Introduction - Chapter 1
In recent years a renewed debate has raged over the conditions of
At issue is the nature of the
prerequisite response necessary for a person to receive the forgiveness of sins and
eternal life. This dissertation is written to evaluate, critique, and respond to the
position commonly called Lordship Salvation. In this introduction, some preliminary considerations will be discussed and the
Lordship Salvation position defined and surveyed historically.
It is necessary to justify this study by its need, to define it in
its scope, and preview it according to its procedure.
The Need for the Study
The intensity of the debate in recent years is enough to justify this
study of Lordship Salvation. 2
But it is the various biblical, theological, and
practical issues involved, all crucial to orthodox Christianity, which demand
clarification and biblical evaluation. Several issues in particular represent the need for
the present study.
Debate over the conditions of salvation
The answer to the simple question What must I do to be
saved? is disputed in the Lordship Salvation controversy. According to Lordship
Salvation, the instruction Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31)
includes theological implications and commitments which many modern evangelistic
presentations have misrepresented, distorted, or concealed. 3
All agree that no more important question in this life could be asked
and answered. The correctness or incorrectness of ones answer affects the eternal
salvation of multitudes. Those who teach Lordship Salvation have offered their
interpretation of the biblical conditions for salvation and these conditions should be
evaluated biblically and answered.
Debate over the true gospel
Considering the anathema the Apostle Paul pronounced upon those who
pervert the true gospel (Gal. 1:9-10), it is of utmost importance that its purity be
maintained. Lordship and non-Lordship teachers have each charged the other with heresy and
corruption of the gospel. For example, A. W. Tozer, a Lordship Salvation proponent,
charges that a notable heresy has come into being throughout our evangelical
Christian circlesthe widely-accepted concept that we humans can choose to accept
Christ only because we need Him as Saviour and that we have the right to postpone our
obedience to Him as Lord as long as we want to. 4
From the opposing view comes this statement by Charles C. Ryrie: The message of faith only and the message of
faith plus commitment of life cannot both be the gospel; therefore, one of them is a false
gospel and comes under the curse of perverting the gospel or preaching another gospel
(Gal. 1:6-9), and this is a very serious matter. 5
Whether or not Lordship Salvation defenders or its opponents
deserve the Galatian anathema is a verdict one must reach after examining both views
carefully. A presentation of Lordship Salvation, a biblical evaluation, and a response to
Lordship Salvation will therefore provide needed information for such a judgment.
Ones view of the gospel and how its saving effects are
appropriated by the sinner will determine not only the message of evangelism proclaimed
but also its methods. The Lordship Salvation presentation of the gospel is necessarily
more involved as seen in J. I. Packers comment: In our own presentation of Christs gospel, therefore, we need to lay a
similar stress as Christ did on the cost of following Christ, and make sinners face it
soberly before we urge them to respond to the message of free forgiveness. 6
Accordingly, Charles Price relates this story to
illustrate how the gospel should be presented:
After we had talked for a couple
of hours, the young man seemed to be prepared to give himself to Christ. My friend, no
doubt sensing that asked him a question: In
light of all we have talked about this evening, can you think of any reason why you should
not become a Christian tonight?
The young man sat for a few
minutes, then looked back at him and replied, No, I cannot think of any
I was excited by this, but to my
amazement, my friend leaned across the table and said, Then let me give you
some! For the next few minutes he began
to explain the cost of being a Christian. He talked about the young mans need to
surrender his whole life, his future, his ambitions, his relationships, his possessions,
and everything he was to God. Only if he was prepared to do this, my friend explained,
could Christ begin to work effectively in his life.
My friend then leaned even
further across the table and asked, Can you still not think of any reason why you
shouldnt become a Christian tonight?
After another moment, the reply
came, I can think of some now.
