“How about Central Seminary? A past president published a pamphlet on the MacArthur [Lordship Salvation] issue and said that MacArthur was “changing the terms of the gospel.” What have you done about that? That would be Dr. Pickering, a man I highly respect and greatly admire. I don’t think anyone at Central needs to dig up this episode and make any statement of apology or amends, but if you are going to be consistent, surely you should push for something of the sort. Especially since you are much more tightly connected to Central than you are to the FBFI.”
|Dr. Ernest Pickering|
“John MacArthur is a sincere servant of the Lord, of that we have no doubt.... We believe in his advocacy of the so-called lordship salvation he is wrong. He desperately desires to see holiness, lasting fruit, and continuing faithfulness in the lives of Christian people. This reviewer and we believe all sincere church leaders desire the same.... But the remedy for this condition is not found in changing the terms of the gospel.”
“Now, I do note that you didn’t address the comment by Pickering regarding MacArthur’s Lordship Salvation – ‘changing the terms of the gospel.’ According to a paper published by Jeff Straub the pamphlet was originally published by Central Seminary. That’s a pretty serious charge - was it right or wrong? If wrong, has Central done anything about it?”
Lordship Salvation is the soteriology of virtually every evangelical from John MacArthur to John Piper. Kevin’s recent claim that he has a problem with the T4G men because of what he calls (without defining specifically) “a fairly strong version of Lordship Salvation” does not give him any middle ground for or escape mechanism from Don’s question. Lordship Salvation, as John MacArthur or any of the T4G men defines it, is a false non-saving message that corrupts the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor. 11:3).
Kevin Bauder is going to choose between faith only (Ernest Pickering) and Lordship Salvation’s faith plus commitment of life (John MacArthur) messages.1
“On the other hand, I raised the issue of Dr. Pickering’s statement about MacArthur while he was president of Central - it seems to me to be a parallel issue. You [Kevin Bauder] haven’t addressed it at all. It is all very well to say that we must deal with sins of the past as a general principle, but the reason we sidestep them, it seems to me, is that 1) we think the issue is presently a non-issue because it is long in the past; 2) we think the issue is a non-issue for us because we weren’t a party to it; 3) we think that there are some aspects of the issue that were merited on the ‘sinning side’ (as it were). Are any of those the reasons why you keep avoiding the Central published pamphlet that said MacArthur changed the terms of the gospel?” (bold mine)