Augustine (rightly) says that both the beginning of end of faith is a gift of God, both the initial belief and the perseverance to the end (Rebuke and Grace, and Perseverance). As Paul says, “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:6).
But this “fact” does not reduce human experience to nothing. We know that people profess faith, have “initial enthusiasm” as Paul Carter recently noted. And this initial enthusiasm often wanes, and so does one’s professed faith. There is no reason to deny this regular experience because the Bible affirms that he who began a good work in us will bring it to completion.
I find this to be one of the oddest things people do: oppose experience to faith as if they contradict each other. [Read more…] about If Perseverance is a Gift Why Do People Seem to Fall Away from Faith?