely, absolutely, prayerfully, and genuinely believe". Yeah, I've heard all of the emboldened additions, plus a few more, added to the definition of believe, over the years.)

    It is just that, apparently, many copies of Scripture exist, that seem to be missing two or three verses found in Romans Chapter 4, say, verses 1-25.

    :rolleyes:

    Ed
     
  18. Isaiah40:28

    Isaiah40:28
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    What my quote above mentions is that there are non-Calvinists on this board who agree with George Bryson about what the definition of eternal security entails.
    Alex, right now, being a prime example of this.
    But in my own experience, I know there are non-Calvinists who adhere to eternal security yet would not agree with Bryson's definition.
     
  19. Alex Quackenbush

    Alex Quackenbush
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    Thank you Sky. What one will see, most obviously, is that all of the protests come from every which where BUT hermeneutically or exegetically based refutations.

    Why?

    Because they know they don't have ground to stand on.

    The best they can do is run from the text and and point to another one.
     
    #19 Alex Quackenbush, Dec 3, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2007
  20. Alex Quackenbush

    Alex Quackenbush
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    :thumbs: :thumbs:
     

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