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Life in the Son [Paperback]

By Robert Shank (Author)
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Item description for Life in the Son by Robert Shank...

Internationally known among Bible scholars for his significant books in the field of biblical theology, Dr. Robert Shank here offers a penetrating study of all the pertinent New Testament Scriptures on the doctrine of perseverance. In doing so, he calls into question the popular doctrine of "eternal [unconditional] security." Are the proof passages used to support eternal security possibly misconstrued? Dr. Shank convincingly argues that the question confronting us is not, Is the believer secure? but rather, What does it mean to be a believer? If apostasy is an actual peril for every Christian, the Scriptural warning passages must be frankly accepted rather than interpreted into irrelevance or circumvented by theological hypothesis.

Publishers Description
"Seldom is a book published that reflects such bold independence of thought, such freedom from the fetters of tradition, and such complete objectivity in the study of the Scriptures. It is a book to be reckoned with by all serious students of the Bible."--from the Introduction by Dr. William W. Adams of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Internationally known among Bible scholars for his significant books in the field of biblical theology, Dr. Robert Shank here offers a penetrating study of all the pertinent New Testament Scriptures on the doctrine of perseverance. In doing so, he calls into question the popular doctrine of "eternal unconditional] security."Are the proof passages used to support eternal security possibly misconstrued? Dr. Shank convincingly argues that the question confronting us is not, Is the believer secure? but rather, What does it mean to be a believer? If apostasy is an actual peril for every Christian, the Scriptural warning passages must be frankly accepted rather than interpreted into irrelevance or circumvented by theological hypothesis.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Bethany House
Pages   380
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.74" Width: 5.19" Height: 0.96"
Weight:   1.21 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 1989
ISBN  1556610912  
ISBN13  9781556610912  

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More About Robert Shank

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Dr. Robert Shank is known internationally among Bible scholars for his significant books in the field of biblical theology, which are used in seminaries and colleges of many denominations. He has been preaching and teaching in the pulpit, classroom, and visiting lectureships for over fifty years and his writings have been viewed as a major doctrinal contribution to the Church.

Robert Shank was born in 1918.

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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Soteriology
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology

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Reviews - What do customers think about Life in the Son?

Profound and complete  Dec 4, 2008
Life in the Son must be seriously considered as the final word on the hellish doctrine of "once saved always saved". Eternal security a.k.a. "the perseverance of the saints" is the final petal of the dying tulip of Calvinism. The teaching of "once saved always saved" is the last bastion of John Calvin's doctrine which still thrives within most of today's churches. Life in the Son correctly takes the position that God's eternal life is to be found only in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and that His eternal life is enjoined only to those who ultimately and faithfully "abide" in Christ and remain "in Him". The devilish idea that Christians can turn away from Christ and His holiness; turn back to the world and continue in sin yet still be saved and go to Heaven is a deception from the pits of Hell, where unfortunately many backslidden and apostate Christians may sadly wake up one day. Robert Shank expertly and thoroughly examines each scripture which eternal security proponents attempt to twist to fit their own philosophy. The author expertly dispels every distortion of the gospel and continually demonstrates that the clear, simple, literal meaning of scripture does not teach that believers unconditionally own eternal life in themselves, but rather that it is the sole possession of God and God alone who grants it to those who "endure until the end" (Matt. 24:13). The myth of eternal security must be exposed no matter how many would teach that Jesus did not really mean the many warnings He gave like John 15:1-2 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit."

The doctrine of unconditional eternal security in which Christians are led to believe that there are no consequences to fulfilling the lusts of the flesh creates a false sense of security where some believers enter into a dangerous game of "just how much can I get away with" with the holy God who hates sin so much he sent His Son to die on a cross. Oh that men would hate sin equally. Christ's sacrifice was to release men from the power of sin, not that they may continue in it.

