What book, to the extent that a book can be credited with such a thing, pushed me over into “calvinism”? Arthur Pink’s The Sovereignty of God was the one.
Later, I sort of let go of Pink because I sort of felt compelled by (irrational) Presbyterian loyalties to put my stock in paedobaptist authors. I also heard of some sad things about where Pink’s ended up due to an unchecked sectarianism that pretended to be piety.
Of course, being Presbyterian doesn’t entail a restricted reading list. And for all the talk about “consequences” to theology, the fact remains that the orthodox make horrible mistakes and that heterodox give us wonderful gems. Possibly one of the most important theological teachings of my life about theology proper came to me from John Milton. Am I supposed to reject it just because Milton was (I hear) an Arian and I am a loyal Trinitarian? Don’t think so.
So I was overreacting to Pink. That, at least, is what I’m thinking now after reading this excellent post from James Spurgeon. It is a lengthy quote from Pink on the issue of perseverance and warnings against apostasy. Here is a sample: “According to the lopsided logic of many teachers today, it is quite un-necessary to exhort Christians to “continue in the faith”; they will do so. But be not wise above what is written, and deem not yourselves to be more consistent than the apostles” But please go read the entire thing.
There are some great resources in the comments too! There I found this great message from John Piper. Not only is this excellent exhortation but it also maintains a community focus which may help one apply Pink’s teaching differently than Pink eventually did: “One final word on eternal security. It is a community project. And that is why the pastoral ministry is so utterly serious, and why our preaching must not be playful but earnest. We preach so that saints might persevere in faith to glory.”
This reminded me of a great book that I have read more than once: John Piper’s own Future Grace. If you are looking for a thirty day devotional that is meaty and enriching, Future Grace should top your list.