Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Open Questions for the Anti-Lordship Folks

Some say the disagreement over "Lordship salvation" is simply a matter of semantics. Others (including folks from both sides) insist that it's a foundational gospel issue. I've argued that, far too often, it's the latter.

In a previous comment thread, I asked a couple questions that would seem to move us toward clarity—whether the issue is a matter of semantics or different understandings of the gospel. I thought it might be useful, since the answer proposed resembled a smokescreen more than a biblical explanation, to present them to a broader audience:

1) Is repentance essential to conversion?

2) How is repentance different from submission to Christ's lordship?

As Ross Perot used to say, "I'm all ears."

And for all the kids out there, this is who I'm talking about . . .


Bro. Jude 1:3 said...

1) Yes.

2) Repentance is repentance and submission is submission.

I like my answer, BTW.

d4v34x said...

Well, in light of the conversation preceding this, I have to concede that this is not merely a semantics issue.

If you don't get substantive answers to your questions, I'm going to be more disappointed than I already am.

Jim Peet said...

In two prototypical gospel messages, repentance and Christ's Lordship are clearly presented:

Peter: Acts 2:38, "Repent!"; Christ's Lordship in 2:36, "God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." (and previous verses)

Paul: Acts 17:30, "now commands all men everywhere to repent". Christ is proclaimed to be "the Man whom He has ordained" (31)

Swrdn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SwrdnShld said...

The optionalLordship advocates like to cut up who Christ is and only embrace what tickles their ears.

Anonymous said...

Ben, I don't know if you knew this, but Lou has a website with tons of articles. He has also written a book.

He typically only posts on websites where the webmaster will just delete anything that he doesn't like. I doubt he will be back.

Swrdnshld, hilarious.

Ben said...

Thanks James, particularly for noting Lou's site. I don't anticipate that he'll be posting answers to my questions on this thread. I don't think he'd mind my saying that he e-mailed me today to tell me that he's answered the questions I posed in his book and on numerous articles on his website.

I'm not intending to take time to pull quotes out of his website and/or post links to his relevant info. I would encourage anyone who thinks this is a semantic issue and/or that he offers biblically coherent answers to check it all out. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if it has the same effect that reading Ryrie's [Not] So Great Salvation (thanks Paul!) and Geisler's Chosen But Free had on me. In other words, the opposite of the effect intended.

Shayne McAllister said...

Keswick Theology has also muddied the semantic waters on this subject. Ben, has Andy Naselli's book prompted any of this discussion? Andy doesn't seem to think that it's just semantic.


Anonymous said...

Shayne, when I first posted on Lou's website, I mentioned that he sounded like he embraced Keswick theology. He told me he didn't even know what that was. Nice that he parades himself as a sound teacher and theologian and is ignorant of his own beliefs.

By the way Shayne, Lou has a website where he has lots of articles. He has also written a book.

We can all thank Al Gore for inventing the internet so that Lou has a place to vent his anger at gospel preaching.

d4v34x said...

I would think any militant defender of the Gospel would relish an opportunity to defend it in the very presence of its "vandals".

I guess I'm going to have to go scour IDOTG for a definition of repentance and/or sinner.

I shall report my findings at some point in the future.

Ben said...

Shayne, can't remember if Andy triggered this present interest. Seems likely. I completely agree with him that it's more than semantics. I'm not sure he's arguing that it's fundamental gospel issue though, as I do. Seems as though he's limited it to a debate over models of sanctification. I'm arguing it's connected to models of conversion.

Dave, maybe that whole "earnestly contend" thing isn't all it's cracked up to be.

d4v34x said...

Since Lou has a "Repentance" tag, I found lots of posts that purport to talk about that concept, but very little actual discussion about what it is.

However, Lou did write this comment on a post the sole purpose of which was definging repentence. In the interest of best accuracy, I present it with italics intact.

Repentance is a change of mind where one recognizes he is a sinner before a just and holy God. When he agrees with the convincing and convicting work of the Holy Spirit that he is a sinner (John 16:8-9) and transfers his dependence to the Lord for his salvation—he has biblically repented. Biblical repentance is a change of mind that should produce the fruit of a change in direction from self and sin toward God. The fruit that should follow is distinct from repentance itself. This change of mind is what Acts 20:21 describes as, “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Unfortunately, I'm not sure if that actually clarifies aything.

