This blog is devoted to discussing the pursuit of eternal life.
Discussion and participation by readers is desired,
but contributions should correlate to the book,
The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology
of Perseverance & Assurance

Thomas R. Schreiner
& Ardel B. Caneday

Monday, July 24, 2006

Ken Keathley Comments on The Race Set Before Us

In "Does Anyone Really Know If They are Saved? A Survey of the Current Views on Assurance with a Modest Proposal" (The Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society 15[2002], 37-59), Ken Keathley comments extensively on The Race Set Before Us. Read the HTML version here or the PDF version here.

Here are a few of his comments wherein he shows significant failure to apprehend our arguments.

They reject the way proponents of the once-saved-always-saved position interpret 1 Cor 9:27 to mean that Paul was concerned about losing his fitfulness for the ministry when he spoke of keeping his body in subjection so that he would not be castaway. Rather, they agree with Dale Moody that Paul, in spite of all his service to Christ, was genuinely concerned he still might not go to heaven (p. 51).

[A]s the first section of this paper demonstrated, the Puritans employed an approach very similar to the means-of-salvation position and found it to be pastorally disastrous. Schreiner and Caneday acknowledge the experience of the Puritans but give little reason to believe the same problems would not recur if the means-of-salvation view were to become widespread again (p. 54).

This writer cannot agree with Schreiner and Caneday when they contend that the tests-of-genuineness position makes the mistake of turning the forward-looking warning passages into retrospective tests. Rather, the warning passages that look forward (such as those found in the Book of Hebrews) are pointing out the obvious: genuine belief will not turn back. Warnings about future behavior can be tests of genuineness without being retrospective.

Some passages teach that past behavior can be an indicator of genuineness.

Keathley exhibits little understanding of our argument. That he thinks he has landed a critical blow to our argument by saying, "Warnings about future behavior can be tests of genuineness without being retrospective," is rather astonishing. Where does one begin to respond to such inverted, convoluted, and mangled reasoning?


Nick Nowalk said...

Good to have you back! I'm looking forward to more postings.

Drew Hunter said...

I was wondering if this blog was abandoned... I'm thankful that it wasn't. Looking forward to more. Thanks

Ken Keathley said...

Dr Caneday, I would be glad to discuss our differences of opinion. I disagreed with you in the article, but I didn't attack you personally. If you don't mind talking with someone whose reasoning "inverted, convoluted, and mangled" then perhaps we can come to a better understanding.

Ken Keathley