In recent years a renewed debate has raged over the conditions of salvation. 1 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.
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.
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 reason.
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 Scripture first.
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 not evaluated.
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.
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 Christ. 15 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 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 theological systems.
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 self-contradictory. 20
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 believism. 32
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 position. 34 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 Through conferences, 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.
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 gospel 41 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 the gospel:
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 study.
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.
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.