Archive for June 2009

Questions for Mac and Phil

June 23, 2009

by Jay Guin and Todd Deaver

Okay. We’ve answered Mac’s true/false questions as he’s requested. It’s only fair that Mac and Phil respond to a few questions that we have.

As to each of the following questions, we wish to hear from both Mac and Phil. We don’t need separate posts. It would be sufficient to say that you all have communicated and that you both agree or, if you disagree, to state the two answers. (more…)

Response to Mac’s View of Repentance

June 23, 2009

by Todd Deaver and Jay Guin

In his post, “The Two Questions on the Repentance Requirement,” Mac says, “Regarding Todd’s second question as to whether or not repentance always entails the cessation of the sin, let me say that it does.” He later adds that —

the continuation of the act without an interim [cessation] would indicate no repentance whatever. Cessation followed later by another attack would not in and of itself prove that repentance had not earlier occurred. We are not told how much time there must be between acts in order for repentance to have occurred. It is not a matter of time as such. It is a matter of attitude toward the deed. And, there are degrees of sorrow and regret. If the act never stops, however, no degree of repentance has been actualized.

Following this, Mac immediately turns to discuss conversion: (more…)

Answers to Mac’s Questions

June 23, 2009

by Todd Deaver and Jay Guin

Mac asked us a series of True/False questions in his most recent post. Here are our answers:

T  F  1. Obedience to Christ is a type of work (Jno. 6:29; Heb. 5:8, 9; Eph. 2:10).

This question is not precise enough to answer true or false, since biblically there is a sharp difference between (1) those acts of obedience we do to receive salvation and (2) other acts of obedience that we do because we’re saved. The second type of obedience is in the category of works (Eph. 2:10; 2 Tim. 2:21; Titus 3:1,8; etc.). The first type is specifically excluded from that category and is contrasted with it.

This is clear, for example, in Ephesians 2:8-10. The good works God has prepared for Christians to do (v. 10) are specifically ruled out as a means of receiving salvation (“not as a result of works,” v. 9), which instead comes only by grace through faith (v. 8). Faith, man’s response to the gospel that brings salvation, is contrasted with works, those other acts of obedience that God requires Christians to perform. (more…)

On Second Thought …

June 20, 2009

On second thought, Todd and I have agreed with Mac that before we launch into a defense of our views (now posted), we need to respond to Mac’s most recent post. We agreed to answer his true/false questions, and it’s only fair that we go ahead and do that, as well as responding to his arguments on repentance.

Where we go from there depends on what Mac says in response.

A Progressive Position: Faith and Repentance

June 18, 2009

by Jay Guin


It’s hard to imagine a premise more solidly established by the scriptures than the necessity of faith in Jesus as a requirement for salvation. Indeed, as we in the Churches of Christ have taught, going back to Walter Scott, the “plan of salvation” requires that the convert hear, believe, repent, confess, and be baptized. We hear and confess what we are to believe: that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, and that Jesus is Lord. As all Christians must have heard, believed, and confessed this, this doctrine (teaching) is universal in the church. (more…)

A Progressive Position: Statement of Position on Apostasy

June 18, 2009

by Jay Guin

What would cause a saved person to no longer be saved  — to fall away or become an apostate? There are three ways a saved person can fall away  —

  • A Christian falls away when he no longer has faith. “Faith” means faith in Jesus.
  • A Christian falls away when he is no longer penitent. Equivalently, a Christian falls away when he no longer submits to Jesus as Lord. Equivalently, a Christian falls away when he willfully continues to sin.
  • A Christian falls away when he seeks to be justified other than by faith in Jesus.

Books could be written on each of these three, and we’ll not attempt a complete exposition of any of the three. But we will attempt to explain our thinking in more detail and anticipate some objections likely to be raised.

A Progressive Position: Introduction

June 18, 2009

by Jay Guin

The question before us is what would cause a saved person to no longer be saved  — to fall away or become an apostate?

We need to make a couple of key distinctions before answering the question  —

  • First, this is not about how to become saved and thus not about baptism.
  • Second, this is not about church discipline  — who might be properly excluded from fellowship even though still saved to protect the flock or in an effort to protect the soul of the person disfellowshipped.

Obviously, these questions are closely related, and we may have to venture into one area or another as we consider apostasy, but they are not the same issue.

Next, we’d like to set out a few points here at the beginning to avoid having to repeat them throughout what we’ll be posting. (more…)

Your patience is appreciated

June 14, 2009

by Jay Guin

As I noted in my previous post, Todd has been on vacation for the last week. I was on vacation the preceding week.

I’ve drafted up a position statement and defense for our views on apostasy, and Todd will be looking it over and fixing it now that he’s back in the saddle. I’ve used too many words to argue the case, and so I’m hoping Todd will hack the thing down to size as well as filling in some blanks.

I say all that to say that we’ve not abandoned the effort. It’s just going to take a while — but we’re getting there. This is too important not to get right.