Saved without a Doubt by John MacArthur
Christianity is a love relationship between God and His children. Salvation is not a transaction by which God grants us eternal life no matter what our attitude toward Him is. Those who are truly saved have a deep, ongoing love for God. ~John MacArthur (p. 169)
I will start off by admitting that I have mixed feelings about this book. The title is extremely self-explanatory; this is a book about being sure of your salvation. I went into this book most certainly not sure of my salvation, and not even sure that I believed someone could be sure. To be quite frank I had argued on many occasions why the “Once Saved, Always Saved” theory was false. While my mindset changed in the process of reading this book, the book itself had very little or nothing to do with it. As someone who believed differently I found Mr. MacArthur’s words to be rather harsh and they sounded like they were intended to make me feel stupid for believing differently than he did. The arguments that I had used to argue this doctrine, he dismissed as foolish.
If I hadn’t committed to reading this book and wanted to truly learn about this topic, I probably would have thrown it into the trash. However, God had been working on my heart and I had a deep passion to understand this doctrine better. While Mr. MacArthur and I think very differently, he said something that sparked a thought process within me. It would have been nice if the book would have followed that process, but he just mentioned a Scripture then went on his way, leaving me to back track and think it out on my own... which was just fine as well, but I can’t really credit the book for changing my mind as it was a Scripture that He used that God used to enlighten me. Anyway!
While I found the first section of this book worthless, after coming to the conclusion that you could be saved for all eternity and be sure of it I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the book. I should mention that I came to that conclusion sometime in the midst of the first section, and I still didn’t think the first section was worth anything. I’m going to sum it up as John MacArthur and I have two entirely different brains, and while we are both children of God, and believe in the same Savior, God created us entirely different. Mr. MacArthur is like an eye, and I am more like a finger, both part of the body, but totally different.
During the time that I was reading this book my pastor actually did a sermon on this very topic, and while he also thinks more like MacArthur than he does me, I found it helpful as well. If this is an issue you have been pondering on, I do recommend parts 2 and 3, and even part one IF you enjoy John MacArthur’s teachings and follow similar thought processes. And of course are not easily offended by people mocking your beliefs.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the MacArthur ministry in a free mailing. I was not required to review it.
Target Audience: Christians on the fence about the security in salvation
Positive Elements: Chapter 9 was my favorite… but all of parts 2 and 3 were good
Inappropriate Language: None
Unbiblical Content: None, but I think the first part was a bit lacking in love and gentleness…
Other Negative Elements: None