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What is Lordship Salvation?

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by Reformed, Dec 30, 2017.

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  1. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    The Lordship Salvation controversy dominated seminaries and bible colleges in the late 1980's when John MacArthur published his book, "The Gospel According to Jesus" in 1988. The argument itself can trace its beginning decades earlier, but it became a full-blown controversy after MacArthur's book. The controversy split churches, seminaries, and even well-respected theologians and preachers. While the temperature of the controversy has dropped over the years, its substance still remains.

    Lordship Salvation is often misunderstood. Some claim that is proponents are adding works to the Gospel. Those who have made that charge include Charles Ryrie, Dave Hunt, John Walvoord, and Zane Hodges. The actual controversy stems from the Bible's teaching on grace and sanctification. Since John MacArthur is still the leading voice from the Lordship Salvation side, I will quote his view on understanding the role of grace:

    Sanctification is impacted because the non-Lordship position refutes that good works are a necessary sine qua non of the Christian life. Ephesians 2:10 teaches that Christians are "...His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them."

    The Lordship Salvation position is that Jesus Christ is both Lord and Savior regardless of whether a sinner is converted. When a sinner is converted he experiences the beneficial aspects of Jesus as Lord and Savior; his sins are forgiven and he is now treated as a covenant-keeper, not a covenant-breaker. Jesus does not first become Savior and then becomes Lord at some later date (as is the de facto thought behind rededication ceremonies).

    That is it for now. Let us see how this thread plays out.
     
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  2. Rob_BW

    Rob_BW Well-Known Member
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    I don’t recall the other side making that claim.

    Free Grace theology is the view that 1) everlasting life is a free gift (which the Lord Jesus fully paid for by His death on the cross for our sins) which is received by faith alone in Christ alone, apart from works of any kind; 2) that assurance of one’s eternal destiny is based solely on believing Jesus’ promise to the believer and not at all on our works or on our feelings; and 3) that all people, believers and unbelievers, are accountable for their works, receive recompense for what they do in this life, and will be judged at the end of the age (in two separate judgments) to determine degrees of reward (believers) or degrees of torment (unbelievers) in the life to come, but not to determine their eternal destinies.

    What Is Free Grace Theology? | Grace Evangelical Society
     
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  3. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    Rob, I do. I attended more than a few debates on the controversy. The Bible college I attended made that point.

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  4. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    Oh, and the Free Grace Society is not the only dissenting voice.

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  5. Rob_BW

    Rob_BW Well-Known Member
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    Then, since you let MacArthur speak for his side, you should find a proponent of the "other team" to quote from in summarizing their views. In the interest of fair play.
    :Smile

    Otherwise we run the risk of having an interesting thread immediately devolve into accusations of mischaracterizarion.
     
  6. Rob_BW

    Rob_BW Well-Known Member
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    Oh, granted. Would you say that Zane Hodges has had a MacArthur-sized influence in regards to the dissenting opinion? It appears so to me, though I certainly don't claim to know as much about this debate as others.
     
  7. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    I enjoy the mischaracterization charge. It is going to be levied against me anyway, so I might as well embrace it. :)

    Actually, I am not going to do the work that those who are anti-LS should do for themselves.

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  8. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    Hodges, Ryrie, Hunt et al. Ryrie wrote a refutation with his book, "So Great Salvation".

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  9. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    When properly understood the controversy is no controversy at all. When a sinner is converted he belongs to Christ. Jesus is both Lord and Savior, not one first and the other later. Our progress in sanctification is different, but the Holy Spirit is constantly at work conforming us to the image of Christ. Good works (Eph. 2:10) are an outward evidence of the inward change that took place at conversion.

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  10. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    To some degree, I agree with you. "Lordship" is a non-issue. It's a given.

    If you come to my house and ring the doorbell, when I open it to greet you and invite you inside, I must have all of you or none of you. I don't have the option of saying, come in John. Stay out, Smith.

    HOWEVER (that's a big, however) this debate is one that, at its core, is over sola fide.
     
