The Warning Passages of Hebrews: A Formal Analysis and Theological Conclusions -- By: Scot McKnight
TrinJ 13:1 (Spring 1992) p. 21
The Warning Passages of Hebrews: A Formal Analysis and Theological Conclusions
Few are the number of Christians who have not been at least troubled by the warning passages of Hebrews, troubled perhaps to the point of despair or even terror. It is in these passages that the singular issue of the security of the believer is apparently addressed: Are believers unconditionally secure with respect to their final salvation or is their salvation conditional upon their own faithfulness to God? Can true believers lose their faith and thereby forfeit their final salvation? The warning passages of Hebrews address this issue of the security of the believer directly, but I am not persuaded that the response to them should be one either of fear or despair. Instead, I contend that a new approach to these difficult passages can alleviate much of the fear they have generated.
Now while it would be foolhardy to think that any theologian could finally resolve the tension that exists between major theological options (in this case between Calvinism and Arminianism1 ), it is not foolish to engage our attention once more in the biblical texts that have decisively shaped the contours of the discussions. In what follows I hope to shed some light on the theological issues dividing Calvinism and Arminianism by
* Scot McKnight is Assistant Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
TrinJ 13:1 (Spring 1992) p. 22
TrinJ 13:1 (Spring 1992) p. 23
Before we look at the warning passages synthetically, we need to survey the positions on the nature of the audience briefly.6 In general, one might say there are four positions on the nature of the warnings and their audience: the hypothetical view, the false believer view, the phenomenological believe...
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