I have been reflecting a little on logic and the structure of arguments recently. A movie on Carlton Pearson, a prominent ex-evangelical preacher who turned away from fundamentalism to universalism, prompted me to reflect on Romans 10:9-10. In that movie, this passage of Scripture was offered up by the late Oral Roberts as a counterpoint to Pearson’s universalist inclinations. That led me to examine the logical structure of Romans 10:9-10 with an open mind, seeing whether this passage alone is sufficient warrant for taking a fundamentalist stance.
 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
If we examine the above two verses in themselves apart from their entire biblical context (that would include other verses proclaiming the exclusivity of Christ for salvation), we see an interesting logical argument that is not always parsed as precisely as it should be. Let me explain.
Taking these verses on their own, many may have claimed this: given that one who confesses verbally that Jesus is Lord and believes inwardly that God raised Jesus from the dead is truly saved, it follows then that one who does not confess verbally that Jesus is Lord and who does not believe inwardly that God raised Jesus from the dead is thus unsaved.
In other words, we assume logical symmetry between the premises and their conclusion. That in forward logical order, the premises taken together lead to an inescapable conclusion; and that the converse is thus equally true. We assume that the converse of the premises lead to their converse conclusion. Let me illustrate.
P.1: Confess verbally that Jesus is Lord.
P.2: Believe inwardly that God raised Jesus from the dead.
C: One is truly saved.
P.1: Do not confess verbally that Jesus is Lord.
P.2: Do not believe inwardly that God raised Jesus from the dead.
C: One is not saved.
But is that converse argument sound? No. Why? Because of logical asymmetry or in Buddhist logic it is called “non-pervasion.” What this means is that while the premises (P.1 and P.2) lead to the conclusion (C) in the forward order, the conclusion (C) in itself does not necessarily entail the premises (P.1 and P.2). Thus, in logical asymmetry or non-pervasion, the forward and reverse logical orders do not match up. While the forward order is true, the same cannot be said for the reverse order: if one is saved, this does not necessarily entail that one has to confess verbally that Jesus is Lord and believe inwardly that God raised Jesus from the dead.
Hence, in the same vein, the converse logic is equally dissonant to the forward logic: if one does not confess verbally that Jesus is Lord and does not believe inwardly that God raised Jesus from the dead, one is not necessarily unsaved. There is nothing in the logical structure of this syllogism that compels symmetry between premises and conclusion. At least this is the case when considering these verses on their own, divorced from context.
Let me illustrate my point with a mundane example. Take a luxury car like a BMW 7 series. If I purchase and drive a BMW, I will have a comfortable ride. This is the forward logical order of the syllogism.
Conversely, if I do not purchase and drive a BMW, will I have an uncomfortable ride? Not necessarily. Why? Because I may purchase and drive a Mercedes or Rolls Royce, and still have a comfortable ride. There is logical asymmetry or non-pervasion between premises and conclusion. In other words, while buying and driving a BMW will give me a comfortable ride, not buying or driving a BMW does not preclude me from having a comfortable ride.
In the final analysis, taking verses on their own devoid of whole context can give rise to a logical conclusion that it is not meant to deliver, for the logical structure of the argument provided by these verses need not be logically symmetrical or pervasive. Logical symmetry that confers valid conclusions in forward, reverse, and converse orders require corroborative verses from other parts of the Bible to form a coherent context for sound conclusions. Much mindful conscientiousness needed, especially for those professing to preach and teach the Bible.