“Abiding: A Characteristic of All Believers” by Andy Naselli

In this article, Andy Naselli discusses the beginning of John 15 and Jesus’ command, “Abide in Me, and I in you” (v.4). The article seeks to answer two questions many have posed regarding this passage. First, who are those represented by first type of branch that abide in Christ and therefore bear much fruit? Does this speak of some or all believers? Are these spiritual Christians or is abiding in Christ a characteristic of every true believer? Second, who are those represented by the second type of branch that never bears fruit and is therefore cut off? Is this a once saved believer who loses his salvation? Is this a saved yet unfruitful believer whom God is chastising? Or might this simply be a professing believer is not truly saved? Obviously, such questions have immense soteriological implications.

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Originally posted on former blog, I’m Calling Us Out.

The Cross and Salvation by Bruce Demarest

In The Cross and Salvation Bruce Bruce Demarest takes the reader step by step through the doctrines of salvation in order of their logical and temporal occurrence. He groups the book into six sections: 1) the plan of salvation which includes an introduction, grace, and election/predestination, 2) the provision of salvation, being the atonement, 3) the application of salvation, including the subjective aspects such as divine calling, conversion, and regeneration, and 4) the objective aspects such as union with Christ and justification, 5) the progress of salvation which is sanctification as well as preservation and perseverance, and finally, 6) the perfecting of salvation, which is glorification.

Within each section Demarest starts off by presenting the doctrine at hand’s history and significant theological views of the doctrine such as the Pelagian/Liberal view, the Semi-Pelagian (Catholic) view, Lutheran view, Weslyian/Arminian view, Neo-Orthodox (Karl Barth) view, Liberation view, Pentecostal view, Nazarene view, Keswick view, High Calvinist view, Moderately Reformed (or Calvinistic or Reformed Evangelicals) view, as well as other views. (However, which systems he talks about differs from one doctrine to the next, because some systems apply to certain doctrines and not others). This section is remarkable for many reason. For one, it lays a historical context for the reader. And secondly, it gives the reader a broad perspective on the doctrine and the various viewpoints concerning it, making the reader aware of false interpretations that might go unnoticed otherwise and possibly introducing the reader to various beliefs besides his own, which has several obvious benefits.
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