Life in the Son truly is one of the most profoundly important books I have ever read, at so many levels. I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for the truth to these eternally important questions.
An excellent treatment of the doctrine of eternal security  Dec 16, 2007
Dr. Shank gives an erudite, compelling (and in my opinion, correct) treatment of the doctrine of eternal security, which is so tightly bound up in the tenets of strict reformed theology. The beauty of the book is that he relies so heavily on scripture to back his points up. In a nutshell, he rejects the doctrine; if you want to know why, you need to read it (or at least see what he does with the scriptures traditionally used to support the notion). If not, please be intellectually honest and don't assert that you know why his conclusion is wrong, having never heard his argument. Highly recommended, for proponents of the doctrine, and opponents as well.
case based on presuppositions  Apr 18, 2007
Mr. Shank has an ax to grind, and grind it he does. He is so determined to prove that all believers are in danger of losing their salvation, that every example in the Bible of someone going into perdition was once a believer in Christ.

Coming from an early Christian belief in perseverance of the saints, I was poorly armed to deal with his highly intellectual arguments. Being of an open mind, the first day or two with the book were highly depressing. His arguments are fundamentally flawed however. In his attempt to make all examples in the Bible examples of falling away, he undermines his integrity, and ultimately his argument. Even Judas Iscariot had to be proved to be a believer who fell away. He is really over the top when he asserts that Paul in 1 Cor 9:27, was afraid of loosing his salvation, when clearly from the context of the chapter, Paul was afraid of sullying his credibility regarding the gospel. While not a Greek scholar, I know enough to be able to research the use of a word, and in this example, he claims that other uses of the word for "castaway" really mean reprobate; an idea in no way supported by the Greek nor the scripture. A rendering of "unapproved" would be more fitting.

Like another reviewer stated, his argument is not from the Scripture, but is mere conjecture. It is not only conjecture as to whether his examples ever really true believers or not, but the clear teaching of the "warning passages" warn against "false, feigned faith". Also, in many (perhaps all) of these same warning passages are given the promise of the ultimate salvation of all who truly believe. So the warnings are against unbelief, not unfaithfulness, and in addition to the warnings, God gives us precious promises of our salvation.

The ultimate premise upon which Mr. Shanks operates is an overly powerful will if I can call it that. A will so strong that God will not keep us from stumbling during temptation, even though our will before our temptation was to be faithful. Paul, in Romans 6 & 7, very clearly demonstrates that our will is captive to either sin or Christ, and that God obviously gives us grace at sometime in our lives to change masters.

While he claims that a man can fall away and be saved multiple times, he doesn't adequately demonstrate this from Scripture. Rather his examples show that these men going into perdition can not come to repentance. His argument like every other one I have encountered for losing our place with God is based on works. We are accepted by God by faith, but we must maintain our relationship by the faithfulness of our works. If his example with Paul needing to "buffet his body" in order to maintain his salvation isn't works, then I don't know what is. I thank God that I knew enough of Paul's doctrine to recognize (with God's reminding) this man's gross error.

If you would like to be set on the right path on this issue, you can do no better than to understand John Bunyan's comments on the issue. He said, "There are two deep ditches on either side of the road to heaven. The one is the ditch of despair and the other is the ditch of presumption. In front of the ditch of despair God has placed a row of hedges made of promises to keep the poor pilgrim from despair in times of defeat. In front of the ditch of presumption he has placed another row of hedges made of up of fearful warning to keep the poor pilgrim from presuming on the grace of God." Truer words were never said on this topic.