Jim Peet said...

Does it help if one understands that repentance is a gift from God?

Acts 11:18, "“Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.”"

I'm not sure if I am correct, but I see the Lordship issue as basically an ordo salutus debate. If men are totally depraved, how can they respond to the gospel call without the effectual call of God.

Anonymous said...

The sense one gets with many anti-lordship types is that they are essentially anti-calvinistic. They will protest otherwise, but for the more lately vocal ones, their anti-calvinistic bent seems to color everything from soteriology, and ecclesiology/matters of gospel-separation. One of the more VOCAL, seemingly prolific and extremely self-marketed writers has recently attempted to answer Lordship issues by referencing what he deems to be the extra-biblical view of faith/repentance of calvinists. Having held an antilordship view in the past myself, the markers are evident IMHO. Sam Hendrickson

Anonymous said...

Theolog, this is the part that demonstrates their ignorance, many preachers who were/are decidedly NOT calvinist, still preached the Lordship view of repentance. One of my personal heroes was Adrian Rogers, and he did that very thing.

Ben said...


It does clarify that Lou thinks fruit is an ideal but optional, not certain, outcome of saving, persevering faith.

Jim, it does seem as though that could be a part, since the anti-lordship crowd accuses lordship advocates of making repentance essentially a work. Of course, lordship advocates say nothing of the kind since they grasp that faith and repentance are gifts, not works. But on the other hand, if the anti-lordship crowd denies that faith and repentance are gifts, then they're functionally making something a work, and they'd no doubt deny that. At least I hope so. In the end, I think it's inconsistency and incoherence that makes them difficult to have a constructive conversation with.

Sam, thanks for reminding me via e-mail of the Nate Busenitz-Martuneac conversation, which concludes here. I only scanned the last installment today, but as I remember, the whole conversation supports my analysis in the above paragraph.

Shayne McAllister said...


Unfortunately I've run into Lou's comments on various forums for years now. I share your angst.

I would just point out that just because one may not know the term Keswick Theology (let alone how to say it properly) doesn't mean one hasn't had a lot of influence from it. I sense the Keswick Theology Force strongly, here Luke.

I grew up at Bob Jones University, and I strangely remember Lordship Salvation as a both a dirty word, and simultaneously being taught it as the truth of the gospel. Does anyone know why that could be? Which fundamentalists would be pro or con Lordship salvation? Was it that fundamentalists don't like terminology like this and just "believe the Bible?"

Anonymous said...

As one who sat under Lou when he exported this controversy across the oceans, I can tell you that Lou regards Calvinism and Lordship as inextricably linked. His first 'publication', which we as students had to read, was "Biblical Answers to Calvinism" - a 'refutation' of TULIP, followed by "Biblical Answers to Lordship Salvation."
His is essentially the Dave Hunt view of depravity, election and volition, hence 'faith is a simple choice', and repentance is changing your mind to make that choice.

Ben said...

It might be important to note that this inability to define (biblically) repentance and submission to Christ is not a "Lou Martuneac" issue. This is a widespread debacle in both fundamentalism and broader evangelicalism.

Anonymous said...

Well, Lou has written a book along with many articles in case no one knew. He doesn't have to interact and answer questions. It is better to live in his own little world and make up stuff that he disagrees with. It is so hard to believe he is a movement fundamentalist. I was just shocked to learn of it.

Look up said...

1) Is repentance essential to conversion?

A better question would be, is conversion essential to repentance? IE does one need to be converted before they change their mind about sin?

2) How is repentance different from submission to Christ's lordship?

Considering in Genesis 6:6 or maybe Amos 7:3,6, The LORD, (Jehovah-AKA Christ) repented which did not equate to submission to Himself, it must be very different.

Here is a good book on the topic.


Ben said...

Look Up,

Feel free to answer your own question, if you feel it would be helpful. In any case feel free to continue to avoid the question I asked, as everyone else has.

As for your second non-answer, perhaps I was unrealistic to assume that folks would recognize that I'm attempting to understand the anti-lordship view in the context of conversion. I mean, presumably, whatever repentance in that context means to you, it means something other than than the use of similar terminology in reference to God expressing the workings of his mind in human terms. Or perhaps it does not. I'd be curious to hear.

