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The Believer's Conditional Security : Eternal Security Refuted Paperback – January 1, 2000
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... a must for every pastor's library. It should be referred to often as a resource for truth concerning this subject... -- Pastor L. D. Savage, D.D.
From the Publisher
This fully-documented, 801-page volume will take the reader from the origin of eternal security or once saved always saved (OSAS) to the present time, as the contemporary OSAS teachers of our day are quoted hundreds of times and their teachings are examined under the light of God's truth. If you are like many, among other things, you will be shocked to learn that the teaching of OSAS is sometimes equated to grace and the gospel! Furthermore, the chapters exposing Calvin's dark side and unmasking the Synod of Dort (1618-1619), will give a factual, historical account that seems to be little known in our day. But most importantly, hundreds of Scriptures are cited in both offensive and defensive ways that will substantiate The Believer's Conditional Security. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Today, many so-called "evangelical" or "non-denominational" churches are making a killing selling this false insurance. It is even more attractive today, because the "evangelical" pastors package it better than the Roman Catholic priests of early centuries. This book explains the passages commonly misused by insurance salesmen masquerading as pastors. In addition, it shows the passages that are avoided by insurance salesmen. Dan Corner did a good job of researching and organizing the information for the serious student of the bible.
It is my prayer that people will be enlightened by the words of the bible. It would be tragic for people to try "claiming" against an insurance policy and find out too late that it is false!
1. Mr. Corner's idea of scholarly writing is quoting a lot of stuff and repeating his own interpretation of Scripture over and over.
2. He says he is not committing ad hominom, but that's exactly what he does when he talks about Calvin. Just see his rhetoric on how would you feel if a Christian killed your dog.
3. Strawman, strawman, strawman! A lot of his book assumes that people like MacArthur and Charles Stanley encourage sinful living. And although I get his argument that an erroneous belief can do that, I think it is bad scholarship to pose others as if though that's the goal of their ministry.
4. Mr. Corner often equates terminology in the Bible to salvation rather than doing it the other way around. Born again, for example, means salvation. Well, no. Salvation means to be born again. The reason he does this, perhaps, is because it downplays the reality of salvation described in Scripture. It is much easier to turn scriptural language into his concept of salvation, and then negate it's true meaning that way.
5. Mr. Corner seems to ignore dispensationalism, which is the foundation of dividing the word rightly, and taking the book of Revelation literally. I assume he would ascribe to a literal endtime theology since he critiques Augustine and Calvin for their theology as a whole. And they certainly didn't believe in rapture, and so forth. Yet, Mr. Corner takes a lot of Jesus's passages and applies them without considering that Jesus lived under the law, taught under the law, and died under the law.
6. Mr. Corner uses Jesus's parables as doctrinal teachings, often referring to the prodigal son. Mr. Corner then uses them to redefine clear teachings by the Apostles, which were meant to be specifically doctrinal. It should be the other way around if all Scripture is inspired.
7. Mr. Corner thinks he is right, argues as though he is right, and uses his own premises to prove he is right. In other words, there is a clear agenda. No doubt he has made a career of this.
I could go on, but I'll just give my concluding remarks instead. I appreciate Mr. Corner's evengelistic sentiment, but I really don't think he has engaged the topic meaningfully. His writing is flawed with logical fallacies, his Greek is elementary, his ideas prejudice against opposing arguments, and while he will ask you to suspend your belief (which I did because I owe allegiance to no denomination), it doesn't seem like he is willing to do the same. His writing style, word choice, tone, rhetoric, all point to someone who is simply trying to prove others wrong.
Maybe that's seems "judgmental" but I'm not the one determining who goes to heaven or hell, unlike Mr. Corner's 18 examples.
Read the book, make up your own mind, I would hope that Mr. Corner would ultimately intend for that to be the case for everybody who reads his work.
The Bible repeatedly admonishes us that we must "hold on" to our faith. We must "endure to the end." If we deny Jesus, then He will deny us. If we do not forgive others, then we will not be forgiven. Conditional security is not a doctrine from one or two verses. It is repeated scores of times throughout the Scriptures. The book exegetes many dozens of verses to reveal how the Bible teaches that "if you live according to the flesh, then you will die" (Rom 8:13). It also tackles head-on most all of the OSAS arguments and debunks them. If you grew up in a church environment that accept OSAS than this book is important reading for you.