  11. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
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    I’m hampered in this discussion because I’ve left my computer at home. Im using my iPad. Posting here is like writing with my left hand.


    No lesser man than Wayne Grudem wrote a book not that long ago that attempted to resurrect the controversy.

    He starts off poorly, refusing to use the term, “Lordship Salvation” after its initial introduction.

    His first point centered around the statement:
    “We are justified by faith alone , but the faith that justifies is never alone.”
    Personally I found that his book solidified my free grace position. Grudem failed to understand middle ground that believers in the midst of the controversy agree upon.

    Rob

     
  12. TCassidy

    TCassidy Administrator
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    Uh, no. We also believe good works are the result of regeneration and will be present in the life of a regenerate person..

    Same as the other side.

    Let us see, in deed.

    To which we all agree.

    To which we all agree.

    To which we all agree.

    To which we all agree. But the question remains, who is the judge of those good works?

    In my experience (and I have been doing this a long, long time) most "Lordship Salvation" boils down to judging others but not allowing others to judge us. (A certain "evangelist" on this forum comes immediately to mind.)

    We can't know the hearts, the motives, the struggles, the conflicts, the spiritual battles others are fighting.

    I find it more expeditious to work out my own salvation rather than standing in judgment of the salvation of others. :)
     
  13. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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  14. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    I not aware of a middle ground that believers agree upon. I am open to hearing about it.
     
  15. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    Tom, there are those who hold to your position who do believe good works are not necessary. Beneficial, yes. Necessary, no. Those who hold to that opinion were already holding to it prior to the LS controversy. It is part and parcel with Finneyistic revivalism.

    Partly the church through properly exercised pastoral care. One's conscience also testifies to their faith.

    We should always exercise caution when the possibility exists of over or under applying a scriptural command. I have been doing this a long time too, and I have seen the sad result of churches that do not exercise pastoral care over their members, so the pendulum swings both ways. Neither extreme is a good thing.

    However, my advocacy of LS is theologically based. Is there any biblical precedent for making Jesus the Lord of your life at an unspecified time after conversion? I sat at a campfire service in 1987 when the speaker told anyone who wanted to make Jesus Lord of their life to take the stick they were given and throw it in the fire. Even then I knew there was something theologically wrong with that. That was one extreme faction of the anti-LS crowd. But then again, I do not think either side should be defined by extremes. What does scripture teach and how should that work out in our life?

    P.S. Edited to correct typos.
     
    #15 Reformed, Dec 30, 2017
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  16. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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  17. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    This crosses a line that should not be crossed:

    "Salvation isn't the result of an intellectual exercise. It comes from a life lived in obedience and service to Christ as revealed in the Scripture; it's the fruit of actions, not intentions. There's no room for passive spectators: words without actions are empty and futile...The life we live, not the words we speak, determines our eternal destiny" (John McAuthur Hard to Believe, p. 93).​

    He actually says, "Salvation. . . comes from a life lived in obedience and service to Christ." (if we remove the section defining what salvation isn't).

    I can't go down that road with John. Not for a million dollars and not in a million years.

    For all who rely on works of the law are munder a curse; for it is written, n“Cursed be everyone who does not oabide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” pno one is justified before God by the law, for q“The righteous shall live by faith.”4 r“The one who does them shall live by them.” sredeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, t“Cursed is everyone who is hanged uon a tree”— vcome to the Gentiles, so that wwe might receive xthe promised Spirit5 through faith. (Galatians 3:10-14)​
     
    #17 thatbrian, Dec 30, 2017
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  18. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    I threw you a bone, but just take a look at my next post. ;)
     
  19. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    You are familiar with this, right?

    From what I understand, Johnny Mac almost lost his sanctification with the editors who took...how shall we say it..."poetic license" with this manuscript.

    P.S. I have a recent copy of Hard to Believe and that section is changed back to the way it was worded in the original manuscript.
     
  20. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    No I wasn't. Is there a statement by him regarding his displeasure and a retraction? I would be interested in reading it if there is one.
     
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