Mar 1, 2015

Face to Face With the Real Gospel (2008) by Dennis E. Priebe

Book pages:  89;

The following quotation from the book is probably a good summary of what the author hopes to impress in the reader: "We can actually have a sinless character in a sinful nature." This short book advocates what Pastor Priebe terms the "The Real Gospel." He endeavors to differentiate between two streams of beliefs which he argues leads to very different conclusions about the gospel. The definition of sin, he believes, influences the whole stream of one's gospel.

The book advocates that sin is not by nature but it is by choice. From this foundation, he leads the reader from this point to show how opposing views develop depending if a person agrees or disagrees with this premise of "choice." He argues that this foundation determines whether one would believe in infant baptism or not, whether Jesus had a sinful nature or not, whether one believes that individuals can be perfect or not in this lifetime, etc. 

The author insists that there are four different types of perfection that one needs to keep in mind. 

  1. Absolute perfection. The author indicates that only God himself has absolute perfection. To support this, he quotes Ellen G. White who wrote, "Angelic perfection failed in heaven [Lucifer and the fallen angels]. Human perfection failed in Eden [Adam and Eve]." (Our High Calling, p. 45). Human decision has no control on this type of perfection because it only exists in God.
  2. Nature perfection. According to the author, this was the nature Adam had but he lost it after eating the fruit in the Garden of Eden. This nature will be restored at the Second Coming of Jesus. Here also, human decision has no control. Pastor Priebe states that, in order to be our example, Jesus Christ adopted an imperfect nature but he maintained a perfect surrender and a perfect character (see below). According to the author, Jesus Christ gave up omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience. Although it is unclear in the book, it appears that the author may thereby conclude that, Jesus Christ gave up absolute perfection which he had possessed  before he became a human being.
  3. Character surrender. An individual is able to make a choice to allow this to happen. At the point of conversion, our character surrender is accounted perfect by God. A person has to continually practice this surrender to maintain it at the level of perfection.
  4. Character maturity. Humans have the ability to make choices that bring about this character perfection. The author believes character perfection can happen in this lifetime.
The author believes an individual is able to experience the last two types of perfection in this lifetime. Our choices in surrendering to the power of Jesus Christ are key in doing so. 

Click here to buy a copy of the book Face to Face With the Real Gospel (2008) or click here to buy the DVD series based on this book by Dennis E. Priebe


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