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Can I Lose My Salvation? The P of TULIP

Soteriology 101: Former Calvinistic Professor discusses Doctrines of Salvation

Release Date: 12/04/2014

What is Spiritual Death? show art What is Spiritual Death?

Soteriology 101: Former Calvinistic Professor discusses Doctrines of Salvation

Dr. Leighton Flowers, Director of Evangelism and Apologetics for Texas Baptists, walks through an article by at compellingtruth.com on the topic of "spiritual deadness" in order to unpack the biblical usage of the term. Here is a copy of the article from compelling truth:   For more go to www.soteriology101.com    

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Jordan Cooper's Misconceptions of Provisionism show art Jordan Cooper's Misconceptions of Provisionism

Soteriology 101: Former Calvinistic Professor discusses Doctrines of Salvation

Dr. Jordan Cooper, a Lutheran Pastor, recently produced a video (seen here: ) critiquing Dr. Leighton Flowers’ video on total moral inability from birth (seen here: ) Disappointingly, Dr. Cooper does not do his homework on the actual beliefs of Traditional Southern Baptists (ie Provisionists) before producing a video in which he erroneously slaps onto us the heretical label “Pelagian.” To better understand why Traditional Southern Baptists (Provisionists) cannot be deemed Semi-Pelagian/Pelagian, please watch this: Or read this article by Dr. David Allen: To better understand how...

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Q&A Episode #13: Answering Common Calvinistic Arguments show art Q&A Episode #13: Answering Common Calvinistic Arguments

Soteriology 101: Former Calvinistic Professor discusses Doctrines of Salvation

Dr. Flowers walks through some videos going over some common Calvinistic arguments and provides a biblical response from a non-Calvinistic (Provisionist) perspective...

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The Unwanted Child: A Response to James White show art The Unwanted Child: A Response to James White

Soteriology 101: Former Calvinistic Professor discusses Doctrines of Salvation

Dr. Flowers and guest, Clayton Tyner (Pastor at MetaChurch in San Antonio) walk through a critique offered by Dr. James White on the article titled "The Unwanted Child?" posted at www.soteriology101.com.

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Response to a Review of John Lennox's Book Response to a Review of John Lennox's Book "Determined to Believe"

Soteriology 101: Former Calvinistic Professor discusses Doctrines of Salvation

Dr. Leighton Flowers responds to a review of John Lennox's book "Determined to Believe". 

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Blind By Birth Or By Choice? show art Blind By Birth Or By Choice?

Soteriology 101: Former Calvinistic Professor discusses Doctrines of Salvation

In this short 15 min video, Dr. Leighton Flowers, Director of Evangelism and Apologetics for Texas Baptists, confronts the Calvinistic doctrine of Total Inability, the idea that all people are born spiritually blind due to God's sovereign decree and thus have no moral ability to respond positively to God's own gracious appeals to be reconciled. Looking at Paul's own sermon in Acts 28 (when some in the audience are convinced but others would not believe) reveals a lot about the natural condition of man in light of the gospel appeal.   For more about innate "spiritual deadness" watch...

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The Rise Of Calvinism? show art The Rise Of Calvinism?

Soteriology 101: Former Calvinistic Professor discusses Doctrines of Salvation

This is a snippet taken from an earlier broadcast from Dr. Leighton Flowers explaining why Calvinism is on the rise and what can be done to help spread the news of God's love and provision for everyone. For more please visit To watch the video with Ken Wilson on the effects of Augustine on Western Christianity:

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Does Isaiah 10 Prove Determinism? show art Does Isaiah 10 Prove Determinism?

Soteriology 101: Former Calvinistic Professor discusses Doctrines of Salvation

Dr. Flowers responds to Dr. White's latest critique on the topic of God's use of Assyrians to bring judgement on the rebellious Israelites.   This is the video Dr. White is critiquing:   This is the original Dividing Line Broadcast:    

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Theodicy without the Free Will Defense? show art Theodicy without the Free Will Defense?

Soteriology 101: Former Calvinistic Professor discusses Doctrines of Salvation

Dr. Leighton Flowers plays clips from Calvinistic pastor, Dr. John MacArthur, answering the problem of evil (Theodicy) and contrasts it with scholars who advocate for the free will defense, such as Ravi Zacharias, John Lennox, CS Lewis, Lee Strobel and Greg Laurie. This video highlights the distinction between a consistent Calvinistic answer to the problem of evil with that of non-Calvinists (Arminianism or Provisionism).   To watch John MacArthur's original video click here:   For more on this topic please visit www.soteriology101.com    

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Is the CALVINISM debate important? show art Is the CALVINISM debate important?

Soteriology 101: Former Calvinistic Professor discusses Doctrines of Salvation

Dr. Leighton Flowers, Director of Evangelism and Apologetics for Texas Baptists, plays a clip from John Piper quoting from CS Lewis about whether or not the Calvinism debate is really important. Dr. Piper walks through the Calvinistic TULIP expressing why he feels it’s so important to the Christian faith and Dr. Flowers responds respectfully but firmly from a Provisionist's perspective. Resources: 1 Cor 2:14: For more on Romans 1-3 referenced by Dr. Flowers: Nature of man: Rom. 8: Atonement: Sovereignty: Deadness: John 10: Election: Eph. 1: Rom. 9: Predestination: Search other...