It is a very scholarly book however, but he often uses the Greek to maintain assertions that the Greek really doesn't support. I know that from only two examples I checked. Who knows how many more of the hundreds of other cases he does likewise. If one is not a Greek scholar, he can be very deceptive. Even his English logic is flawed in many places, so how much more untrustworthy is his Greek? I will give it two stars however, in that he doesn't succumb to demagoguery.
Better than Dan Corner  Jan 28, 2007
I was surprised to hear some giving Shank less credit than Dan Corner. Dan Corner sought to obscure verses that support OSAS by reading a majority of his proof texts into them. Dr Shank tried tackling the verses head on and made some good arguments. Comparing Shank to Corner, I have to admit that Shank shows brains while Dan certainly does not. So again, I am surprised that people prefer Corner over Shank.
Shank however has the same problems that Corner and any other conditionalist has and that is finding one verse that says that if you do this or that or if you stop believing then you will lose your salvation. The entire conditionalist belief system is based upon implications. "This verse implies..." and it goes on and on.
Conditionalism is the doctrine of demons because it is the universal belief of the world. Ask any Atheist, agnostic and so on if they believe that a person can lose their salvation. The devil who is a deceiver of the whole world, who can take captive whomsoever he wills, who can take the seed of God's word out of one's heart can't seem to convince the world he runs of the very message that conditionalists claim that he propogated (OSAS). It is amazing to me that the universal religion of the world is that one can lose their salvation. Just remember that if you do not believe in OSAS then your confidence isn't 100% Christ and that it lies in something else as well. That is why those that believe in OSAS do not believe that Conditionalists are saved and that their teaching came from the mouth of Satan himself.
I said much concerning conditional theology in my review of Dan Corner's heretical 801 page book so I will not mention many arguments concerning Dr Shank except for a few. Shank makes this amazing statement concerning John 5:24 and the use of the "perfect tense" in Greek on page 62: "It is true that the perfect tense is the tense to use if a past act is known to have permanent consequences. But ("but" a conditionalist favorite word when in trouble) it is equally true that the perfect tense does not in any way affirm the fact of permanency; it only affirms the fact of the present existence of the consequences of the past act, as of the moment of speaking. The fact of actual permanency must be established by supplementary comment."
Dr Shank, you make me laugh sir and I will explain why. First, why do you say that the perfect tense needs a "supplementary comment" to know if it is permanent but do not say that the present tense in Greek needs a "supplementary comment" to know if it is continuous or not??? If the present tense simply means "continual" then you will have some serious problems and if the perfect tense must have a "supplementary comment" to show that permanency is meant then again you will have some serious problems. Here are a couple of examples of what I mean:
In 1st Corinthians 15:4, the word "raised" is the perfect tense. Was Christ raised to rise no more as the perfect tense reveals or should we expect a possible future bodily resurrection because no "supplementary comment" was given???
When Jesus said, "It is finished" before breathing His last breath, He used the perfect tense in Greek when He said "finished." Now I ask you, does the perfect tense there argue "permanency" or should we consider the work not finished because no "supplementary comment" was given???
Now concerning the present tense in Greek meaning "continually" borderlines moronic. The present tense in the NT is the second most used tense next to the aorist tense. It amazes me that there is a Greek word for "continually" but is never used once to emphasize that you must "continually believe and thou shalt be saved."
Most try running to 1st Cor.15:2 which I commented elsewhere in Dan Corner's 801 pages of pure bologna. I will comment on this again because most conditionalists can't see beyond verse 2 and will only focus on the words "saved" and "faith is vain" and will read those words according to their theology not realizing that they are taking the verse out of the context from the rest of the passage. I am amazed that conditionalists do not know that when the word "saved" is used in past tense it is generally our justification in view, when it refers to the present tense like in 1st Cor.15:2 then it is referring to our sanctification and when it speaks about our future being saved then it refers to our glorification. In verses such as 1st Cor.6:11 where "sanctified" is being used in the past tense refers to our positional sanctification and not progressive sanctification (positional is a complete work of God apart from man and progressive is what we experience on a daily basis). 