In Kept for Jesus, Sam Storms tackles the critical topic of the saints’ assurance and perseverance in a readable way. The book focuses on exploring the passages of Scripture that are most often attributed to this important doctrine. While discussing the different perspectives of perseverance, Storms unapologetically argues for the Reformed tradition throughout the book. In the first half, Storms lays the groundwork by explaining how God’s love and grace keep all those that are His till the very end. Drawing from different texts and contemporary illustrations, the author makes a convincing argument that there is no reason a genuine believer should ever worry that he or she will lose their salvation as God is the One who emboldens and empowers the Christian to believe and persevere in their faith. Through a pastoral approach, Storms offers comforting words to those who doubt their assurance while staunchly warning readers against the dangers of antinomianism. In the second half of the book, Storms investigates the challenging portions of Scripture where the eternal status of Christians seems to be questionable. In each passage, Storms gathers the wisdom of different scholars in considering the various positions that could be considered in each passage. I appreciate how Storms attempts to remain objective and provide perspectives that lead me to think more deeply on these passages. Despite not being able to prove the Reformed viewpoint conclusively on all the passages, Storms appeals the reader to consider God’s character and the entire counsel of God in thinking through the doctrine of assurance and perseverance. Given His faithful nature and everlasting love for His elect, Storms asserts that those who are genuine believers have no fear that they will ever be cast away from God.
I would recommend this book for those who are unfamiliar with this important topic that Christians need to wrestle with. Storms’ writing style is accessible and the tone of the book is pastoral allowing lay people to easily follow the arguments. The fact that Storms insists on working through tough passages of Scripture is admirable and will allow readers to gain a birds-eye view on the key arguments of the text. After reading this book, I cannot help but praise God for His loving kindness and amazing grace in saving and keeping His sheep safe in His arms.
In compliance with Federal Trade Commission regulations, I was provided a free review copy of this book from Crossway.