September 16, 2011

A Moment of Inspiration: Lordship Salvation by Dr. Larry Hufhand

Following is a new review of my book In Defense of the Gospel: Biblical Answers to Lordship Salvation. The reviewer is Dr. Larry Hufhand and you will find this review in his weekly newsletter, The Hufhand Report.

In reviewing Lou Martuneac’s book entitled, “In Defense of the Gospel,” I found it to be very informative relative to the subject of Lordship Salvation. This may not be a classic or the last word on the subject, but it is very good and very helpful.

So what is Lordship Salvation? From what Lou states in his book, he strongly suggests that it is not a matter of semantics, but rather a serious flaw in certain people’s theology. If I understand Lou right, a clear definition is hard to come by, but from all his correspondence relative to the subject, this is a close definition:
Lordship Salvation conditions salvation (justification) on the sinner’s upfront promise and/or conscious commitment to God that he is willing to give up anything and everything, including his life, thus making Jesus the Lord of his life, before he can receive God’s free gift of salvation.”
He states also that in evangelism, the LS crowd make little difference between salvation and discipleship. If that be the case, this book is a must read for all young, impressionable pastors, lest they be led astray thru intellectual subtlety. The position Martuneac takes rejects so called “easybelievism” and presents a perfect balance between how people get saved and what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ...what it means to know the Lord and what it means to have Christ be the Lord of your life. Again, it is a must read! Some of the other things he deals with in this book are Repentance, Regeneration, and Calvinism, and he is right on target on all of them. This book has my strong recommendation.

MY TAKE ON THE SUBJECT: I’m not sure that the men who are propagating this view really believe what I understand it to be. Sometimes men take positions that in reality are neither tenable or practical, simply because it fits into their theological position. The idea of putting anything before repentance by the sinner and his faith in Jesus Christ for salvation is to inject human effort, and my Bible rejects that straight out. Frankly, I can’t imagine a fundamental Bible believing pastor doing this. Sometime pastors take a position that fits well into their theology, but in practice, it doesn't work.

Having been a pastor for 46 years, I was totally consumed with the responsibility of being a pastor, and was totally unaware that ideas like this were floating around. I simply went about winning people to Christ using the simple plan of Salvation that I learned while I was a student at Bob Jones University, and then I followed them up with a new convert course trusting that they would grow in the Lord and one day make Christ the Lord of their life and serve Him faithfully. And I can’t help but think that has been the history of most fundamental, Bible believing, Baptist pastors. I don't think I’ve been doing it wrong all these years.

Forever, I have told people that getting saved is easy. It’s the Christian life that's hard. I’ve often said, if a person has enough sense to eat a piece of bread when he’s hungry, he has enough sense to get saved, because Jesus is the Bread of Life. If a person has enough sense to walk thru a door, he has enough sense get saved, because Jesus said, “I am the door, by Me if any man enter in he shall be saved, and go in and out and find pasture.” It really is that simple. God has made salvation so simple that even a little child can get in on it. If Lordship Salvation involves even the slightest amount of human effort then it is “false teaching.”

If I understand it correctly, we have a serious problem in fundamentalism...a problem beyond contemporary music, beyond the issue of versions, beyond the problem of compromise, to the most fundamental of all issues.... What is the Gospel and how do people get saved?

In studying Genesis 4, there are only two ways that people have tried to connect with God through out the ages, either thru the blood or by human effort. And God made it clear in the very beginning of time, salvation must be exclusively by the blood. Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone....and it’s not of ourselves in anyway. If it is true that there is an ever increasing number of people who claim that we can and must thru human effort demonstrate our sincerity, by making a commitment to God that we will honor and obey Him in all things before the free offer of salvation can be received, we have a serious problem. Believe me folk, this is not a Biblical position, regardless of who propagates it, or how high up the theological ladder they go. Your comments are appreciated.

Dr. Lawrence Hufhand, State Rep. for the Indiana Fundamental Baptist Fellowship.
You may contact Dr. Hufhand and/or subscribe to the Hufhand Report through his web site Hufhand Ministries or e-mail him at:

From the Hufhand Report
The second part of the “Hufhand Story” will be aired this Sunday, Sept. 18, on the world famous Unshackled Program produced by the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago, IL. To get the times and stations go into the UNSHACKLED WEB SITE: and follow the directions. It’s really quite simple.

For additional endorsements and reviews of In Defense of the Gospel please see, IDOTG: Revised & Expanded. IDOTG will soon be available in Kindle and Nook formats.


  1. In the review Dr. Hufhand mentioned on my behalf that “a clear definition is hard to come by.” That is true. In my book I did , however, construct a definition that most will find very helpful. The difficulty in drafting one clear, concise definition is that LS touches on, flows from and corrupts several Bible doctrines. Lordship Salvation (LS) is an outflow from the errors of Calvinistic presuppositions. Furthermore, extra-biblical extremes of Calvinism, which is the dangerous teachings that regeneration must precede faith and that faith is the gift of God are building blocks of LS theology.

