The following was the first post I submitted following the Day 5 article.
Nathan has chosen to limit his discussion of my book to one chapter. That is the chapter, What is Biblical Repentance? I am fine with that because it is an important issue, but not the only key issue in the Lordship debate. It has been a beneficial discussion and I will look for helpful ways to refine my work from this discussion.
We found that there is much to agree on in the doctrine of repentance. However, we have sharp disagreements in the application of repentance. You can review these disagreements in the preceding threads.
Unfortunately, as I anticipated, Nathan did not venture into other key issues in the debate. Most of them are definitely not “unnecessary side arguments.” For example, I have written chapters titled:
Salvation & Discipleship: Is There A Biblical Difference?
Can There Be A Christian Who Is Carnal?
What Is Saving Faith?
The Rich Young Ruler
Romans Chapter Ten (v. 9)
Is It The Christian’s Duty To Fight For The Faith?
A Heart To Heart With Pastors And Christian Leaders
Each of the first six chapters is crucial to understanding the doctrinal and practical problems with Lordship Salvation. In these chapters I define and then biblically answer specific doctrinal and practical errors found in Lordship Salvation.
The last two chapters are my call for those who, like me, find Lordship Salvation to be a departure from the biblical plan of salvation, to take a biblical, militant stand against it. These are followed by a series of nine appendices.
From there I close with a few kind remarks.
What is one of the most disconcerting issues with John MacArthur's Lordship theology is his misuse of the verses meant for the discipleship of the believer as though they are salvation appeals.
On the SharperIron site I asked Pastor Mike Harding this question: Does Dr. MacArthur’s submission/discipleship position define the gospel you believe results in eternal life? He replied,
"To answer your question I do not agree with expressing the response to the Gospel as JM does in some cases. I think your quotes have established that he over-states the case at times, gives the impression of frontloading faith as mature, completely surrendered discipleship."
I am in agreement with Pastor Harding above. However, I personally believe the term "over-states" is too generous. In my opinion, John MacArthur does not "overstate" his position, he is defining exactly what he believes. His "overstatements" are not editors getting it wrong. His message of submission, surrender, cross bearing, exchange, etc., occur to often to be dismissed as editorial mistakes.
MacArthur does not merely "give the impression," he literally places demands on the sinner for salvation that the Bible does not.
"One of the most significant errors with Lordship Salvation is the confusing of passages meant for the born again disciple of Christ (such as Luke 9:23-24, 14:25-33) and presenting them as though they are gospel messages directed to the lost. It is from this error, which the whole of Lordship Salvation flows. This error leads to a faulty definition of faith, redefines the role of biblical repentance in salvation, both of which result in a gospel message that frustrates grace (Gal. 2:21). (See MacArthur's Discipleship Gospel below.)