Review of A. B. Caneday’s “‘Lest after preaching to others I become disqualified’: Grace and Warning in Paul’s Gospel (1 Corinthians 9:23-27)” -- By: Bob Wilkin

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 24:46 (Spring 2011)
Article: Review of A. B. Caneday’s “‘Lest after preaching to others I become disqualified’: Grace and Warning in Paul’s Gospel (1 Corinthians 9:23-27)”
Author: Bob Wilkin


Review of A. B. Caneday’s
“‘Lest after preaching to others I become disqualified’:
Grace and Warning in Paul’s Gospel (1 Corinthians 9:23-27)”1

Bob Wilkin

Editor,

Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society

Denton, Texas

Introduction

Though published several years ago, I just became aware of this article by reading a blog Caneday posted about me in which he cited this article.

This is a long article, thirty-two pages, including seventy-one footnotes in very small font. I was very interested to see what Caneday had to say about this very important passage. Unfortunately, after reading this article, I came away very much disappointed. After reading it I still do not know much about what he thinks about the passage. Possibly the fault is my own inability to understand. However, I suspect the fault is in the presentation.

The Outline Suggests This Is a Survey Article

Aside from the introduction and conclusion, there is but one point to the outline: “Competing Interpretations of 1 Corinthians 9:27.” In light of that fact, that might have been a better title for the article. Caneday’s aim, based on the outline, is not to explain the passage, but to explain various interpretations of it.

Caneday suggests three views: the loss of eternal salvation view, the extra-salvation loss view (yes, that is the way he labels it), and the means of salvation view, which is his view. He subdivides the second view into three sub-views: the loss of eternal rewards view, the loss of testimony for the gospel view, and the loss of divine approval of apostleship view.

Caneday’s outline does not accurately reflect what he is trying to do. He tells us his purpose in the introduction:

I seek to demonstrate that if we properly understand the apostle Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 9:27, we will recognize that his [sic] passage functions to cause himself first but also every believer lest we presume that God’s grace, which we proclaim in the gospel, will save us despite failing to bring our own bodies into subjection to the holy requirements of the good news which we preach and believe (p. 2).

Admittedly that is a long and convoluted sentence that fails to state explicitly what Paul wanted to cause himself and his readers to do. However, we might summarize what he is saying as follows: In 1 Cor 9:27 Paul warns all bel...

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