Dear Guests of IDOTG:
I am reading a new multi-part on line series by *Dr. Dave Doran. It is titled The Gospel and Separation and appears at Dr. Doran’s personal blog, Glory & Grace. The series is prefaced by two introductory articles, but begins in earnest with The Gospel and Separation I and to date has four installments.
The following four excerpts from Part 3 are IMO of particular interest.
“Preaching the gospel also means announcing His exaltation, Lordship, and coming Kingdom (Acts 2:36; 2 Cor 4:5; Acts 8:12; cf. 14:22).”There are several portions I highlighted for consideration, but there is one I would like to focus on for this article, which is: “final salvation, through Him?” What is “final salvation?” It has a man-made ring to it, which I first read in John Piper’s What Jesus Demands From the World, (p. 160).
“Gospel preaching offers the promise of final salvation through Him (Acts 13:38-39; cf. 1 Ths 1:10 ‘to wait for His Son from heaven…who rescues us from the wrath to come’).”
“Any doctrinal threat to the person and work of Jesus Christ cuts at the heart of biblical Christianity. Because it attacks a fundamental of the faith, the gospel is at stake. Paul warned about people who might preach ‘another Jesus’ than the one that Paul had preached (2 Cor 11:4). The only Jesus who saves is the one revealed to us in the Scriptures. Any so-called gospel that rejects or distorts what the Scriptures teach about Jesus Christ is no gospel at all.”
“This means there is no ‘gospel lite’—either you have the biblical gospel in its fullness or you don’t have the gospel at all.”
“There is no doubt that Jesus saw a measure of real, lived-out obedience to the will of God as necessary for final salvation.”Is this the “final salvation” Dr. Doran speaks of; “...lived-out obedience to the will of God?” Could that be the ground Dr. Doran is staking out as the Gospel, the saving message? What is UNfinal about salvation, receiving the gift of eternal life, once a man is born again by grace through faith in Christ (Eph. 2:8-9)?
One would expect the genuine believer in Christ to “grow in the grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Lord Jesus Christ,” (2 Peter 3:18). What, however, is left for him to do for “final salvation?” It is my hope and prayer that as his series continues Dr. Doran will clarify his meaning and repudiate the works based salvation such as Piper articulates above. I hope he will stake out the biblical high-ground for the Gospel of grace.
If, on the other hand, Brother Doran is going to drive a stake in the ground for the Lordship Salvation interpretation of the Gospel, then by all means I trust he won’t be vague about it. If he is going to make acceptance of the Lordship gospel the test for fellowship, I trust he won’t begin by making the mistake of equating the reductionist Crossless Gospel heresy of Zane Hodges, Bob Wilkin and GES as the view of every non-Lordship Salvation person. Separation from the GES men has long since taken place.
If Dave Doran believes Lordship Salvation is the Gospel, then in his series I am hopeful he will say so in unvarnished terms. If he believes submission to the Lordship of Christ is necessary for the reception of the gift of eternal life then may he say so. If Doran, like Piper, considers “…real, lived-out obedience to the will of God as necessary for final salvation,” then I am hopeful he will say so in such a way there is no mistake about it or repudiate Piper’s statement.IMO, the true crux of the Gospel controversy in the Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) community is over the requirement to become a Christian, i.e. how to be born again, much more so than what should be the natural result of a genuine conversion.
“The message of faith only and the message of faith plus commitment of life cannot both be the gospel; therefore, one of them is a false gospel and comes under the curse of perverting the gospel or preaching another gospel (Gal. 1:6-9), and this is a very serious matter.” (Dr. Charles Ryrie: Balancing the Christian Life, p. 170.)If we come to find Dave Doran believes Lordship Salvation is the Gospel will he call for “separation” from Independent Fundamental Baptists who reject the Lordship interpretation of the Gospel?
It is no secret that among the Calvinists in IFB circles there is a growing affinity for closing ranks with the so-called “conservative” evangelicalism- its stars and fellowships. IFB men who are Calvinistic in their theology have increasingly moved toward and are embracing the “conservative” evangelicals. They are primarily rallying around a common bond, which is Calvinism and Lordship Salvation. Is it possible Dave Doran’s series signals the time has come when Reformed IFB men will make the leap; separate from IFB men who reject Calvinistic soteriology and/or Lordship Salvation and fully embrace the “conservative” evangelicals?
Brother Doran’s series The Gospel & Separation is not yet complete. We will continue to read the series with great interest to see how he defines his terms makes the application and what impact, if any, the series will have on the IFB community.
*David M. Doran, D.Min. is Senior Pastor of Inter-City Baptist Church; President, Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary; Professor of Pastoral Theology.
In the thread below one guest remarked, “I do think a direct question to Dr. Doran would result in a clarification.” My reply follows.
That would be the ideal, but Dr. Doran does not allow for questions or comments at his blog where his series appears. Yesterday, however, Dr. Doran posted a new article at his blog. It is his reaction to the legitimate questions he has read here raised by myself and select others.
When we are going to discuss the Gospel we need to be biblically precise in our terms. I am gratified Dr. Doran has felt the need to apply more biblical precision to some of his statements from Part 3 of his series, which I quote…above. Later I will have some reaction, most likely in a new main page article, to the clarifying article by Dr. Doran.
Please continue to- The Gospel & Separation: Interim Discussion and Primer for the Balance