My friend responded, In
that case, do not become a Christian until you have dealt with every one of those reasons
and are willing to surrender everything to Christ. 7
Lordship Salvation teaching also has an inevitable effect upon the
assurance of the believer. Assurance from the objective promise of God appears to recede
in importance to the subjective assessment of the quality of faith of the one professing
faith and the equally subjective evaluation of visible fruits of obedience in ones
life. This makes absolute assurance impossible in this life, so it is taught, Doubts
about ones salvation are not wrong so long as they are not nursed and allowed to
become an obsession. 8
It can also be shown how the Lordship Salvation interpretation of the
gospel has shaped the Church Growth movement and modern missions. Suffice it to say that
including discipleship and lordship obedience in the gospel of salvation has significantly
altered methods of evangelism and exalted social concern over traditional missionary
evangelism. No longer is the emphasis on gospel proclamation as only salvation
from sin, because it is believed the gospel itself demands that people and societies be
brought under the lordship of Christ.
Need for biblical evaluation and response
The above concerns demonstrate the impact of Lordship Salvation on
the message and methods of Christianity. These crucial areas of doctrine, as all doctrine,
must be held accountable to the Word of God. Those of both the Lordship Salvation
persuasion and the non-Lordship persuasion have criticized the other for basing their
views on theological presuppositions or lack of exegesis, coherent theology, and
historical validation. 9
Of course, this accusation
has only rhetorical value in the debate. Every view must be tested or argued against
John MacArthur has attempted the most in-depth biblical presentation
of Lordship doctrine in his book The Gospel
According to Jesus. 10
The two most articulate
responses to MacArthur to date are Charles C. Ryries So Great Salvation and Zane Hodgess Absolutely Free. 11
Both books give a well-reasoned response to the Lordship position. Ryries book is a
concise theological answer, which, because of its nature, does not evaluate or critique
many of the biblical interpretations argued by Lordship proponents. Hodgess book
deals with many of the Lordship passages, but not all. Because these responses to Lordship
Salvation were written more or less at the popular level, there is a need for a
comprehensive and in-depth evaluation, critique, and response to the many biblical
arguments used by Lordship advocates. This study intends to fill this need by a careful
systematization and examination of Lordship Salvations specific biblical arguments.
The Scope of the Study
The task of this study is to evaluate the biblical arguments of the
Lordship Salvation position in a systematic fashion. The study will limit itself to the
most prominent lexical arguments and important Bible passages used by that position. The
arguments from these passages will be considered and evaluated on the basis of a proper
exegetical and hermeneutical procedure. Also, in each of the four main chapters a brief
section will present a biblical response to the Lordship Salvation position.
It is realized that this subject is very theological and should also
be answered on a theological level. This will be outside the immediate scope of this
study, though the Appendix will briefly present the major theological issues. Since good
theology is based on raw biblical data properly systematized, this study will focus on
that data. The completeness and sufficiency of New Testament revelation concerning
salvation demands the primary consideration in this study.
The Procedure of the Study
In this introduction, Lordship Salvation will be defined, surveyed in
its historical development, and discussed in terms of the issues behind the modern
controversy. Four key issues relating to salvation form the basis of the subsequent four
chapters: faith, repentance, Christs
Lordship, and discipleship. 12
Each of the four chapters
will state the Lordship Salvation position, evaluate and critique the lexical arguments
and key Bible passages, and end with a summary response of opposing arguments and Bible
passages. Chapter six will summarize the discussions of previous chapters and state a
final conclusion to the study.
The relationship of the Lordship Salvation position to several
important theological issues (the relationship of law to grace, the relationship of
justification to sanctification, the doctrines of security, perseverance, and assurance,
the reality of sin in the believer) is discussed in the Appendix. There the primary
differences between the Lordship and non-Lordship positions will be briefly presented, but
A Survey of Lordship Salvation
Before proceeding it is necessary to define Lordship Salvation for
the purposes of this study and to briefly survey the historical background of the debate.
