Life in the Son
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
I had personally misinterpreted many passages of Scripture on the subject of Eternal Security for many years until a friend recommended this book. Wow. Dr. Shank gives a most thorough and in fact exhaustive study, dressing down every one of my misunderstandings and showing that I was often failing to see the trees for the forest. His point ultimately is not that we must earn our salvation, of course, but that there can come a point where we can reject the gift God has given. This falls under the same heading as the "unpardonable sin" in that it takes quite a bit to get there, but once there it is impossible to renew (Hebrews 6).

"Life In the Son" is not a breezy read; it is for the serious student of theology and Biblical doctrine. While the saved person will persevere regardless of his/her understanding of this doctrine, there are many baby Christians who are led into misunderstanding and thus into license. For their sake it is critical that we be doctrinally correct, espeically those of us who teach, whether in Bible school, our children, or babes in Christ. No matter what you've read on this topic, don't think you have it settled until you've read "Life In the Son."
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 15, 2007
Dr. Shank gives an erudite, compelling (and in my opinion, correct) treatment of the doctrine of eternal security, which is so tightly bound up in the tenets of strict reformed theology. The beauty of the book is that he relies so heavily on scripture to back his points up. In a nutshell, he rejects the doctrine; if you want to know why, you need to read it (or at least see what he does with the scriptures traditionally used to support the notion). If not, please be intellectually honest and don't assert that you know why his conclusion is wrong, having never heard his argument. Highly recommended, for proponents of the doctrine, and opponents as well.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2002
Absolutely wonderful! This book was tremendously helpful for me as I wrestled with the question of eternal security. If anyone is seeking objective truth within the Scriptures, this is it. A book has not been written as clearly and profoundly as this. After reading this book it was clear what the Scriptures teach. An excellent book for anyone who is willing to be humble enough and accept truth. You cannot question his conclusions simply because he sticks to what the Word of God says in it's original context and language.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2003
Life in the Son is a good critique of Eternal Security that doesn't contain much of the polemics that are so common in many books and articles (on both sides) on the issue of Eternal Security. Shank explains the key verses that always become flashpoints in debates in an easy to understand manner. There are a few problems with his book that I would like to point out. For instance, he seems to concentrate more on contradictory Calvinist commentaries of the verses rather than explaining the verses themselves. But all in all, its a pretty good book.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Life in the Son must be seriously considered as the final word on the hellish doctrine of "once saved always saved". Eternal security a.k.a. "the perseverance of the saints" is the final petal of the dying tulip of Calvinism. The teaching of "once saved always saved" is the last bastion of John Calvin's doctrine which still thrives within most of today's churches. Life in the Son correctly takes the position that God's eternal life is to be found only in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and that His eternal life is enjoined only to those who ultimately and faithfully "abide" in Christ and remain "in Him". The devilish idea that Christians can turn away from Christ and His holiness; turn back to the world and continue in sin yet still be saved and go to Heaven is a deception from the pits of Hell, where unfortunately many backslidden and apostate Christians may sadly wake up one day. Robert Shank expertly and thoroughly examines each scripture which eternal security proponents attempt to twist to fit their own philosophy. The author expertly dispels every distortion of the gospel and continually demonstrates that the clear, simple, literal meaning of scripture does not teach that believers unconditionally own eternal life in themselves, but rather that it is the sole possession of God and God alone who grants it to those who "endure until the end" (Matt. 24:13). The myth of eternal security must be exposed no matter how many would teach that Jesus did not really mean the many warnings He gave like John 15:1-2 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit."

The doctrine of unconditional eternal security in which Christians are led to believe that there are no consequences to fulfilling the lusts of the flesh creates a false sense of security where some believers enter into a dangerous game of "just how much can I get away with" with the holy God who hates sin so much he sent His Son to die on a cross. Oh that men would hate sin equally. Christ's sacrifice was to release men from the power of sin, not that they may continue in it.

Life in the Son truly is one of the most profoundly important books I have ever read, at so many levels. I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for the truth to these eternally important questions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2013
Shank never finished his five part series, but this is his powerful start to his trenchant critique of Calvinism. He interacts with nearly all Calvinistic proof texts, displaying an expertise in the koine Greek language of the NT as well as intimate familiarity with Calvin's monumental work The Institutes.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
I am very impressed with the author's argument in this book. After a great deal of study over the last few years, I started noticing things I'd never seen before. I ended up coming to very similar conclusions as the author in spite of years of belief to the contrary. On topics such as these, the Bible is a lot more simple than people give it credit for. Most of the bickering and complexity comes from trying to apply life support to a given systematic theology that the text just doesn't support. The author has simply taken the text at face value and let it speak. My suggestion is don't fight it. Just listen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2011
Stark uses he Greek witnesses to establish the ever present idea that we , as Christians, have always maintained that our Wills are our own to do as we wish. The totally absurd idea that God 'captures" our wills and forces His will down our throats is well investigated here. One is either Calvinistic or Armenian, and perhaps one can blend, but very little. To state that the Holy Spirit cares not how one can continue to sin, nor amount of sin is against God's own ideas and functions according to Scripture. Dr. Stark's work is priceless, and no matter which side you stand, everyone must read this side as presented.
I recommend this book to all.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2013
It's a great delight to finally read a book that gives an exceptional biblical intrepertation of the doctrine of perseverance. Dr. Shank cut through the popular traditions and theology of today and focuses on " sola scriptula" The issue at hand is, "what saith the scriptures?" It is'nt surprising that some may find issues with this study, since Dr. Shank only treats this doctrine with crictical exegetical focus on scriptual text, rather then traditions, or popular theology that are center around men dogma. I challenge anyone to read the scriptures for themselves, without the commentaries, and without the backdrop of today's hermenuetical arguements, and see what the scriptures saith. I've done that, and the end result looked pretty much like the work of this book. Not an easy pill to swallow, but a liberating truth that challenge all who call themselves " Christian" to examine themselves, as to whether they are in the FAITH. 2 Corinthians 13:5
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on January 12, 2014
I am Catholic and engage in apologetics. There are so many differing schools of thought in Protestantism that I wanted to read from an academic authority who did not believe in "Once saved always saved" since Catholics don't believe that as well.

Shank has done a great job analyzing the scriptures and exposing those verses that supposedly prove "guaranteed salvation". Fundamentalists and Calvinists will hate this book but it is true.

I finished the book telling myself "Shank is Catholic and he doesn't even know it."
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