Periodical Reviews

"Abiding is Remaining in Fellowship: Another Look at John 15:1-6," Joseph C. Dillow, Bibliotheca Sacra 147 (Jan-Mar 1990): 44-53.

Joseph Dillow defends the view that John 15:1-6 is dealing with fellowship, not eternal salvation. He cites three lines of support for his view. 1) "Every branch in Me" most naturally refers to genuine believers. 2) "Abiding" means remaining in fellowship with Christ through obedience. A believer abides in Christ by keeping His commandments. Those who fail to abide are disobedient believers, not false professors. 3) "Fruitless branches" is a figure which pictures disobedient believers who receive divine discipline in this life and loss of rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The burning of fruitless branches most naturally refers to temporal discipline of believers, not eternal condemnation of believers (Arminian view) or of false professors (Reformed/Puritan view). This is particularly evident since Jesus was addressing these words to the disciples, saved men.

"Has Lordship Salvation Been Taught Throughout Church History?" Thomas G. Lewellen, Bibliotheca Sacra 147 (Jan-Mar 1990): 54-68.

Tom Lewellen shows that Lordship Salvation has been taught by some—not by all or even most—writers in church history. He argues that while church history is valuable for encouraging and informing us, it is the Bible, not church history, which is the grounds upon which we are to base our theology (and evaluate the teachings of church history).

Regarding assurance of salvation, Lewellen points out that while Lordship Salvation teachers frequently point people to look to their lifestyles for assurance, "Calvin, on the contrary, strictly warned against all attempts to find assurance by an observation of one's works" (p.62).

He concludes by saying that "the greatest lesson to be learned from history, and from the great Christian leaders of the past, is that believers must constantly return to the Word of God" (p.68).

These articles are well worth reading. (Both authors, by the way, are members of GES.) You can find the articles by going to a theological library at a Christian college or seminary or by ordering the journal for yourself. A single copy costs $4.50 and requests should be addressed to Bibliotheca Sacra, Subscription Secretary, 3909 Swiss Avenue, Dallas, TX 75204 (Phone # 214-824-3094).

UPDATE: Subscriptions to Bibliotecha Sacra, as well as individual back issues, can be obtained through their website. –webmaster

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