A Definition of Lordship Salvation
Though there are many particulars which delineate the doctrines of
Lordship Salvation, 13
a general definition must
first be articulated. In his crucial study, Kenneth L. Gentry, himself a proponent, offers
this defining criterion of the position:
The Lordship view expressly
states the necessity of acknowledging Christ as the Lord and Master of ones life in
the act of receiving Him as Savior. These are not two different, sequential acts (or
successive steps), but rather one act of pure trusting faith. 14
Richard P. Belcher identifies Lordship Salvation as that which
believes true saving faith includes in it a submission to the Lordship of
Thus the central tenet of
Lordship Salvation is that submission of ones life to Christ as Master is the only
true expression of saving faith. It will be seen in subsequent chapters how such a
definition of Lordship Salvation supports their understanding of faith, repentance,
Christs lordship, and discipleship in relation to salvation. 16
The opposing view is often called the non-Lordship view,
or even derogatorily Easy-believism, 17
but neither is acceptable. 18
For the purposes of this
study, the non-Lordship view will be called the Free Grace
position to represent the emphasis of the freeness of salvation and the simplicity of
faith. The choice of this term is somewhat pragmatic; it does not imply there are only two
views in the debate. It will simply be used in reference to those who oppose Lordship
Salvation and teach the simplicity of faith as unencumbered trust or acceptance of
Gods gift of salvation. It will be seen that the Free Grace position holds that
salvation is a gift of God realized by man only through the simple response of faith,
which is basically defined as trust, confidence in. 19
A Survey of the Lordship Salvation Debate
A brief survey of the history and development of Lordship Salvation
should add perspective to the current debate. Its history, however, is somewhat difficult
to trace since the designation Lordship Salvation is a fairly recent
appellation attached to a view that has been implied or demanded by preexisting
A study of the Church Fathers is of little help in tracing Lordship
thought. Berkhof rightly notes,
It would be unreasonable to look
for a common, definite, well integrated, and fully developed view of the application of
redemption in the earliest Church Fathers. Their representations are naturally rather
indefinite, imperfect, and incomplete, and sometimes even erroneous and
In fact, the clearest expressions of Lordship thought appear in
post-reformational theology. 21
Lordship Salvation seems to
flow naturally from a strong Calvinism most often found in Reformed theology, and is
inherent in some expressions of the Reformed doctrines of assurance and perseverance.
Belcher explains the connection to Calvinism:
Lordship salvation flows from a
Calvinistic foundation. God has chosen a people and He will save them. He regenerates them
and grants them the gifts of repentance and faith. Such a work of salvation transforms
them. God has also justified them and He has begun the work of sanctification in them
which He will also perfect. Through trials, difficulties, and even failures, they are not
only eternally secure but will persevere in holiness and faith. 22
Though attempts have been made to trace Lordship Salvation to the
Reformers themselves, the most that can be proved by examining their doctrines is that
they may have held positions similar to those found in later Reformed doctrines on
assurance and perseverance. Explicit Lordship conditions for salvation are absent or
controversial in the writings of the Reformers and cannot be taken for granted. 23
Some recent studies have done
much to show that later Reformed thought in the area of faith and assurance strayed
significantly from that of the Reformers it claimed to represent. 24
By the time of the Westminster Confession of Faith (1643-49; English
Calvinisms influential statement of Reformed theology) assurance was separated from
the essence of faith making it more dependent upon subjective evidences. 25
Some tenets of Reformed soteriology were challenged in the early
1900s by dispensationalist theologian Lewis Sperry Chafer. Chafer did more than any
other theologian to emphasize the doctrines of grace for decades to come. 26
Themes common in his writings
were the freeness of grace in salvation, the efficacy of simple saving faith, and the
reality of carnal Christians. 27
He criticized those who
attached conditions to the gospel such as those found in Lordship theology today. For
example, he wrote,
Outside the doctrines related to
the Person and work of Christ, there is no truth more far-reaching in its implications and
no fact more to be defended than that salvation in all its limitless magnitude is secured,
so far as human responsibility is concerned, by believing on Christ as Savior. To this one
requirement no other obligation may be added without violence to the Scriptures and total
disruption of the essential doctrine of salvation by grace alone. Only ignorance or
reprehensible inattention to the structure of a right Soteriology will attempt to intrude
some form of human works with its supposed merit into that which, if done at all, must, by
the very nature of the case, be wrought by God alone on the principle of sovereign grace.