    The Danger of Teaching that Regeneration Precedes Faith

    The Danger of Teaching Faith is the Gift of God

    Lordship Salvation is a non-saving, man centered, works based message that corrupts the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor. 11:3) and frustrates grace (Gal. 2:21). Tragically, many men in the NT church have gone horribly wrong in their understanding of the gospel of salvation by grace through faith. They have fallen away from believing, preaching and defending the gospel grace for an idea of surrender, commitment and submission in exchange for salvation. We pray for their recovery from and repentance of the LS errors they propagate.


  2. I have printed the article concerning the dangers of Reformed Theology. Very helpful! We should read only ONE Book, the Bible :)


  3. Robert, those articles were pivotal to changing my understanding several years ago when I first met Lou. They weren't the only factor in challenging the reformed views I held at the time, but they were important. Much of reformed theology makes God out to be a liar, IMHO, for sake of preserving their theological system.

    Lou, I've linked-to and shared this on Facebook. I love you brother, thanks for your continuing efforts. Sorry I haven't had time to interact more, but I am still "around". :-)

    Kind regards

  4. Stephen:

    Over the few years we have interacted with and worked in cooperation when addressing LS and the "Crossless" gospel you (and Rachel) have consistently encouraged me.

    I have read some of your efforts on FB and they have been a convincing polemic.

    Keep the good fight.


  5. Hi Lou,

    Dr Hufhand wrote:

    I’m not sure that the men who are propagating this view really believe what I understand it to be. Sometimes men take positions that in reality are neither tenable or practical, simply because it fits into their theological position.

    He's got a great point there. Many people will defend the idea that John MacArthur or whoever actually believes and preaches "Salvation through faith alone" with great ferver. Even after being shown that MacArthur's gospel demands much more than faith alone.

    Sometimes I tend think honesty and integrity are the problem when perhaps the true problem is the person's understanding. They are trusting the man they see revered is teaching truth and are not themselves able to discern the incongruence of what he claims to believe with what he actually teaches.


  6. I want to add to my first comment that I didn't mean we shouldn't read Lou's book, but we should read the Bible AT FIRST. Always! It is helpful to read encouraging works of great, inspired, Spirit-filled christian authors, but it is very dangerous to protect a dogmatic system because you have read something that is written by a certain man or preacher. I'm absolutely sure Lou's book will be used by God to bring a clear Biblical message and understanding of the Gospel!


  7. Kev:

    Sorry I am so late in reply.

    Two things:

    There is little doubt that much of LS's popularity is personality driven. Just watch how any legitimate criticism of LS is considered a personal attack on the best known advocates of LS, John MacArthur in particular.

    Secondly, I have encountered folks who came to accept LS because their approach to it was: Well, if John MacArthur teaches it (LS), it must be right. Right?


  8. Lou, me too! I've had the same experiences.

    Robert, you know if everyone just stuck to reading the Bible then Lou's book wouldn't have had to be written.. in fact if Lou had written it we all probably would have had blog post up with the title "Well Duh!" :)


  9. You guys have touched on what is one of the cruxes to what is a problem within real, Biblical Christianity...following personalities rather than following the Scriptures. "So-and-so said it so it must be right" is touted as the end-all, cure-all to most debates on various issues. And those that do push this are rarely if ever viewing the Scriptures to see what God really says. Though personalities are not driving this thought (unless you consider Covenant Theology a personality), over at SI there is a deplorable article by Dan Miller on Baptism. The ensuing comment thread (it too is deplorable) bears testimony to what is being said here. Instead of actually examining the Scriptures these posters are looking at others to find justification for a particular view of baptism.
    When you consider that these are people filling the pews of churches around America today, it is frightening to consider that in just one generation our churches will be dead, lifeless shells of their former selves.
    We must keep our noses in the Book of books, the Bible. We must emulate the Bereans of Acts, "who searched the Scriptures daily."

  10. Brian:

    You mentioned, "...these are the people filling the pews of churches around America."

    When you look further, look at the "deplorable" articles at SI, and comment threads, some of those are the people filling the pulpits of churches around America.

    Tragic days!


  11. Hey Lou, just want you to know that my posting a link to this on facebook has generated a good private discussion with a school friend of mine who went on to be a pastor. He currently leans LS but found this article and the middletown resources compelling.

    I've also loaned out your book and several others to another friend of mine who is writing a counter-lordship paper for a seminary class.

    Just want to encourage you that your work and resources are being used outside the walls of this blog, in ways you may never directly be aware of, to protect, preserve, and promote the gospel of grace.


  12. Stephen:

    Thanks for sharing those things with me. It is encouraging to know my efforts in print and on line are making a difference.

    Feel free to email a link to the FB if it is a public discussion.