Striving For The Prize Of Eternal Salvation: A Review Of Schreiner And Caneday’s The Race Set Before Us -- By: Robert N. Wilkin
Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 15:1 (Spring 2002)
Article: Striving For The Prize Of Eternal Salvation: A Review Of Schreiner And Caneday’s The Race Set Before Us
Author: Robert N. Wilkin
JOTGES 15:1 (Spr 02) p. 3
Striving For The Prize Of Eternal Salvation:
A Review Of Schreiner And Caneday’s
The Race Set Before Us
Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Thomas R. Schreiner teaches NT Interpretation at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He is the author of numerous works on Paul, including a nearly 1,000-page commentary on Romans in the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series.
The co-author of this book is Ardel B. Caneday, professor of Bible at Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The subtitle gives more specificity to the subject of the book: A Biblical Theology of Perseverance & Assurance. The authors state their aim in this way, “Our objective is to lay out the biblical evidence and offer an interpretation consistent with that evidence that will help readers integrate it into a coherent and consistent whole.”1 They feel the three main views of perseverance and assurance today fail to do this. Thus their aim is to forge a new view of the fifth point of Calvinism that might aid people of all traditions to better understand and apply the Scriptures.
There are three emphases in their book that separate it from existing views:
First, eternal salvation is already-but-not-yet (see esp. Chapter 2). Schreiner and Caneday suggest that there is a tension here which we must recognize and accept (p. 143). They feel that other views wrongly attempt to explain it away.
JOTGES 15:1 (Spr 02) p. 4
Second, the warnings in Scripture are the means by which believers are moved to persevere and gain final salvation (see esp. Chapter 4). They suggest that the other leading views either “superimpose God’s warnings on the promises or the promises on the warnings.”2 They advise that the “[warning] passages must be granted their full force without qualifying them with God’s promises.”3 This means they don’t speak of losing eternal life or of proving one was never saved in the first place. They feel there is a biblical tension here that God does not intend for us to eliminate. The promises are one thing; the warnings another.
Third, their view of assurance is a modification of the position found in the Westminster Confession of Faith. On the one hand, they argue for Westminster’s three legs of assurance: “God’s promises, the fruit of the Spirit and the witness of the Holy Spirit.”
Click here to subscribe