. . .
But even when the supernatural character of salvation is
recognized, it is possible to encumber the human responsibility with various
complications, thus to render the whole grace undertaking ineffectual to a large degree.
These assertions lead naturally to a detailed consideration of the more common features of
human responsibility which are too often erroneously added to the one requirement of faith or belief
(emphasis his). 28
Since the debate is a relatively recent one, it will serve better to
focus on the appearance of the doctrine and controversy in modern times. Though Dietrich
Bonhoeffer had earlier promoted the idea of a costly salvation and preached
against cheap grace, 29
John R. W. Stott was among
the first to debate and defend what could be called Lordship Salvation in published works
during the years 1958 and 1959. 30
J. I. Packer also espoused
the view in his key work on evangelism in 1961. 31
Not much else appeared on the topic until 1969 when Charles C. Ryrie
devoted one chapter of his book, Balancing the
Christian Life, to refuting Lordship Salvation. This renewed the debate as Lordship
advocates eventually responded. Works by A. W. Tozer (1974), Kenneth L. Gentry (1976), and
Arend ten Pas (1978) argued against Ryrie and what they called easy
The debate was carried into the eighties by Zane C. Hodges whose
book, The Gospel Under Siege (1981), asserted
the Free Grace position while refuting the Lordship position. 33
Sides polarized further.
Pastor and author John MacArthur incorporated into his Shepherds Conference a
Lordship Salvation Syllabus (1981) by Marc Mueller which argued the Lordship
In 1986 James Montgomery
Boice published a book espousing costly discipleship, which he equated with salvation. 35
Debate reached a peak with
the Lordship teaching of MacArthur asserted and defended in The Gospel According to Jesus (1988). Both Ryrie
and Hodges responded immediately with their own books (1989) defending the Free Grace
position and answering the Lordship position. 36
Another significant event was the creation of the Grace Evangelical
Society in 1986 by Robert N. Wilkin and other Free Grace supporters which states as its
purpose: To promote the clear
proclamation of Gods free salvation through faith alone in Christ alone, which is
properly correlated with and distinguished from issues related to discipleship. 37
newsletters, and a semiannual journal, GES debates the Lordship issue and other issues
relating to the gospel, soteriology, and sanctification from a Free Grace position.
At the time of this dissertation, articles and books continue to
appear on the subject. Many of these will be cited, though some can receive only limited
interaction due to their lateness. The debate has finally generated its due attention and
has reached an unprecedented level of interaction between the two sides.
Issues Behind the Modern Controversy
The modern form of the Lordship controversy is ignited by several key
issues. These issues can be categorized as practical, theological, and social.
What seems to be a major issue fueling the modern debate is the
Lordship concern about the preponderance of false professors and uncommitted Christians in
the churches. This is seen in MacArthurs introductory comments in The Gospel According to Jesus:
This new gospel has spawned a
generation of professing Christians whose behavior often is indistinguishable from the
rebellion of the unregenerate. Recent statistics reveal that 1.6 billion people world-wide
are considered Christians. A
well-publicized opinion poll indicated nearly a third of all Americans claim to be born
again. Those figures surely represent
millions who are tragically deceived. Theirs is a damning false assurance.
Information Please Almanac (Boston: Houghton
Mifflin, 1988), p. 400.
