June 11, 2007

How I was Drawn Into the Lordship Debate

Greetings to All:

There were two specific situations that drew me into the Lordship Salvation debate. The first occurred while I was on faculty at Pensacola Christian College (PCC) from 1987-1992. The second occurred while I was a missionary in South Africa (1996-1999). Today, I am going to share the details of those two situations. There was, what I will call, the “In Between” phase. This is a period of time from about 2000 until mid-2004, which I will conlude today's post with.

Portions of the following are from my book. I have edited much of it for posting here. The section from my book is titled History & Background, pp. 17-18.

It was on faculty at PCC 1987-1992. During the summer months of 1988-1991 I worked at the college radio station- WPCS. My role was station representative. This involved several levels of interaction with the listener base.

In 1988, Dr. John MacArthur's radio program Grace to You was part of the WPCS programming schedule. The doctrinal position on the gospel presented in his book The Gospel According to Jesus raised concerns with the administration, which ultimately lead to the station’s management deciding to drop Grace to You from the broadcast schedule. Once the decision was made, announced and the program pulled it fell to me to handle all contacts in regard to the station having dropped John MacArthur’s program. This required my having to become familiar with the Lordship interpretation of the gospel, and the doctrinal ramifications, which lead to the programming change.

As part of my study I did peruse some of the answers to Lordship Salvation. This is how I first became familiar with the writings on LS by Zane Hodges and a few select others.

Prior to my arrival in South Africa for missionary service in October 1996, it had not occurred to me that I would encounter the Lordship position there. Very shortly after my arrival, however, during the doctrinal exam of a candidate for graduation from our Bible College, I learned that fellow American missionaries had taught Lordship Salvation through subtlety in the college. Shortly thereafter, the college president, Pastor Kevin Brosnan, and I also learned that the Lordship position was beginning to gain ground in South African Bible believing churches.

As a result the college president, Pastor Kevin Brosnan, and I decided that this issue needed a biblical response. (Pastor Brosnan still serves God as a missionary to South Africa.)

Pastor Brosnan asked me to draft two documents that would state the “official” position in two areas of doctrine for the college. The first was to address Calvinism, the second Lordship Salvation. What I initially thought would be documents of about four to five pages each quickly became major works on the subjects. The position paper on Lordship Salvation position ultimately became In Defense of the Gospel.

From just after I returned to the States from South Africa until mid-2004 I was not very involved with the Lordship debate. There were, however, several occasions when I was contacted by various persons for help and information about Lordship Salvation. In 2004, however, there were two situations that arose, which greatly concerned me, and these things caused me to spend the next 18 months writing and editing for the book. I detail the two incidents that lead to publication of In Defense of the Gospel under a section titled, Why Did I Publish? pp. 20-21.

Later I will speak to why I did not address Zane Hodges in my book beyond the brief mention that is there now.


[I really want to throw this in, just for fun, OK? Just before I landed the radio station position I was headed for a long, hot summer in the ABeka Book distribution center. In the spring semester my Salesmanship class sold advertising for the College calendar. They did a great job and the top three salespeople, yours truly and his wife were invited to a dinner hosted by Dr. & Mrs. Horton. The meal was to celebrate and unveil the following year’s college calendar, and to recognize the student’s sales achievement. Somewhere between the tossed salad (with light vinaigrette) and the Dover sole Dr. Horton asked about some of my prior work experience. Among other things I mentioned my background in radio & television. Well, next thing I know, a note appears in my mailbox, and I had been reassigned to the radio station for the summer. That was great news! Air conditioned comfort instead of back aches and paper cuts. Later we’ll return to what we’re really here for.]

No comments:

Post a Comment