Will Bart Erhman be in heaven?


(Abby Narvaez) #1

Is Bart Erhman going to be in heaven for eternity since he claims to have accepted Jesus as his Savior?


(Isaiah J. Armstrong) #2

That’s a question only God can answer.


(Anthony Costello ) #3

Where did he say that?

Anthony


(Abby Narvaez) #4

He claimed he was a christian when he was younger and attending church and Moody Bible inst.
I ask this question because many believers feel that you cannot loose your salvation. We can argue that he really did not accept Jesus. I do understand the reply that only God knows the answer but can we KNOW that our salvation is secure even if we later doubt or even change our thoughts about the existance of God?


(Anthony Costello ) #5

@Abby

I think it is rather clear that either Bart Ehrman was never truly “born again”; which would be the more Reformed (Calvinist) way of looking at it. Or, he rejected his salvation by making a free choice to reject Jesus as Lord and Savior, which would be a more Arminian way of looking at it.

According to Calvin, Arminius, and most historical Christian theologians, one must persevere in the faith in order to be saved. Unless something like Universalism is true (where God simply saves all human persons, regardless of their response to Him), then I think Bart is not saved, even if I cannot know that with 100% certitude. By the way, I think universalism is obviously false; if we hold to the biblical data, which I do.

That said, I think to argue just because someone at some point in their life (as a child, or young adult) confessed Christ, therefore they are saved, would probably open the door to all kinds of people being saved. I mean, even Hitler was baptized and went to church as a young boy, I imagine. Stalin was a seminarian in his early years, Nietzsche was called “Jesus boy” by his primary school class mates, etc., etc.

So, while we should always maintain the posture of not knowing the status of someone else’s salvation with certitude; there can be a lot of evidence to suggest that someone is not saved. I mean, someone who accepts atheism as their worldview, we would at least want to evangelize too, right?

At the same time, you raised another good question. Can I know that I am saved? That question I think has a different answer. I do think I can know that I am saved, the same way I have knowledge of many other things about my personal life. I can know, for example, that I was in the Army from August 2008 until December 2013; and that without going through my files, or calling old colleagues to confirm my suspicion, or even asking my wife. I just know that I was. However, it could be that I am wrong. It could be that I have hallucinated the last several years of my life; or that I am right now in a coma, and have been since July of 2008, and am having an exceptionally vibrant dream. All of these scenarios, and others like them (e.g. I am right now on board an alien spaceship where the alien scientists have my brain hooked up to electrodes and are feeding me false images of a non-real past) are logically possible; but I have plenty of reasons to think that they are not true; and that I was actually in the Army from 2008-2013.

So, in the same way, I think I can know (and you can know) with a very high degree of confidence, that I am saved, and that in the same way I know I was in the Army, that I went to University in the late 1990’s, that I like chocolate chip ice cream, etc. I don’t need to prove it to myself with evidence first, I just know it, because God has revealed it to me.

Does that help?

in Christ,
Anthony


(Isaiah J. Armstrong) #6

@anthony.costello

Don’t forget Paul’s thoughts on his own faith:

2 Timothy 4:5-8 NIV
[5] But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. [6] For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. [7] I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. [8] Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.