 George Gallop, Jr. and David
Poling, The Search for America's Faith (Nashville: Abingdon, 1980), p. 92. 38
Likewise, Chantry states,
Products of modern evangelism are
often sad examples of Christianity. They make a profession of faith, and then continue to
live like the world
Only a small proportion of those who make decisions
evidence the grace of God in a transformed life
All of this is related to the use
of a message in evangelism that is unbiblical
Evangelicals are swelling the ranks of
the deluded with a perverted Gospel. 39
The concern over false professors has naturally led to the
denouncement of much modern evangelistic preaching and methods of asking for public
decisions or other forms of evangelistic invitations. 40
The Lordship concern is thus a very good one. They desire a genuine
Christianity that demonstrates consistency between profession and conduct. They are
motivated by the worthy desire to see those who profess Christ go on to maturity and
fruitfulness. Faced with the sad realities of inconsistent behavior,
backsliding, and outright apostasy by some professing Christians, they have
proposed a gospel that demands up front an
exclusive commitment to an obedient lifestyle in hopes of minimizing these problems.
The chief theological concern of the Lordship movement is
preservation of what it considers the true gospel. As already noted, this necessarily
involves other theological issues such as the meaning and nature of faith, repentance,
Christs lordship, discipleship, justification, sanctification, security,
perseverance, and assurance.
Anything but the Lordship gospel is labeled a perverted
or a heresy 42
in apparent identification
with the Apostle Pauls concern expressed in Galatians 1:6-10. To Lordship proponents
the controversy with Free Grace proponents is therefore no small debate or matter of
semantics, but a debate about two very different views of the gospel and salvation. 43
Another issue that gives impetus to some in the Lordship position is
concern for Christian influence in the social arena. Anyone deeply committed to a social
agenda can conveniently advocate a Lordship gospel in which the gospel not only offers
salvation from sin but also from sinful social structures. In their view, the gospel
demands social commitment because Christ is Lord of all and those who are His disciples
(or all the saved) will carry Christs lordship into society. A gospel that fails to
bring people into the struggle for social change is a false gospel. 44
Exemplifying this concern is Jim Wallis who criticizes any gospel
which omits costly discipleship and the demand for obedience in all areas of life because
it is biblically irresponsible and implicitly endorses a low view of Christ by
suggesting the gospel is not relevant to the wider issues of human life and society. He then includes social change in the content of
Our gospel is Gods good
news of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord who brings forgiveness, reconciliation, and a new
creation; of his cross and resurrection which have won and sealed the victory over the
forces of destruction and death; and of a radically new kind of community, a new humanity
united in Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit to live according to the standard and
character of a new order. 45
This issue is somewhat removed from the more serious practical and
theological issues discussed above, which appear to dominate the motivation of the
Lordship position. Discerning motivation, however, is certainly more subjective than
evaluating arguments from the biblical data, which will be the task of the following
1 Salvation, unless defined otherwise, in this study will denote eternal, eschatological salvation from hell which includes the concepts of justification and regeneration.
2 See Brian Bird, “Old Debate Finds New Life,” Christianity Today (CT) 33 (March 17, 1989): 38-40; S. Lewis Johnson, Jr., “How Faith Works,” CT 33 (September 22, 1989): 21-25; Robert Dean, Jr., “Gospel Wars, Part I,” Biblical Perspectives (BP) 3 (January-February 1990): 1-6.
3 For example, one should note these representative works from the Lordship Salvation position that criticize some modern evangelistic presentations and seek to clarify the biblical conditions of salvation: John F. MacArthur, Jr., The Gospel According to Jesus (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1988); Walter Chantry, Today’s Gospel: Authentic or Synthetic? (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1970; reprint, 1985); A. W. Tozer, I Call It Heresy! (Harrisburg, PA: Christian Publications, 1974).