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More Episodes

"Can I lose my salvation?" is one of the most googled phrases regarding the topic of soteriology. Many people are concerned with this question. Some reference to the doctrine called the "Perseverance of the Saints," and others the more common phrases such as, "Once Saved Always Saved," or "Eternal Security of the Believer." All of the discussions typically center around the foundational concern of an individual feeling insecure in his relationship with God.  

Many of us have gone through similar insecurities in dating relationships.  We know how we feel about that significant other, but we are not quite sure how they feel about us. What has to happen?  The "DTR!" The "Defining of the Relationship."

NOTE: I preached a Sermon by that Title HERE if your are interested.

We have to sit down with the one we care about and tell them how we feel  in hopes that they reciprocate those feelings.  In that process we can either bring that relationship to an end or find security in knowing how the other feels about us.   

It is similar in our relationship with God. As long as we are unaware of how God really feels about us individually, we will continue to have these insecurities.  The good news is that God's word does provide us a "DTR."  The bible clearly "defines the relationship" between God and man, which is where we develop our systematic teachings on each particular subject.  

This brings to the "P" in the popular Calvinistic soteriological acronym called TULIP.  Chapter 17 of the Westminster Confession of faith defines it in this manner:

securePerseverance of the saints is the Calvinist doctrine that those who are truly saved will persevere to the end and cannot lose their salvation. It doesn't mean that a person who is truly saved will never lose faith or backslide at any time. But that they will ultimately persevere in faith (inspite of failures) such as not to lose their salvation.  The doctrine of perseverance is rooted in God's unconditional election and predestination. That is, since God is the One who chose and predestined the elect to salvation, therefore the elect will be saved. They might turn away from faith and give appearance of losing their salvation, but if they really are elect they will repent and ultimately return to faith, because God is the One ensuring their salvation.(1)

Those of us who hold to "The Corporate View of Election" (the most widely held view of Southern Baptist biblical scholars), likewise affirm the Calvinistic doctrine that "those who are truly saved will persevere to the end and cannot lose their salvation." Some Calvinists feel it is inconsistent for those of us who deny any part of the TULIP doctrines to try and maintain the doctrine of perseverance. This accusation, however, is misapplied because it fails to recognize that we affirm the effectual work of regeneration, just like our Calvinistic brethren.  We disagree as to the "ordo salutis" (order of salvation) in that we do not affirm the concept of pre-faith regeneration (irresistible grace). Instead we believe as John clearly stated, "These are written so that you may believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and by believing you may have life in His name." -John 20:31

In today's podcast I go over these points in great detail, outlining Ephesians chapter 1 and Paul's teaching regarding Predestination, the TRUE "P" of the biblical doctrine regarding the perseverance of those who are "IH HIM."

John Piper writes this about the doctrine:

"The true Christian is safe, but his safety is confirmed in his pressing on to make his final inheritance his own. Our safety is seen in the words “because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” In other words, our security is not based finally on our grip on Christ, but his grip on us. " -John Piper

I could not agree more with this statement, though we might disagree as to means and methods that God uses to "make us" His own.  The real question of this debate is not, "Can you lose your salvation," but instead, "If you lost it, did you ever have it to begin with?" 1 John 2:19 answers that question quite clearly:

1jn219I recently had a woman in a church tell me she "fell out of love with her husband and got a divorce." With great care I had to explain to her that she cannot refer to that as "love," because according to God's definition "love does not fail."  True genuine love is a never ending commitment.  So, she may have cared for her husband, liked him a lot, or been infatuated with him for a time, but she cannot rightly call what she had "love."  We cannot change the definition of the word to match our behaviors. 

The same is true of salvation.  If it lasts, then it's real.  If it does not then it is proven itself to have been false.  So, from the human perspective, unlike God who can see the heart, it may appear one has lost something that he once attained.  This may be why some passages appear to suggest that we may lose our salvation.  However, from the divine perspective one choosing to walk away from the faith is merely revealing externally what has been true internally all along.  The ultimate external fruit of true salvation is perseverance to the very end.

Now, does that mean God's warnings about falling away are benign?  Is God just bluffing as a means to ensure we do not fall away even though He knows full well we cannot?  I do not believe so.  We should never dull the edge of God's warnings with our systematics.  The warning is a real one and it is given for those who may be self-deceived into thinking they have something they truly do not. OSASThis is why Paul exhorts his listeners to, "Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith." (2 Cor. 13:5) Paul is not concerned for those who truly are in the faith, but for those who falsely believe they are in the faith.  The only way they may come to realize their error is by examining themselves to see if Christ is truly in them.  I love what Francis Chan wrote in his book titled Crazy Love in reference to the parable of the sower: "Do not assume you are good soil."

In today podcast   I reflect on my own faith journey (and get a bit emotional, which I shouldn't be embarrassed about, but as a prideful man I still am). I discuss how reaching one's pig sty in life and experiencing God's unconditional love will change you.  I honestly believe that anyone who experiences that level of love and forgiveness will never walk away from it.  YOU CAN BY CLICKING HERE.