Afterwards

The Road to Hell: Everlasting Torment or Annihilation? by David Pawson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Road to Hell ends with the words, “on which sober note we conclude our study”, referring to the author’s statement that those whose names are not in the Lamb’s book of life will suffer torment with the fallen angels in hell, quoting the book of Revelation from the Bible. David Pawson’s The Road to Hell does have that kind of tone at times: a shot to the heart. Yet, The Road to Hell is other things as well. Challenging one out of complacent thinking and living so to avoid the dangers of hell as well as comforting one with thoughts of heaven and grace. Pawson is adamant, however. Getting to heaven is not by ‘cheap grace’ where one can do as they please while still being under God’s grace, but by continuing in the faith in Jesus, not disowning him, and renouncing one’s sins. Hell is a step away with complacency, but Pawson in his gentle manner encourages due diligence in the faith, although a small few of his statements may seem blunt if not preachy, however, one gets the impression in that there are not as many words to always deliver eloquently such an urgent message to Christians and non-believers.

Continue reading

Saved!

Salvation is one of the perennial themes of my life especially ripe so many years ago when I should have read David Pawson’s Once Saved, Always Saved? (note the question mark) but it had not been written yet. Such a dread and fear of hell led to me to find out if I was indeed saved from hell when I die so a book directing my thoughts towards the subject in a productive way were welcome.

Anyhow, the theme of being saved or salvation has stayed with me that recently my reading has encompassed books with titles The Road to Hell and Once Saved Always Saved? both by David Pawson, who was a Bible teacher. I absorbed much of these books that I barely could fault them. Pawson, in Once Saved Always Saved? clarified much of my thinking, which had been lying dormant there, but that Pawson brought out in his gentle wordsmithing as I read and kept on saying, yeah, I agree! Not that those earlier issues I had over being saved from hell were not dealt to, or else I would have been a cot-case for a good on twenty years. As I am doing Pawson’s short Bible reflections in The Road to Hell, I find I am recapturing much of what I originally believed about some Bible verses and dare I say am wondering why Pawson did not see it the way I did, but on a technicality though.

Once published, always published?

Once Saved, Always Saved?: A Study in Perseverance and Inheritance by David Pawson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This 1996 book explores the “once saved, always saved” doctrine. The general belief of once saved always saved is that when someone believes in Jesus, they can be assured of going to heaven and not hell. They cannot lose their salvation even if they lose their faith. Author of the book David Pawson says many evangelicals accept this view, but within that there is a spectrum of belief.

Pawson explains in the book that once saved always saved (from hell) has its roots in the patristic period but is not what the early church taught. The focus there was more on salvation from sin.

From the early church, to the church fathers, through the Middle Ages, and into the church reformation, to the revivals of the 18th century, Pawson has obviously plied careful research skills to provide an historical overview of the topic. As well, there are philosophical points of interest and practical concerns related to the topic, and two appendices. The last appendix is about the disciple Judas, who betrayed Jesus. Through all this, Pawson makes comments and critiques.

Pawson builds a clear and convincing case against once saved always saved. It is as if an objective and clear mind considered the biblical evidence, as it is, to come to his conclusion. He does provide a most logical, sound thesis and makes weak the arguments for once saved always saved.

He writes thoughtfully and readably, dispels myths and pet sayings, and relates the topic back to himself. A weakness against his case may be that the author has said elsewhere that he fears going to hell (in Explaining End Times), but this may not be a weakness, either. He makes a sobering point that Jesus’ teaching about hell was originally addressed to believers.

However, teaching about hell in modern times has often been directed at non-Christians.
The original, apostolic outreach message was “Repent, believe and be baptized” and not hell, fire, and brimstone nor “once saved, always saved”, explains Pawson.

It is explained in the book well why putting one’s faith in Jesus is a continuing, ongoing thing which means not giving up and being holy because “without holiness no one will see Lord”. This is rather than assuming I’ll be all right and flag the faith.

David Pawson was a prominent Bible teacher and author of numerous books unpacking themes in the Bible and the contemporary evangelical church. He taught many church leaders in his itinerant ministry.

The author of the book suspects that only serous Bible students will see the book through to the end, but this in no way diminishes his case, a case which is rock solid. Once Saved, Always Saved? A Study in Perseverance and Inheritance comes highly recommended.
168 pages, Published 1996, Publisher Hodder and Stoughton.



View all my reviews

Translation

Wisecracker: So you read those Indian romance poems in English. They’re English romances, then.

Writer: It was a translation into English. Translation. Get it?

Humbled wisecracker: Pretty accurate, then. I mean, extremely accurate.

Writer: You got it. You better take a class, though.

Humbled wisecracker: Yes, I should.

Writer: On translation.

Romance

Reading some of the romantic poems and literature that comes out of India, I saw a lot of heart brokenness in the stories, when one’s sweetheart leaves. It then occurred to me that these stories reveal much tender feeling towards love and romance. They way that the love wasn’t tossed into the dirt to be trampled over or thrown into the ocean with a million fishes eager to eat it up. I found the sensibility, the sense that love is treated tenderly, better than many romances that get produced in the English language.