At Macland Road, we emphasize Bible learning so that we may learn to “speak where the Bible speaks” and “be silent where the Bible is silent.” Passages that show the need for this learning include Acts 17:11, 2 Timothy 2:15, and 1 Peter 4:11. Paul urged the Thessalonians to “test everything; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Obeying this command requires critical thinking about the various ideas with which we are challenged.
We have an excellent opportunity for this kind of spiritual exercise upcoming. On May 26 and 27, we can view a live broadcast of a public debate on the subject of the security of the believer. Our brother B.J. Clarke is a gospel preacher and serves as director of the Memphis School of Preaching. He will argue in favor of the biblical position that it is possible for a Christian to lose his salvation (although a Christian need not leave the Lord and thereby lose salvation). Michael Brawner, a preacher for the Baptist church, will oppose the biblical position. The debate will be broadcast in our auditorium, and we will enjoy watching together.
Here is the schedule:
- May 26, 7:00 to 9:15 p.m. Michael Brawner affirms, and B.J. Clarke denies, the following proposition: “The Scriptures teach that those who have been born again cannot so far depart from the will of God as to be finally lost in hell.”
- May 27, 3:00 to 5:15 p.m.J. Clarke affirms, and Michael Brawner denies, the following proposition: “The Scriptures teach that one saved by the blood of Christ can thereafter fall from grace by departing from the living God, and thus be lost eternally.”
Watching and reading public debates are very helpful for our understanding of the Bible, because we are able to learn how one may answer many objections to what the Bible teaches. We live in a religiously pluralistic society, and so we are confronted regularly with compromises to biblical truth. Many of our neighbors and friends have been taught false doctrine and need help in understanding the Bible. One of the most prominent ideas in the denominational world is the “Once-saved-always-saved” doctrine, and the related “Impossibility of apostasy” doctrine. One or both of these ideas will take center stage in the Clarke/Brawner debate.
We should take advantage of opportunities such as the Clarke/Brawner debate, especially to help us understand the Bible better and to make us more effective in teaching others.