June 20, 2022

Lordship Salvation: A Powerful & Penetrating Summary

The following (revised version for this posting) appears in the pages of the current revised and expanded edition of In Defense of the Gospel published in 2010.

Immediately following publication of the original 2006 edition numerous on-line reviews and/or discussion threads opened. The Sharper Iron site, which has never been fair to or friendly toward authentic balanced fundamentalism, posted a review with a lengthy discussion thread following. One man submitted a number of helpful comments. Elements of his commentary were among the most penetrating observations of Lordship’s theology. With his permission I have cited below a brief compilation of his various comments. I reproduce them here for your consideration.

     When one gets faith wrong and makes it a work or quality of the soul, they then must have faith as a gift of God. In order for that to happen they then need regeneration to precede faith. With that then they load all sorts of expectations upon the soul desiring to come to Christ. This is probably why MacArthur indicates one cannot be saved without “unconditional surrender…full exchange of self for the Saviour.” His subsequent books do not clarify or moderate these kinds of statements, but only reinforce them.

This is wrong and an unbiblical definition of faith and what one must do to be saved. It demands certain qualities be present in the soul. That is clearly works! It is very disheartening to see people that would endorse MacArthur’s position. They should point out its errors. These are not merely over statements as in question and answer sessions. MacArthur has made his position very clear. It is not classic Calvinism, but Puritan. He has been accused by others of bordering on a Roman Catholicism works salvation… . Of course, from MacArthur’s viewpoint, all these qualities are part of faith so he repeatedly states that “salvation is by faith alone.” 

The biblical gospel is not a Lordship gospel or a non-lordship gospel. It is a simple gospel of faith in Christ and it has a simple definition of faith. Faith involves the intellect, sensibilities, and the will, but is a simple receiving of truth by reliance upon it. No full surrender, no leaving all, no turning from sin. All that follows is the very first aspects of sanctification. It is not part of the Gospel. We show our faith by our works but we have our faith when simply trusting in Christ.

Related Reading:
Summary of Lordship Salvation from a Single Page