They really do fascinate me. But I think I read them as well for the ammunition they provide. I can present an argument for God, for faith, when I’m confronted with differing viewpoints.
Going even deeper I think these give me a way to defend my faith while still looking like I’m intelligent, knowledgeable, rational. Maybe that’s the root of the matter. I don’t want to thought of as ignorant or uneducated.
But here’s the thing. None of these books prove anything. You can’t come up with logic that will support your thesis of a real and living God. There is no mathematical theorem that reveals the Creator. There is no laboratory experiment that will prove there is a God.
So I surrender. By faith and faith alone I acknowledge that God is real, that His Son Jesus came to earth as a man, that He died and rose again to provide for my salvation.
So what about faith? I’m going to step into dangerous waters here. If you have a problem with what comes next just print it, shred it, throw it away. Forget I said anything. Chalk it up to the pizza I ate last night.
So what about this debate, eternal security versus backsliding and repentance? I don’t know. When reasonable people can come to opposite conclusions and support their positions with scripture it could be that we just don’t know. We have a problem with that. Saying we don’t know.
I think we of the backsliding theology tend to see our salvation as too easily lost, that every sin or misstep calls for a new conversion. On the other hand I wonder about eternal security. Faith is more than intellect. It’s more than emotion. It is spirit as well. Can we neglect our salvation to the point where faith weakens and eventually dies? I don’t know. I do know that emphasis on this issue can lead to an obsession with what happened in the past, with what happened when. Was I save then and still am? Was I saved and backslid and saved again? Maybe the first one didn’t take and the second commitment was the real salvation. All of this puts us in the past when what matters is now. How is my relationship with God today?
So here’s my stand. I am saved, confident in God’s eternal security. At the same time I know that faith is a precious gift, a gift that must be nurtured and protected and treated like the gift from God that it is.
So how do we nurture and protect our faith? What is it that can erode and weaken our faith? Some would say it’s books on science and atheism and the constant anti-Christian onslaught of popular culture. I don’t think so. I think the danger to our faith is neglect. If we allow our communion with God to become cold and infrequent, if we ignore our relationship with Him, our faith can become weak and ineffective and, maybe dead?
If we stay close to Him then the whole idea of eternal salvation versus backsliding and repentance becomes – irrelevant.