4 Tozer, Heresy!, 9-20.
5 Charles Cadwell Ryrie, Balancing the Christian Life (Chicago: Moody Press, 1969), 170.
6 J. I. Packer, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1961), 73.
7 Charles Price, Real Christians (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1987), 55-56.
8 MacArthur, The Gospel, 190.
9 E.g., from the Lordship view see Richard P. Belcher, A Layman’s Guide to the Lordship Controversy (Southbridge, MS: Crowne Publications, 1990), 92; D. A. Carson, Exegetical Fallacies (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1984), 96-97, 137; John F. MacArthur, Jr., “Faith According to the Apostle James,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (JETS) 33 (March 1990): 33; and non-Lordship proponents J. Kevin Butcher, “A Critique of The Gospel According to Jesus,” in Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society (JOTGES) 2 (Spring 1989): 27-43; Zane C. Hodges, Absolutely Free! (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House and Dallas: Redención Viva, 1989), 213-18 (notes 4-5).
10 MacArthur’s book deserves two observations: 1) It is not comprehensive as it deals primarily with the Gospels and not the epistolary literature (except in an eight page appendix); 2) It does not present the strongest argument for Lordship Salvation because it begins with the Gospels to define the gospel instead of the theological interpretations of the Epistles.
11 Charles C. Ryrie, So Great Salvation (Wheaton: Victor Books, 1989); See bibliography on previous page for Hodges, Absolutely Free!
12 This four-fold schema is the approach used by Kenneth L. Gentry in his key article “The Great Option: A Study of the Lordship Controversy,” Baptist Reformation Review (BRR) 5 (Spring 1976): 49-79 and is also supported by MacArthur (The Gospel, 159).
13 The designation “Lordship Salvation” is reluctantly accepted by both proponents and opponents (See MacArthur, The Gospel, ix-xiv, 28-29; Belcher, Layman’s Guide, 2). It is potentially misleading because non-Lordship advocates believe in the necessity of Christ’s lordship in salvation at least in the objective sense (See Arthur L. Farstad, “Jesus is Lord” JOTGES 2 Spring 1989.: 3-11). As defined by its own advocates, Lordship Salvation could more properly be called “Commitment Salvation,” “Surrender Salvation,” or “Submission Salvation” since in actuality the debate is not over the Lordship of Christ, but the response of a person to the gospel and the conditions which must be met for salvation. Nevertheless, in this study the position will be referred to as “Lordship Salvation” or simply “Lordship.”
14 Gentry, “The Great Option,” BRR 5:52.
15 Belcher, Layman’s Guide, 2.
16 However, a summary of the Lordship position in relation to these areas can be found in Gentry, “The Great Option,” BRR 5:76-77, and Belcher, Layman’s Guide, 53-60.
17 Gentry, “The Great Option,” BRR 5:49-50.
18 Opponents of Lordship Salvation believe Christ’s Lordship has great significance to salvation and do not teach it is “easy” to believe.
19 See chapter two.
20 Louis Berkhof, Reformed Dogmatics (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1937), 207.
21 This is evidenced by the fact that MacArthur develops most of his historical argument from this period (MacArthur, The Gospel, 221-237).
22 Belcher, Layman’s Guide, 99.
23 See Thomas G. Lewellen, “Has Lordship Salvation Been Taught Throughout Church History?” Bibliotheca Sacra (BibSac) 147 (January-March 1990): 54-68. MacArthur’s survey of the reformers fails to show more than that they explicitly held to a form of perseverance that sees works as a validation of salvation. Noticeably absent from his citations are statements about the terms or conditions of salvation. See MacArthur, The Gospel, 221-26.
24 See R. T. Kendall, Calvin and English Calvinism to 1649 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979); M. Charles Bell, Calvin and Scottish Theology: The Doctrine of Assurance (Edinburgh: Handsel Press, 1985); Anthony N. S. Lane, “Calvin’s Doctrine of Assurance,” Vox Evangelica (VoxE) 11 (1979): 32-54. Kendall argues that English Calvinism departed from Calvin by separating assurance from faith so that a person had to scrutinize his or her faith and degree of godliness to determine faith’s genuineness. Bell built on Kendall’s work to argue that Calvin taught faith was passive, centered in the understanding, assurance was of the essence of faith, and faith was grounded in the person and work of Christ. He claims Scottish theology departed from Calvin in teaching that faith was primarily active, centered in the will, and separate from assurance so that assurance was a fruit of faith obtained from self-examination making the grounds of assurance more subjective. Lane also argues that Calvin taught assurance was the essence of faith and defends Kendall’s thesis that later Calvinism departed from this.
