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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.