Dear Brother in Christ:
Thank you for your comments with respect to our suggested interpretation of Hebrews chapter six.
First of all, we would agree with your statement that the chapter is indeed a difficult one and the notes made on the chapter were not dogmatically set forth but rather were presented as points of consideration on a most difficult passage.
Your letter suggests that the proper interpretation of the passage is that it was impossible for the apostate to find salvation because of circumstances then in existence. It seems highly unlikely that the writer would make such a statement without more facts concerning the circumstances. We also feel that it is entirely dangerous to suggest that salvation for the apostate is impossible (notwithstanding the circumstances in force), and thus placing a limitation on the grace of God. We strongly feel that such limitations are not known in the New Testament.
We were not clear as to your interpretation of the word “to renew.” There are two words for new in Scripture, neos and kainos. The first indicates new at a point in time; whereas, the second indicates newness in character and nature. It is the second word that is used here with the prefix ana, meaning again. It is therefore saying that it is impossible to experience this newness of character and nature again and this is the point we were trying to make. This interpretation seems logical particularly in the light of the latter part of chapter five where his injunction of “grow up” is clearly to Christians.
The verb to taste, you suggest, is in contrast to the verb to drink in verse seven, and does not mean to fully participate and possess. The same verb is used in chapter 2:9 where the writer says concerning the Lord Jesus, “He tasted death for every man.” We are sure you would agree that our Lord entered into and fully participated in death. Does it not seem reasonable to apply the same interpretation to the same verb here in chapter six? Incidentally, the Greek verb is guomai and is translated to eat in Acts 10:10 and Acts 20:11.
There are passages in the Epistle where the dividing line is drawn between professors and real Christians but we feel that chapter six is not one of those passages. The content of the chapter, it seems to us, clearly indicates the eternal security of the Christian. We are urged in verse one to consider the strength of the foundation and to go on to build unto perfection. In verse 19. we are reminded that the Christian’s anchor of hope is not dropped into any earthly sea but soars through the aerail oceans mooring us to the very throne of God.
Yours by grace,
D. and R. McC.