I'll wager this is a better book.

Anonymous said...

Look up, at the very least you can let your equally evasive and cowardly friends know you went into the lion's den and are still alive.

Why are questions so hard for you nonlordship types? You have to reword and change questions to answer them.

I asked a simple question about idolatry and conversion and it took someone TWO full blog posts to answer something I didn't ask. This is called cowardice.

I would encourage you to actually engage the debate so that you can walk away more informed.

Look up said...


LS defines repentance as a turning from sin (or thereabouts), but an unregenerate man cannot do this. Therefore as LS defines repentance, conversion must come before repentance. Therefore, repentance as defined by LS is not necessary for conversion.

Biblical repentance on the other hand involves a change of mind regarding Christ, self and sin, which an enlightened yet uncoverted man can do. He has NO power to turn FROM anything until he has turned TO Christ, all power to turn FROM sin (repentance in LS terminology, which is actually sanctification in biblical terminology) comes after conversion.

Ben I must decline your request to partake in the wickedness of gambling, but since you requested a wager, one thing we can be certain of is that the book you have recommended has not done you as much good as you believe.

I suggest you read the other one.

Ben said...


So are you saying repentance is not a gift that God can give to whomever he wishes?

Look up said...


I don't really have any friends.

I answered your question on idolatry very plainly, you just didn't like the answer.

I must say to your credit James, at least you don't even bother trying to feign humility.

Look up said...


Biblical repentance, yes, it is given in an enlightened stage. LS repentance, no, it must wait until conversion.

Ben said...

Ok, so I'm going to call "circular logic" on that but just for sake of the argument . . . as for this "enlightened stage"—is everyone enlightened?

And what is "sin (or thereabouts)"?

Look up said...


Everyone has been enlightened insofar as to know the works of God (Rom 1:18-20), yet not everyone has been enlightened to know who they really are, and why they are in need of a Saviour.

I quickly noted the LS definition of repentance as "turning from sin" (or thereabouts) I merely didn't want to waste time enlarging on yet another LS definition of repentance.

Look up said...

Ben, have you ever considered this verse?

Hos 2:16 And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi (My Husband); and shalt call me no more Baali (My Lord).

Lou Martuneac said...


I'm posting once only and for one reason alone, which is to expose James Kime's incessant, unfounded whining.

Anyone can read how a question he posted at my blog was answered by Pastor Tom Stegall fairly, comprehensively and in the context James asked it by reading,

The Difference Between the Gospel of Grace and Lordship Salvation


Anonymous said...

If anyone didn't know, Lou has a site with articles and he has written a book. I was surprised he linked to his site in one of his posts.

Lou, the question I asked was not everything I was asking. According to your own beliefs, a person would not have to stop being a muslim to be a Christian.

This is where you antiLordship folks must retreat to. You essentially cannot require ANYTHING for salvation, as that would be works. You cannot even require right theology about Christ and a turning from idols. In your twisted theology, people can still hold onto idols as condition to coming to Christ. This bastardization of the gospel is shameful.

Anonymous said...

Look Up, I commend you for not doing the mafia style hit and run tactics of other nonLordship people.

As I tried to explain to you in the past and will try again here, what you think is Lordship salvation is NOT Lordship salvation.

Lou Martuneac does not understand LS. The people who are LS time and again accurately note that he does not argue against their view. That you think he refutes it is very telling about your own understanding. You have got to learn to read what a person actually says instead of what you think they are trying to say.

Let me ask you plainly this question:

Can a person be saved and also be a practicing Muslim?

Look up said...

James says:
“Let me ask you plainly this question:

Can a person be saved and also be a practicing Muslim?”

And the answer is........no.

I will go you one further:

Can a person preach the gospel while handing out the ale as this person proposes?


Lion Crest Inn

I double as Bard and Pulpiter of this tavern. I invite you to pull up a chair, enjoy a fresh piece of bread and a pint of ale, and come join us at the fire. We are talking theology and today we are talking about...

Ben said...


You put me in a difficult position. I have no desire to publicize the private communication you've sent to me explaining why you don't want to participate in this conversation here. But then you pop up and participate in the sort of rhetoric that's indistinguishable from what you claim to despise.

