OSAS Arminians—Molinists in Disguise?

While reading Dr. Ken Keathley’s chapter titled “Eternal Life,” in his book “Salvation and Sovereignty: A Molinist Approach,” some confusing theological issues (in my mind, at least), started coming together. Things that never quite made sense to me began to make sense. One of those issues concerns “OSAS Arminians,” called “Once-Saved-Always-Saved Arminians.” OSAS Arminians stand out from their fellow Arminians because, unlike the remaining Arminians, OSASers believe in guaranteed perseverance of the saints. In other words, those who believe, the elect, will infallibly persevere. For the Arminian system, however, this is an inconsistency: in the five-point Arminian system, since grace is resistible and election is conditional upon faith, then perseverance is conditional upon the continued endurance in the race of life set before us. In other words, perseverance is conditional in that it is based upon the commitment of the believer. If the believer decides to fall away due to temptation (as did one of the soils in Luke 8), then that person has forfeited their inheritance in Christ (i.e., eternal life). To use biblical terminology, like Esau, they have forfeited their “birthright” to eternal life and “the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven” (Heb. 12:23, NKJV). …

OSASers then, by virtue of their views of perseverance (infallible) and grace (overcoming) could no longer identify themselves as “Arminians,” but as “Molinists.”

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