split off from the "Let's Get Clear On This Thread"...
We'll start with http://www.sharperiron.org/article/lets-get-clear#comment-10815]Joel
Conservative Evangelicals. These are the guys going "toe to toe" with left-wing and eccuminical evangelicalism, "out and out" liberalism, dangerous "new gospel," weird Christological Charismaticism (Odd Faith movement - not the variety of Piperism or Grudem-ism that frankly you can find examples of if you look deep enough in the Fundamentalists lake [btw]), not to mention every bed-brother of evangelical postmodernity [i.e. emergent movement "vis-a-vis" Bixby's emergent middle that is anything but emergent church!]). Where are the fundamentalists? Well....we are fellowshipping with the three other guys that part their hair the same way we do. We meet for a nice sub-movement chat where we determine to write resolutions so we can brow beat the other fundamentalists that don't think or sing or preach or whatever....just like we do (but of course we are not denominational)! We'll even call them names! Those "pseudo-fundamentalists" bad-guys! And why do we do this? Because to open our arms to conservative evangelicalism is the first step towards loosing the gospel? Have you guys actually been reading what's happening in the conservative evangelical world the last 15 years? If anything the conservative side of the movement is doing two things:
*It's starting to take back sections of the movement as a whole, discharging the liberal-evangelicals to main-line "bases" and
*Is becoming more and more interested in personal and ecclesiastical separation. In short it's getting more and more conservative and Biblical in the main. I'm done waiting.
They've walked far enough and close enough I'm willing to open my arms to some of them. I have more in common with some of them and they with me, than I do with some of you! Some of you are isolationist and worldly while they are "koinonia-minded" and separate (oddly enough!). MacArthur has not replaced Biblical salvation with a works salvation. He's just emphasizing repentance. To some of you who have down-played the volitional side (i.e. the "submission" part of saving faith), it sounds like works-salvation. This is nothing more than the gospel as spelled out in the Gospels (Repent if you want to be in the Kingdom) as well as James (Saving Faith results in a fruit of works). How in the world can you guys read works-salvation in that? Stop reading Lou and start reading you’re Bibles. To be fair, there have been a few passages that Mac has read his understanding of Lordship salvation that I don't see in the passage. It is true that one can emphasize repentance disproportionate to faith that you end up switching sanctification with justification. If you read John in context and widely, I don't believe John has crossed those lines consistently enough to make the charge that he has a false gospel. Remember his over-emphasis at times is within the context of fighting the cheap-grace, non-repentance views of Hodge et al
To which Bob replied:
"MacArthur has not replaced Biblical salvation with a works salvation. He's just emphasizing repentance. To some of you who have down-played the volitional side (i.e. the "submission" part of saving faith), it sounds like works-salvation. This is nothing more than the gospel as spelled out in the Gospels (Repent if you want to be in the Kingdom) as well as James (Saving Faith results in a fruit of works). How in the world can you guys read works-salvation in that? Stop reading Lou and start reading you’re Bibles. To be fair, there have been a few passages that Mac has read his understanding of Lordship salvation that I don't see in the passage. It is true that one can emphasize repentance disproportionate to faith that you end up switching sanctification with justification. If you read John in context and widely, I don't believe John has crossed those lines consistently enough to make the charge that he has a false gospel."
Joel, it is time for Fundamentalists to at least get the Gospel right and to have some understanding of the theology of the Gospel. MacArthur declares a false Gospel and has made his version of the so called Lordship Gospel a distinctive of his church. That makes it an uncompromising doctrine in his mind. He harshly criticizes any who disagree with him. The problem is he misunderstands the biblical definition of faith, the place of repentance in salvation, the definition of repentance, and the place of works with regard to faith. As a result he also misunderstands assurance of salvation.. He has a blatantly false interpretation of many Gospel passages such as the Prodigal Son and the Sermon on the mount. On top of all that is the fact that he tries to sell this unorthodox Gospel as the traditional Gospel as believed by the Reformers and some other Reformed theologians. He is also absolutely wrong in that historical perception. Now, just in case you think that I am being overly harsh please understand that everything I have just stated is also clearly stated with full explanation in the book "Christ The Lord, The Reformation and Lordship Salvation," Michael S Horton, editor and a co author, WIPF & Stock, Eugene Ore. 1992. Micheal Horton is presently Professor of Theology at Westminster Seminary West. All the authors are Reformed theologians and the forward is by Allister McGrath of Oxford and a world renowned historian, especially of the Reformation.
MacArthur has claimed loyalty to the Reformers. He evidently appealed to some young Fundamentalists who may lack good grounding in historical theology. He also appeals to some who come from what has been traditionally called a "legalistic" oriented Fundamentalism. In their escape from some of that legalism they may have a tendency to not fully apprehend the implications grace. They may have experience with decisional emphasis and a shallow gospel presentation and followup. MacArthur calls that easy believism. The fact is MacArhur's books declare a gospel that is contrary to the Reformers theology and based on extremely bad exegesis. He presents a gospel with almost no grace. The failure of so many in Fundamentalism to understand this may be one of the 21st century scandals of the Fundamentalist mentality. You mentioned "reading Lou." I have read his book and it is poorly researched and he does not understand the issues. Lou is a KJVO person. His is also a gospel of legalism.
If you have not read the book "Christ The Lord" please do so. They do a good job of balancing the saving aspects of the Gospel and of our assurance. As a Classic Dispensationalist I do disagree with some of their views on sanctification and some (but not all) of their criticism of Chafer. They are fair in acknowledging that MacArthur does state that salvation is by grace alone through alone. However, they show that his main arguments and other statements refute those assertions and set forth a faith and works gospel. The book also deals with the errors of Zane Hodges.
Other interesting books on the subject are: "Getting the Gospel Wrong, Hixson; Getting the Gospel Right, Olson; Back to Faith, Lybrand.
In my opinion John MacArhur advocates an errant gospel that is sufficiently wrong to make us have a need to protect the flock from his misunderstandings.
I'm really surprised, myself, at how many Fundamentalists think that MacArthur is establishing some kind of works salvation. He's not, and someone who thinks that he is probably is not familiar with his preaching...it kind of reminds me about the BJU/MacArthur 'blood of Christ' issue that was referenced http://www.sharperiron.org/article/lets-get-clear#comment-10741]earlier in that thread , and how some people started a rumor that was patently false and still have not corrected. So - now that I've said that, we can begin.