June 21, 2010

New Review of IDOTG: “Discipleship is for Those Who HAVE Become Believers

Dear Guests of IDOTG:

Jan Hawthorne is a regular participant and contributor to this blog. She has also read the new revised and expanded edition of In Defense of the Gospel: Biblical Answers to Lordship Salvation (IDOTG). Last week Jan posted her review of my book at Amazon. Today I am sharing with you her impressions of IDOTG.

Kudos to Lou Martuneac for taking on the message commonly known as Lordship Salvation. Lou has spent years interacting and debating with the Lordship community concerning what is required for a lost person to gain salvation in Jesus Christ. The revised version of In Defense of the Gospel is the result of Lou’s seasoned service in the trenches of the “gospel wars.”

With a gracious and non-threatening tone, Lou explains the position that simple trust in Christ's atoning sacrifice on the cross is not only all that is required, but also all that God will accept from a sinner desiring to be saved. Jesus paid it all. Discipleship is for those who HAVE become believers. Not a requirement for those who WOULD become believers. This is the gospel Lou defends.

This book is neither an exhaustive treatise against Lordship Salvation nor is it filled with difficult doctrinal concepts. It is written for the average reader and gives a good overview of the major issues. Chapter subjects include Calvinism’s connection to Lordship Salvation, salvation and discipleship, repentance, carnal Christians, faith, and several common Bible texts the Lordship Salvationists appeal to: the *rich young ruler, Romans 10:9, and Acts 16:30-31.

There are also eight appendixes, which, in my opinion, make the book worth the cost all by themselves. My personal favorite is on the origin of the phrase “Unless the Lord Jesus is Lord of all He is not Lord at all.” I won’t give away where it comes from, but I will give two hints: it was said by a famous, very well loved missionary; it was NOT said in the context of salvation.

I recommend this book especially for:
1) Christians who find the Lordship presentation of the gospel to be problematic without quite knowing why.
2) Anyone who fears they may not be saved, though you believe Jesus died for your sin.
3) Anyone who knows Jesus died for sin, but fears He might not have died for you.
4) Christians who are not aware of this conflict in gospel preaching and want to be informed.
5) Evangelists.
6) Pastors.
7) Teachers.
8) Deacons/elders.
9) Parents.
10) Anyone who listens to preachers on the radio.
11) Anyone who hasn’t read it yet!

You may also read Jan’s Full Review at Amazon.

* See The Rick Young Ruler, Mark 10:17-22 for an excerpt from this chapter.

For additional sample excerpts from, endorsements of and forewords to In Defense of the Gospel see, Available Now: What to Expect, Part 4.

To view the new video trailer for In Defense of the Gospel please see In Defense of the Gospel


  1. Hi Lou,

    I think Jan's review/introduction to your book is actually much better than the video Xulon did for you.

    As always her clear thinking and well chosen words are more effective than any of the emotive stuff I could ever muster is.


  2. Hi Kev:

    The video is an artsy/craftsy production, which I do like for its presentation value. They did use a portion of Dr. Lightner's recommendation, which I thought was an excellent, thought provoking, choice.

    Jan's review, however, was quite compelling as she got to the heart of my polemic and that is why I am sharing it with with others.


  3. Aw gee, Kev. Yous is too kind. :)

    BTW, Lou, I ordered that book from Iain Murray. I am eager to read it.


  4. Jan:

    Spurgeon vs. Hyper-Calvinism is a great read.


  5. Hey Lou, not that the video is bad - it isn't... but something more like Jan wrote is more effective for the audience that I might represent. :)

    Bah... hole.. me dig 'em.


    PS - the captcha for this post is "bangno" which I find amusing. :)

  6. Kev:

    Thanks for the follow up. I did get your drift. Reviews like Jan's are going to be most effective. I appreciate what she wrote and hope it is helpful to others.