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HELP! What kind of work does this writing need?

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My newly 16 year old son is in Veritas Press' Omnibus 3 and wrote the following 2 assignments. He got great scores on both of them, but I feel like he is missing valuable structure and even a thesis statement. But, admittedly, I am not great at writing and feel insecure in my evaluation! 

  My goal is to determine whether he needs an online writing class (not lit! enough of that in Omnibus!) next year (11th) before heading to college for DE his senior year. Then my second goal is to determine what KIND of class he needs. He obviously has ideas in his head. He just fails to put them into a structure that is formatted academically. If anyone can read his writing, then recommend WHAT he needs work on, and WHERE I can find that kind of class, I would be GREATLY appreciative!  Thank you! Tiffany .   

PS.  I have been looking at Lukieon College Composition, VP Composition 2, IEW Essay online class, but open to anything that is relevant to his situation. I have no experience with any of these classes.


In order to accurately discern if a Christian can “backslide”, it is crucial to define backsliding. Backsliding is when a person claiming to be a Christian turns away from the faith. True Believers cannot backslide. If the definition of backsliding is that a Christan falls into sin for a long period of time, then backsliding is possible, but if backsliding means that a Christian totally falls away from the faith and loses their salvation, it is not possible. 

Backsliding is an incredibly important topic to discuss. If one does not realise that believers cannot lose their salvation it can create an unintentional works based religion, where you have to be good enough in order to keep your salvation. This is not biblical, Ephesians 2:8-9 says,  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.”(Eph. 2:8-9, ESV) The Westminster Confession of Faith says in Chapter 16, “We cannot, by our best works, merit pardon of sin, or eternal life, at the hand of God, by reason of the great disproportion that is between them and the glory to come, and the infinite distance that is between us and God, whom by them, we can neither profit nor satisfy the debt of our former sins;”(Westminster, 71).  This shows that we are so sinful that we cannot earn God’s favor. 

There have been many instances where a Chrisian falls into sin for a long period of time. Because we are still sinful beings, we still sin constantly, but because of God’s grace, Jesus took all of that upon himself and died for us. The apostle Paul in his letter to the Galatians said that Peter was in sin for only sitting with the Jews, but not the Gentiles. This shows that being free from our sin does not mean that we cannot, and will not sin. 

Only false Christians will fall away from the faith. In The Pilgrim’s Progress, the man Pliable, who went with Christian up into the Slough of Despond, professed faith, but when they had trials, he turned back from his faith. He only wanted the reward, but was not willing to go through hardship to get it. Hopeful says it is because they want an instant relief, then once they are relieved of their burden, they return to their old ways (Bunyan, 175-178). 

True professing believers cannot commit apostasy, but false Christians can. If we have received the gift of eternal life, if the motives are pure, nothing in this world will appeal  more. But, a false believer will still love the world and simply wants the benefits of salvation without rejecting this world. 

Backsliding is found in the old testament in Jeremiah 14:7, “Though our iniquities testify against us, act, O Lord, for your name's sake; for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against you.”(Jeremiah 14:7, ESV) This shows that backsliding is turning back into sin, but not losing salvation. Peter rejects Jesus three times in one night, and yet he is still forgiven. In the Pilgrim's Progress, the Man in the Iron Cage rejects Jesus once and he is never forgiven. The difference between these two is that Peter is repentant and he does follow Christ after that, but the Man in the Iron Cage never repents, and thus is never forgiven.  

One reason a true believer cannot backslide, is because once someone has been chosen by God, it would have to be true that God went back on his word. If this was the case, we would not be able to trust that any of us are saved. This is not a biblical view. Hebrews 13:8 says “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”(Hebrews 13:8 ESV). This shows that God will always keep his promise to us. By rejecting the faith, it shows that there was never a change of heart in the first place.

Believers who have truly put their faith in Christ will not backslide, but those who have not, will fall away. Christians can fall into sin, even for long periods of time, but they will not lose their salvation. This promise gives Christians a sense of security.



The Common Ownership of Goods

We are constantly pressured to accept some socalist ideals, but they all forget that our forefathers in Plymouth have tried this and failed. The idea of the common ownership of goods is commonly attributed to Karl Marx from the Soviet Union, but the common ownership of goods has been around for much longer than that. The early plymouth colony in america tried a form of the common ownership of goods to ensure that none of the settlers starved. They stored all of their corn in one storehouse, and everyone got the same rations. Everyone was supposed to contribute to the storehouse. The problem the settlement encountered however, is that not all of the settlers were working as hard because they knew that they didn’t have to work in order to be fed. The settlers also became very angry, because they also had to work for the elderly people who could not work for themselves. This took away from the time they had to work their own fields. The question must be asked whether this would stop poverty. The example of the Plymouth Plantation shows the opposite. Humans labor in order to receive the fruits of that labor, so when you take away the fruits of labor the labor has no purpose, thus creating laziness which leads to poverty. If it does not get rid of poverty, there is no point of sharing possessions. 

On the biblical side, it is not commanded by God. Although there may be parts of the Bible that seem to command the common ownership of goods, when viewed more closely it does not. Acts 2 seems to point towards the common ownership of goods, but it does not. It is not commanding us to sell all of our belongings and share all of our money and possessions. Instead it is talking about share the same spirit. Moreover, the Old Testament contains numerous laws that prohibit stealing which shows that God values private ownership. This does not mean that we should never share those possessions, quite the opposite. The Bible also commands generosity. 

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  • 9 months later...

I think my opinion of his submissions would depend on what the criteria was for the assignment. I agree, for an essay submission at that level they are lacking, but perhaps that was not the purpose of the assignment. I am not familiar with VP's Omnibus classes, so I can not speak to that aspect.

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