1st Cor. 15 is dealing with those that are denying the resurrection and to do so would make one's faith vain because if Christ did not die then our faith would be all in vain. The present tense saved is dealing with progressive sanctification and that deals with our present experience of God delivering us from the power of sin in our daily walk (see Vines Old and New testament Expository Dictionary). Their believing in vain is consistent with the rest of the same chapter where Paul is telling them that if Christ did not rise then their faith is vain (empty, useless, worthless) and he is not saying that if they stop believing it then their faith becomes vain. Paul's whole argument ONLY is that if the resurrection didn't happen then one's faith is vain and NOT if you stop believing then your faith becomes vain. We are saved by firmly believing the gospel that Paul delivered and it our faith only that becomes vain if what we were told never happened. Please read verses 12, 14, 17 and see Paul's entire argument about the resurrection of Jesus Christ and how one's faith would be useless just as stated in verse 2. This is exactly what the translator's of the New Living Bible saw when translating verse 2, "And it is this Good News that saves you if you firmly believe it--unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place." Conditionalists try to make the verse say, "By which you are saved if you continually believe it or otherwise if you stop believing then your faith becomes vain" and that is not at all stated in this passage or verse. Paul makes a case for the resurrection and that it did happen and was witnessed by many. The whole argument beginning from verse 2 was that if it didn't happen then their faith was all in vain and that would include us today that believe in a risen Savior. Paul's statement in verse 2 "unless you believed in vain" is consistent with the whole chapter that they are saved if they firmly believe the gospel unless what they were taught was not true to begin with and that ONLY would make their faith vain. Did you firmly believe the gospel? Then you can be assured that Christ death, burial and resurrection did happen and that your faith was never vain to begin with.
Hearing Shank and Corner talking about "continual faith" amazes me because why couldn't God find one place in Scripture to point out that those that continually believe shall be saved???? God gives verses and tells us that to continue in prayer and other things and uses the word "continue" to stress that what we do in the present must continue constantly but never says, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved? They replied, Continually believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." Why does Jesus in John 3 compare Himself to the serpent being lifted up that whoever looked upon it would be healed??? The look that healed was only one look (a glance) and not a continual glance to be healed and stay healed. It is a bit odd to imply a instant glance to be healed to a so-called continual glance to be saved.
Here is Shank's big problem with the present tense "continual" bologna theory:
First, that tense is used over 700 times and hardly ever means "continual" in any verse that it is used in. Am I to then believe that it must mean continual in John 3:16 when it seldom does anywhere else???
Here is a question for you, the word "fast" in Matthew 6:17 is the present tense in Greek so does one must continually fast??? The word "seen" in the prior verse is present tense so does that mean to see continually as well??? Matthew 5:42 says to "Give to him who asks of you..." and the word "asks" is also a present participle so does that mean that we are to give only when the person asks continually??? Matthew 6:3, "But when you give alms..." the word "give" is present tense so is one to give continual alms??? Matthew 7:21 "Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord..." the word "says" is present participle so is Jesus saying that the person that continually says, "Lord, Lord" or is Jesus saying that the anyone that says "Lord, Lord" once or a hundred time doesn't mean that they will enter the kingdom of heaven???
Matthew 8:14, "He saw his mother-in-law lying sick in bed with a fever..." and "sick" is present tense so does that mean that she will be sick continually and unending???
How long does it take to look upon another woman to commit adultery??? In Matthew 5:28 the word "looks" is another present participle. Do you have to have a moments glance with a lustful thought to commit adultery or does the look have to be continual before you commit adultery???
I only used present tense words within a few chapters to show that the present tense in Greek is widely used and seldom means continuous as Shank and others try to make it mean in the verses that truly support OSAS and this clearly shows their blatant deception. It is these same yo-yos that will tell you that "believe" must mean "continuous." These men are deceiver's and will damn your soul if you believe them.
Romans 8:1 is a verse that most Conditionalists that do not use a KJV or NASV will always run to for the exception clause that they so desperately want and clearly misunderstand. "There is therefore NOW (Present tense) no condemnation to those that are IN CHRIST JESUS." I love that chapter because it begins with "no condemnation" and ends with "no separation." But the "now" is present tense and applies to those that are "in Christ Jesus" but no conditionalist will be consistent with his present tense theology anyways. Also, in Romans 16:7 Paul said concerning Andronicus and Junias that "they were in Christ before me (Paul)." The "they were" is perfect tense which tells us that they were and they still are today "in Christ" but according to Shank you will need a supplementary comment to prove permanency which is his little deceptive cop-out when it comes to OSAS clear proof texts. Shank amazes me that he quotes Greek scholars when they agree with him and will correct them when they do not.
