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.



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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.

Obituaries

I don’t make a habit of reading obituaries or what is called the death notices, but as part of my reading The Film Year Book Volume 5 (edited by Al Clark), I am finding myself delving into the lives of who died in the film industry during the 1985-86 film year. It’s in these obituaries that we get a good look at how one’s life panned out in the long run.

The book’s obituaries are to the point and informative giving me a solid summary of the cast or crew member who died and many interesting moments of a life.

I was amazed at how the obituary columns came together, as back then the information was not as easy to come over as it is today, with the advent of the internet and what not. Without meaning to sound macabre, the work gone into them makes those death notices all the more special and awe-inspiring. I think I will never look at a death notice the same way again.

Trip down memory lane

I have been seriously following film since when I was a teenager and I like looking back at what was on offer. They call it nostalgia, but I tend to think of it as joy. I have two reasons for reading old film books. One, is to be informed of past films I have missed, or films I would like to more about, or just find new titles to explore. Two, is to choose which films to see. They might be in the past, but I enjoy recovering the old and watching some of them. In terms of the present, I am an avid follower of what is released. At the present time, this is restricted to what is released on the internet. I must admit I prefer following what comes to theatres so haven’t been that diligent in swatting up on what films are on Netflix and Amazon. Some call this Old School–but I don’t have much interest in films that haven’t had a big screen release. As well, I am uncomfortable with the thought that movies that can be played on computer screens can be nominated for Oscars. I guess I am Old School.