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Elect in the Son Paperback – September 1, 1989

3.9 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Robert Shank is known internationally among Bible scholars for his significant books in the field of biblical theology, which are used in seminaries and colleges of many denominations. He has been preaching and teaching in the pulpit, classroom, and visiting lectureships for over fifty years and his writings have been viewed as a major doctrinal contribution to the Church.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (September 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556610920
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556610929
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Originally published in 1970 by Westcott, Shank's work is probably destined to be a classic in this genre. For those looking for an intellectual work against five-point Calvinism and for an Arminian interpretation of divine election, "Elect in the Son" is highly recommended. First, it presents a strong case for class or corporate election--meaning God has sovereignly chosen the body as his special people, but people ENTER the body through faith, belief, and repentence. Shank loosely ties in his previous book "Life in the Son," which is about how Christians need to perservere to avoid losing their salvation. As a moderate Arminian who accepts eternal security, I don't agree with that position. But "Elect in the Son" is still to be praised, overall. It is also a strong defense for the idea that Christ died for all men and desires all men to be saved and presents a strong polemic against five-point Calvinism. "Nothing could be more fraught with theological problems than Calvin's central complex," Shank writes. He is right!
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Format: Paperback
Dr. Robert Shank's Elect In the Son is an excellent, scholarly work that closely follows Jacobus Arminius' scheme of election (election of Christ, first and foremost, then election of the church as Christ's body, and finally, election of individuals as foreseen entering the body by faith).
Dr. Shank shows that this scheme is, indeed, Biblical, when Scripture is taken in context. He largely avoids the "one sentence here, another sentence there" style of proof-texting that seems to invariably accompany defenses of Calvinism. He does the same kind of contextual quoting of Calvin and other scholars...rather than just quoting a brief sentence of two, he re-prints long passages from their work. The good news is that, by doing this, he is careful to not mis-quote anyone or take them out of context. The bad news is that the frequent and extended quotes from others break up the flow of his own writing, making Elect In The Son sort of difficult to read.
If there is one drawback of this book, I would say that that is it: the book is not nearly as "user-friendly" and easy to read as some other treatises on election that I have read. Dr. Shank seems to lack the relatability and communication skills of an R.C. Sproul...although his exegesis and conclusions are, I believe, much closer to the truth than Dr. Sproul's.
Overall, I think the basic message of this book is magnificent, but don't attempt to read it if you're not REALLY serious about election, etc. It's not easy reading.
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Format: Paperback
Dr. Robert Shank is best known for his book, LIFE IN THE SON, in which he set out to prove eternal security only to write a book against the popular notion of "once saved, always saved." This book, ELECT IN THE SON, is a follow up to his first work.

The book dives into the history and theology of John Calvin and Calvinist. Shank first allows Calvin and other Calvinist theologians to merely state in their own words their position on election and/or predestination. Shank then spends the remainder of the book building his case for class election or that Christians become the elect (1 Timothy 4:10) in the elected one, the Lord Jesus (Isaiah 53:11-12; Matthew 1:21; Eph. 1:3-14). Shank covers nearly every major passage on election in the New Testament including Romans 9-11.

My only drawback with the book is that it is somewhat dated, Shank uses the King James Version throughout, and I don't fully agree with Shank that every case of election is class election. Certainly Israel was a chosen nation as is the Church (Deut. 6; 1 Peter 2:4-11) but there are cases where God elected individuals as in the case of the prophets, Paul (Acts 26:18; 1 Timothy 1:12-15), and many other biblical characters.

A good read on election is John Wagner's edited book REDEMPTION REDEEMED: A PURITAN DEFENSE OF UNLIMITED ATONEMENT or Norman Geisler's CHOSEN BUT FREE (Second Edition).
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I read this book and although I disagree with Shank on eternal security, his treatment of the Scriptures in answering the questions were right on. Most of the naysayers are judging Shank by their pre-conceived worldview of Calvinism rather than by exegeting the Scriptures. Even Piper has admitted that the tome of the OT reflects a corporate election view which means that the burden is upon Calvinists to prove that God changed the locus of election in the NT from corporate to individual.

What is at stake with understanding the differences between these views is the very nature of God. Is God a God of love that desires everyone to be saved, has made the way possible for all and is glorified when people respond to the invitation? Or is God so concerned with His own glory that He is willing to condemn the overwhelming majority of humanity just to prove the point that He is Sovereign?

As with these thorny questions, I use the rule of thumb that to understand what Jesus (and hence the Word) meant, look at what He did. Jesus always took a propositional approach to the idea that people were free agents with the capacity to believe in Him, whether it was by his teachings, his example, or by the evidence of the miracles.
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