25 The Westminster Confession of Faith 18.2-3. See also Lewellen, “Lordship Salvation,” BibSac 147:58-59.
26 This occurred largely through his founding of and influence upon Dallas Theological Seminary which traditionally has held an interpretation of the gospel consistent with what is here called the Free Grace position.
27 Chafer’s chief works which addressed these issues were He That Is Spiritual (Grand Rapids: Dunham Publishing Company, 1918), Grace: The Glorious Theme (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1922), and volume 3 of Systematic Theology (8 vols., Dallas: Dallas Seminary Press, 1947-48).
28 Lewis Sperry Chafer, “The Terms of Salvation,” BibSac 107 (October-December 1950): 389-90. The article argues against these additions to faith: repentance, confession of Christ, baptism, surrender to God, confession of sin or restitution, imploring God to save.
29 See, for example, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship (New York: MacMillan Publishing Company, 1963), 45-60, which was first published in 1937 and in English in 1949. His book was prompted by the accommodation of the church in Germany to Hitler. He was concerned about those members of the state church who presumed they were going to heaven but gave little or no place to the lordship of Christ in their daily affairs.
30 John R. W. Stott, “Must Christ Be Lord To Be Savior?--Yes,” Eternity 10 (September 1959): 15-18, 36-37. See also his book, Basic Christianity (London: InterVarsity Press, 1958), 109-18, 127-28.
31 Packer, Evangelism, 39, 71-73.
32 Tozer’s book (Heresy!) and Gentry’s article (“The Great Option,” BRR 5:) have already been cited; Arend J. ten Pas, The Lordship of Christ (n.p.: Ross House Books, 1978).
33 Zane C. Hodges, The Gospel Under Siege (Dallas: Redención Viva, 1981).
34 Marc Mueller, “Lordship Salvation Syllabus,” Panorama City, CA: Grace Community Church, 1981
35 James Montgomery Boice, Christ’s Call to Discipleship (Chicago: Moody Press, 1986).
36 Ryrie, So Great Salvation; Hodges, Absolutely Free!
37 This purpose statement can be found in each of the society’s newsletters and journals.
38 MacArthur, The Gospel, 16. See also Boice, Discipleship, 27. Unfortunately, these statistics tend to mislead by exaggeration. The concern is not with all nominal Christians (which would include Catholics), but those who profess an evangelical born-again salvation experience of personal faith in Christ. When the question is more carefully framed, the number of professing Christians shrinks dramatically. Recent studies using a more carefully worded question show that Gallop’s figures are about three times higher than the actual number of truly born-again Christians. See Richard D. Dixon, Diane E. Levy, and Roger C. Lowery, “Asking the ‘Born-Again’ Question,” Review of Religious Research (RRR) 30, (September 1988): 33-39.
39 Chantry, Gospel, 13-14. The way Lordship literature is generally introduced may lead one to believe that the pragmatic issue (uncommitted professing Christians) is more the motivation for their position than the theological issue (purity of the true gospel).
40 E.g., ibid., 13-18, 29, 45-46, 55, 64-66. See also J. I. Packer, “The Means of Conversion,” Crux 25 (December 1989): 14-22.
41 Chantry, Gospel, 14.
42 Tozer, Heresy!, 9.
43 So MacArthur, The Gospel, xiv; Belcher, Layman’s Guide, 105. For specific points of difference, see the introductory discussion of “The Issue” in each of the four subsequent chapters and the Appendix.
44 For a good overview and discussion of this issue, see Wagner, Church Growth, especially chapter 7, “The Gospel, Conversion, and Ethical Awareness.”
45 Jim Wallis, “Many to Belief, but Few to Obedience,” Sojourner’s (Soj) (March 1976): 20-21.