ZondervanPublishers has a great series of books called Four Views (ranging from three to five views about a certain topic in the Bible). Each Four Views book includes four different theologians who state their claim on what they believe the Bible says about the topic at hand. Zondervan just came out with a new book titled Four Views on the Role of Works at the Final Judgment, which is a look at the doctrine of how works comes into play with salvation. Are we saved merely by faith alone? Are we saved by our works too? What about eternal rewards? Is works just a sign of God’s work in our lives as new creations?
The Four Views and their Respected Authors are:
Robert N. Wilkin:
Works will determine rewards but not salvation:
At the Judgment Seat of Christ each believer will be judged by Christ who will determine the one’s eternal rewards, but he remains eternally secure even if the judgment reveals he failed to persevere in good works (or in faith).
Thomas R. Schreiner:
Works will provide evidence that one actually has been saved:
At the final judgment works provide the necessary condition, though not the ground for final salvation, in that they provide evidence as to whether one has actually trusted in Jesus Christ.
James D. G. Dunn:
Works will provide the criterion by which Christ will determine eternal destiny of his people:
Since Paul, Jesus, and the New Testament writers hold together ‘justification by faith and not by works’ with ‘judgment according to works’, we should not fall into the trap of playing one off against the other or blend them in a way that diminishes the force of each.
Michael P. Barber:
Works will merit eternal life:
At the final judgment, good works will be rewarded with eternal salvation. However, these good works will be meritorious not apart from Christ but precisely because of the union of the believer with him.
I agree with Wilkin and Schreiner, though at this present moment I’m wanting to look into the idea of eternal rewards. It’s not that I don’t believe it, It’s just something I want to study more of. And given that I’d like to teach 2 Corinthians one day, and the idea of eternal rewards [possibly] crops up in the letter, it looks as if I’ll be studying it pretty soon.
I read part of the Hell book for my theology class. I read the Conditional [Annihilational] view and wrote a paper against it. The books are a good way to grasp other beliefs about for and against the doctrines we hold. You will become more familiar with the other sides of the argument so that at least you won’t be surprised when you hear someone bring it up. Reading the Conditional view (and writing a paper against it) helped me to formulate what I thought about the doctrine of hell.
Check out the Amazon reviews too. These books can be pretty cheap!
2 Views on Amazon:
3 Views on Amazon:
- The Rapture: Pretribulation, Prewrath, or Post-tribulation
- Creation and Evolution
- The Millennium and Beyond
- The New Testament Use of the Old Testament
4 Views on Amazon:
- Apostle Paul
- Understanding Baptism
- Christian Spirituality
- Divine Providence
- Eternal Security
- Are Miraculous Gifts for Today?
- God and Canaanite Genocide
- Historical Adam
- The Lord’s Supper
- Moving beyond the Bible to Theology
- The Book of Revelation
- The Role of Works at the Final Judgment
- Salvation in a Pluralistic World
- The Spectrum of Evangelicalism