If you like, I'll gladly delete both your condescending remarks and this comment from me.

Ben said...

L.U., yes, I've considered that verse many times.

Ben said...


Knock off the red herrings. Whether ale is present or not when the gospel is presented is utterly irrelevant to whether or not repentance is essential to the gospel and what repentance means.

Ben said...

Finally . . .


I'm trying to piece together your ordo salutis. Here's what I'm seeing:

1. General enlightening (Rom 1)
2. Particular enlightening
3. "Non-LS repentance"
4. Faith
5. Conversion
6. Regeneration
7. "LS repentance"/sanctification

Is that correct? I'm not intending to misrepresent you. Just trying to get it straight. Also, where does the John 1:9 "enlightening" fit in? Is it a third form of enlightening or identical to one of the other two?

Anonymous said...

Look up, I sincerely mean this: thank you for directly answering my question. That is what I tried to get others to do.

Now, at what point would you say in your timeline of conversion would a person have to quit being Muslim? Would it be before or after conversion or precisely at conversion?

By the way, I am a teetotaler. I have NEVER in my life tasted alchohol. I despise what alchohol is and what it does to people. My whole "Lion Crest Inn" thought is more of the Old English (Olde English) theme. The "ale" does not have to be alchololic. In my usage of the word, it isn't. So I hope you can bury that issue forever.

Look up said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Look up said...


In your considering of Hos 2:16, what was your conclusion?

Look up said...


You can save the grand set-up of the order of 4,5,6, they are one simultaneous event.

I can't comment on what you are seeing, for I am not looking with your eyes.

John 1:9 involves ALL light everywhere down to the smallest of God-given thoughts, both to saved and unsaved.

Look up said...


Considering the following how do you see your raillery against those who oppose you fitting in to your repentance?

“The Christian is ready in meekness to instruct them that oppose; but there is not bitterness in his zeal, being sensible that raillery and invective are dishonourable to the cause of truth and quite unsuitable in the mouth of a sinner, who owes all that distinguishes him from the vilest of men to the free grace of God.”

Look up said...

"Now, at what point would you say in your timeline of conversion would a person have to quit being Muslim? Would it be before or after conversion or precisely at conversion?"

He will quit 'believing in Allah' (I call this a practicing Muslim) the moment he believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, HOWEVER, he may continue to visibly appear to be a Muslim including participating their ordinances for quite some time. IE how long before he posted the 95 theses against the RCC was Luther saved?

Your question though reminds me of a lady that D.L. Moody was talking to who was concerned that she might have to give up the theatre if she were to become a Christian. Moody told her that she did not HAVE to give it up, but not to be surprised if she WANTED to. She came back some time later telling him that was exactly the case. She did not ever HAVE to give it up, but she found that there were better things that she could be doing.

LS is based on HAVE TO's, as compared to WANT TO's.

Look up said...

One open question for LS advocates:

Considering his persistant idolatry and associated anti-LS ways, is Solomon saved?

Anonymous said...

Look Up, first, I reject your premise. I wanted to discuss/debate the issue of conversion with Lou on his own site. You were one of the readers. Lou took it upon himself to edit my posts to not include things that needed to be in what I was saying. He would not post when I tried to even rephrase. He then just would not post anything I asked. He then lied and slandered about me and continues to do so (see his current posts). Honestly, I don't care if all three people who read his site think wrongly of me. I know the truth. Even here Lou will not face a challenge. He runs and hides behind his strawman articles. He will not engage but simply will tell people to go through all of his strawman articles to find an answer. I want to engage him but he will not. You might call it railing, but it isn't. He perverts the gospel and unfortunately those 3 people read him. Even on this thread you can see his cowardice. Run and hide and then do a drive by.

Anonymous said...

Look Up, when asked if a person could be saved and a practicing muslim, you seek to redefine what a practicing muslim means. Why must you do this? This is what I am talking about when reading what people actually say. A practicing muslim is not simply someone who believes in allah. He is someone who practices islam.

According to you, a person may be saved yet still pray toward Mecca and give homage to a false god, a false view of Christ, and the rest. If that is what you actually believe, then I am even more sad than before.

