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The Outer Darkness: Its Interpretations and Implications

The Outer Darkness: Its Interpretations and Implications

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“The Outer Darkness” is the author's magnum opus that ties together his arguments for unconditional security and conditional rewards. The biblical phrase “outer darkness” occurs three times in the Gospel of Matthew. This study examines this biblical phrase within its eschatological, soteriological, misthological, biblical, historical, and intertestamental contexts. Critical interactions with Arminian and Calvinistic interpretations and interpreters are met with an alternative proposal that affirms unconditional security. Generally, Arminian and Calvinistic interpreters are agreed that security is conditioned upon perseverance. For the Arminian, you must persevere in order to be elected to go to heaven. If you fail to persevere, you will lose your salvation. This Arminian perspective might be called the forfeitist position. The typical acronym employed for this perspective is PEARS. For the Calvinists, if you are elected, you must persevere in order to go to heaven. If you fail to persevere, this will prove that you were never elected. This perspective could be termed the proveitist position. The way you live reputedly proves whether you are saved. Ultimately, your final salvation is conditioned upon your proving you are saved by the way you live. You must persevere till the end to be saved in the end. The well-known acronym for this perspective is TULIP. The mediating position offered by Cauley, in which unconditional security is defended, has its roots in a historical movement known as the Marrow Controversy. Accordingly, the name chosen by Cauley to represent his approach is Marrowism, which is used for a contemporary expression of the Free Grace Movement. Within the Marrowistic hermeneutic, perseverance is regarded as a means necessary for rewards within heaven rather than for entrance into heaven. The acronym for this perspective is GRAPE. Misthos is the Greek word for “rewards” from which the term misthological is derived. Therefore, from the Marrowistic perspective, perseverance would be considered a misthological issue. The outer darkness is likewise regarded as a misthological (that is, rewards) issue within Cauley’s treatment. Objections to unconditional security in general and to a misthological interpretation of the outer darkness in particular are dealt with in-depth in this two volume work. Volume one spans the first 25 chapters and contains the tables of contents and illustrations (as well as abbreviations and symbols) for the entire two-volume set.

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