What about ‘defeated’ or ‘broken’ Christians; is there even such a category? I want to briefly touch upon this, because I see it as a real and present question that continues to confront us in the broader evangelical church. With the departure of Josh Harris, and now one of the lead writers for Hillsong music, […]
The whole business of “were they really saved” is one of the most unedifying parlor games we have in Christianity. And it’s not just the Calvinists either, although they got the ball rolling: the Southern Baptists, with their infelicitous combination of Arminian election and Calvinistic perseverance, do the same thing. As Grow points out, “As with all exegesis, the Calvinist interpretation of I Jn 2.19 flows from their prior commitment to a particular doctrine of God,” but things break down in situations like we’re seeing with Harris and Sampson.
One other thing: Grow notes that “Within the Protestant tradition, there have been two major concepts of soteriology (the doctrine of salvation): the Reformed view and the Arminian view. ” It has been suggested on this site that Calvinism and Arminianism are both forms of Reformed theology, but my experience is that Calvinists regard Arminians the same way Salafis regard Shi’a Muslims: outside of the faith.
For Anglicans, Article XVI allows for a falling away, which is a sensible solution to the problem at hand. But it’s a major reason why I do not think that Anglicanism is strictly speaking “Reformed,” and that makes some people mad.