Your tag about LS being about have to again demonstrates that you just do not know what you are talking about. I wish you would take the time to be informed.

What is truly amazing is that I specifically asked the question about a person who wanted to be saved but also wanted to cling to idols. That is the exact wording that Lou and Stegall spent 2 full blog posts trying to explain away. Now here you are saying the same thing I did. Stop with the cutesy gotcha phrases. Be willing to actually understand LS first. By doing so, you might be the person who in turn helps others. This could be a valuable service.

Anonymous said...

Look Up, yes Solomon was saved. That you think that disproves LS is yet more evidence that you don't understand it.

Let me be clear:

I am a LS proponent and know Solomon was saved.


What to do now, what to do now


Look up said...


You can reject the premise all you want, even your first post to me here was a railing accusation. Your defense of it shows you to be an unrepentant railer.

Anonymous said...

Okay Look Up, you win. All LS are railers. That alone disproves LS. Ben, give up now. You can't argue with this stuff.

Look up said...

"According to you, a person may be saved yet still pray toward Mecca and give homage to a false god, a false view of Christ, and the rest. If that is what you actually believe, then I am even more sad than before."

It's not just me, it's according to you as well. Solomon paid as much homage to false gods as you list above (except he had a right view of Christ) and you seem willing to count him among saved.

1) Can a Christian arab woman wear a burka? Yes.

2) Can a Christian arab man enter a mosque? Yes.

3) Can a Christian arab kneel down and pray five times a day, even in the direction of Mecca? Yes, out of former habits they may even pray in the direction of Mecca.

What determines a Christian is not what is going on on the outside of them, but rather what is going on on the inside of them.

The answers to the above questions only deal with what is going on on the outside, but then again that is the only place you are looking.

For the inside:

1) If the Christian woman just out of Islam feels more comfortable in a burka, then she is free to wear one.

2) If a formerly muslim arab were to enter a mosque, he does not leave Christ behind. There are many reasons a former muslim could enter a mosque that would appear to make him look like he is 'practicing' Islam however all real practice is of the heart. Likewise if you were to attend a funeral of a friend at an RC church. Entering the building does not you a practicing Muslim/Romanist make.

3) The pattern and or direction of prayer does not define the individual's beliefs, but rather who it is that the person believes they are praying to. That is, in their mind who exactly are they attempting to commune with. I pray a bunch of times a day, does it matter if I happen to be praying in the direction of Mecca? Not at all, what matters is who am I attempting to speak with.

Look up said...


Your lack of repentance when confronted with your own sin really shows what is in your heart. Your religion goes as deep as paint.

What are you going to do about it?

Anonymous said...

Look up, once again you read what you think I said instead of what I said. I have still been talking about a practicing MUSLIM. A burqa, walking into a mosque, and the direction you pray do not in and of themselves define being a muslim. Of course, I NEVER SAID THAT. Stay focused.

Can a person be saved and be a practicing MUSLIM. In other words, can he believe in Jesus and still practice the ISLAMIC faith? My comment about praying toward Mecca would imply that praying toward Mecca was intentionally to honor the Islamic faith. Your understanding of the gospel is so skewed that a person actually NEVER has to stop believing in false gods to be saved. Jesus is one of many gods in a person's live. Jesus isn't Lord; he is buddy.

This is completely about the "inside" of a person. If a man wants Jesus in addition to being a muslim, he does not understand salvation and is still lost. By nature he is still lost. LS is entirely about the inside of a person.

Now, stop cutting and pasting Lou's emails as your own posts.


Now, about Solomon. Tell me when he was saved please. As an old man looking back on his life he penned the words:

"The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person." Ecc 12:13

So Solomon actually proves the LS model.

Here is my question to you:

Will you still perpetuate the error that Solomon disproves LS?

Btw, you accusing me of sin is not the same thing as actually sinning.

Ben said...

My rule of thumb is that when a thread degenerates into an argument over who's a sinner, who's converted, and who can wear a burqa, it's a good sign it's time for the thread to die. Rational, cool-headed interaction over issues seems improbable to emerge at this point. It's done. Thread closed.

Let's play nice next time. That means argue all you want. Stick to the issues. And answer questions. Directly.