However, with every good review comes some critique also. 800 pages is too long. He repeats himself often. The whole book could be skinned down to about half its volume.
He never adequately clarifies at what point a true born-again believer is in mortal danger of losing the Holy Spirit. Does a social lie, or rolling through a stop sign, or indifference to a homeless person on the street, or any other minor venial type sin cause the death of your spirit-man? He seems to contradict himself on this subject. He clearly indicates that murder, adultery and all of the big sins cause immediate separation from God. Paul and the Revelation both say that such will not inherit the Kingdom. Jesus said that thinking it is just as bad as doing it, so this author believes that a single THOUGHT of hate, lust, greed, etc will cause immediate loss of salvation. This seems logistically problematic. What human has never had a lustful or angry thought? Remember, lust can be for sex, money, power, even food.
He seems to imply that worry, selfishness, or other venial sins will not cause loss of salvation, but elsewhere I think he contradicts himself and says that any sin of any type causes immediate death spiritually. How does that work within his paradigm? God is ok with pride but not sexual immorality, because pride is not listed as a fruit of the flesh in Gal 5? In his theory salvation is like a light switch, repent [flip on] - you're saved; sinful thought [flip off] you're not saved; repent [flip on]- you're saved again. Easy come-easy go. I suppose every person has been saved/lost/saved multiple times with this mechanism.
I agree with the conditional security of the believer, his evidence in favor of the possibility of turning our back on God and/or apostasy is overwhelming. However, I don’t think it is quite that easy to lose salvation. I understand sin for the believer more like poison: take a little bit and you will be sick- take a lot and you will die. I also think that it is exceeding difficult to get "resaved." 2Pet 2:20 says that if you get restuck in sin after escaping the world's corruption ( ie: lose your salvation) that it is worse than in the beginning. Cf Mat 12:45. Another words it is significantly harder to get saved the second time around. Taking this thought even further, Heb 6:2 says that it is impossible for an apostate to get resaved.
My conclusion is that it is definitely possible to lose salvation due to a life of continuing sin. Exactly how bad that sinning life must be, I do not know. And I do not recommend testing those boundaries. But I don’t think the Holy Spirit departs from us (unfills our life) every time a non-perfect believer, especially immature and new Christians, err into the path of the world.
Several Bible verse speaks of God disciplining His children (eg: Heb 12:4-11, Rev 3:19, Mat 18:15, etc). Discipline is applied by a parent to a wayward child to correct error and to confirm the child to a more perfect path. This seems to show that God works with us even while we are not yet perfectly sinless before the resurrection. Whereas, if we lost our salvation after every sin God would not discipline us he would simply leave us.
The point of the book, however, is sobering, especially in an evangelical world so full with OSAS doctrine. Those so claimed Christians with a hardened life of repeated sin, with a carefree life thinking that you can coast into heaven, with an worldly outlook hoping to serve 2 masters-- They will be rejected at the kingdom gates. They will wail "but Jesus, we knew you?!" and His reply will be "I never knew you, depart from me."
I believe Corner is correct that there comes a point when the once-believer, who has repeatedly quenched the Spirit and refuses to receive corrective discipline, will be lost. The Holy Spirit shakes the dust from His sandals and moves on elsewhere (Mat 10:14). But my point is (and this is my main criticism of the book), this does not happen upon 1/sin. It requires repeated stifling of God's Spirit. Corner might believe in sinless perfection that you must be perfect as Christ was perfect or else you do not belong to Christ. Whereas, I believe in the growth of sanctification. God takes an ugly lump of clay and molds it into the image of his Son. Before the resurrection none of us will achieve this goal. At the resurrection we will be sinless and perfect. In the meantime, Christians are a work in progress. We still sin and disappoint our Lord. Anyone who claims that he does no longer sin is a liar (1st John 1:10). God does not abandon us in our weakness, instead he chastises and rebukes us. But this is where it gets hairy, and the OSAS message is faulty: if we do not respond to that message then at some point God will dispose of that lump of clay and start with another.
Despite its shortcomings this is an excellent book and a good read. It is excellent motivation for holy living.