It amazes me to hear conditionalists tell me that if they choose to be saved then it makes perfect sense that they can throw away that salvation and be damned. Yeah, yeah, yeah, but why do you believe that if you choose to marry a person that God forever views you as married to the point that your corrupt belief says that one will commit "continual" adultery if you get remarried. Why can't a person that chooses a spouse choose later to be unmarried by that same free will you used to make that choice??? You amaze me that you can believe that two sinful beings are bound as long as they live and can never remarry because God always considers you married to that first spouse but can't believe that you are eternally married to God no matter what. To be consistent with your own bologna then you should view marriage as a vow easily broken as you view your own salvation as easily lost. Read Romans 7 about the permanency of marriage and how we are joined to Christ. Please change your inconsistency because if Christ is arguing permanency in marriage then you ought to be arguing permanency in salvation. I hope you that are undecided can see the deception of these teacher's. Dan Corner believes that you are continually married and can never remarry or otherwise you will commit "continual adultery" because you are permanently joined to your spouse but then argues that we are not permanently joined to Christ. You can't choose to be unmarried but you can choose to be unsaved--Yeah, what a scholar Corner is??????? He argues that the word "commits adultery" is present tense making it continuous. He sees "commits" as an ongoing action. Here, I will give you a sentence and tell me if "commits" means an ongoing action: "Anyone that kills another man commits murder." Now does the word "commits" mean a single act or an ongoing act??? Did Jesus recognize in John 4 that the woman at the well had 5 husbands or was Jesus being a smart mouth and saying that she had had 5 husbands sarcastically??? Did Jesus order that woman to be reunited to her first husband or to leave the man she presently was with??? NO! Do we have a single verse that commanded anyone to leave their present spouse and to return to their former spouse??? NO! Was any remarried person ever addressed as committing continual adultery??? NO! This is the problem with anyone that wants to make the present tense as always meaning "continuous." Not only do Conditionalists destroy a person that was remarried but they destroy one's faith as well. There are those that will not present the gospel to you until you first leave that spouse that you married if you or they were married before and that spouse is still living today. That is a teaching never heard of in Scripture anywhere---shame on them.
I wish Shank was consistent with his "supplementary comment" when it comes to the present tense in Greek, but Shank as well as Corner has to be deceptive in order to promote their heresy. Shank with his understanding of the perfect tense has to change to fit his theology or otherwise the word "passed" in John 5:24 annihilates his position. The word "passed" is perfect tense and immediately has to destroy it in order to keep his theological bologna. Every passage that OSAS advocates hold dear is butchered and mutilated by these Conditionalists.

Shame on you Shank for your damnable heresy and your one world religion of Satan's conditional security propaganda that continues to blind so many. I only gave you 2 stars because at least you made an honest attempt to refute eternal security unlike Dan Corner but seriously failed in trying.
Set me straight  Mar 5, 2005
I had personally misinterpreted many passages of Scripture on the subject of Eternal Security for many years until a friend recommended this book. Wow. Dr. Shank gives a most thorough and in fact exhaustive study, dressing down every one of my misunderstandings and showing that I was often failing to see the trees for the forest. His point ultimately is not that we must earn our salvation, of course, but that there can come a point where we can reject the gift God has given. This falls under the same heading as the "unpardonable sin" in that it takes quite a bit to get there, but once there it is impossible to renew (Hebrews 6).

"Life In the Son" is not a breezy read; it is for the serious student of theology and Biblical doctrine. While the saved person will persevere regardless of his/her understanding of this doctrine, there are many baby Christians who are led into misunderstanding and thus into license. For their sake it is critical that we be doctrinally correct, espeically those of us who teach, whether in Bible school, our children, or babes in Christ. No matter what you've read on this topic, don't think you have it settled until you've read "Life In the Son."

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