A Little Booklet on Lordship Salvation Introduction
He was the man that was very instrumental in my husband's conversion. He was the man who baptized me when I went to another church that he pastored while President of Central Baptist Seminary in Minneapolis (we lived there for 7 months in 1992). We loved the man! The last time I saw him, he visited Emmanuel and preached at our church's 100th anniversay while blind in both eyes. This was in 1999, I believe. His stance was just as austere as ever, even without his sight. He died just a couple of years after that.
The booklet consists of an introduction, 7 major points from Dr. MacArthur's book and Dr. Pickering's review and comments on these points, and a conclusion. I will be posting these points one at a time for your edification and reflection. Please feel free to comment on the content of the posts. The way Dr. Pickering saw this issue is just as I and my husband do. His comments are as pertinent today as ever.
Here it is:
by Dr. Earnest Pickering
INTRODUCTION: John MacArthur's latest book, The Gospel According to Jesus, promises to be a "blockbuster" indeed and will no doubt further divide the evangelical community over the question of the exact terms of the sinner's salvation. This debate has been building for a number of years, but the publication of a work like this by a widely-read and respected Bible teacher will no doubt heighten the discussion considerably.
One always asks when reading a book of this nature, "Why did the author write it?" The answer can be found in one statement: "The superficial response is epidemic and is twentieth-century Christianity. . .Why? Because the gospel is usually presented with the promise of joy, warmth, fellowship, and a good feeling, but without the hard demand to take up one's cross and follow Christ" (p. 123). This is basically the main concern of MacArthur. The gospel has been made too easy. More stringent requirements are necessary than those normally presented in gospel preaching.
The essence of his argument is this:
"Eternal life is indeed a free gift. . .But that does not mean that there is no cost in terms of salvation's impact on the sinner's life. . .Obviously, a new believer does not fully understand all the ramifications of the lordship of Jesus at the moment of conversion. But a true believer has a desire to surrender. This is what distinguishes true faith from a bogus profession. True faith is humble, submissive obedience" (p. 140).
MacArthur is espousing what has become known as "lordship salvation." A sinner, in coming to Christ, must exercise faith, but included in that saving faith is a conscious submission to make Christ the Lord of his life (cf. p. 28, footnote). Let us review some of his major points and make comments upon them.