John MacArthur’s New Apostate Book: Slave

This review by Bruce Bauer is from: Slave: The Hidden Truth About Your Identity in Christ (Hardcover), by John MacArthur
The back paper jacket to the book caught my attention: “A COVER-UP OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS: Centuries ago, English translators perpetrated a fraud in the New Testament, and it’s been purposely hidden and covered up ever since. Your own Bible is probably included in the cover-up!”

WHAT? Are we to understand that Bible translators for centuries, hundreds if not thousands of highly-trained knowledgeable men of God, have kept a well-guarded secret about the true meaning of the Bible that only NOW Dr. MacArthur will be the one scholar who will bring us the real scoop?

Yes, this is exactly what the book would have us to believe, that the common Greek term “doulos” has been mistranslated in every major version of the Bible since the earliest of printed Bible translations. According to MacArthur, “doulos” should be translated primarily if not exclusively as “slave.” Most modern translators (NASB, NIV, KJV, NKJV, ESV) as well as common Greek-English lexicons interpret the term in a variety of ways as, “servant,” “slave,” “bond servant,” “bondman,” or “attendant.” MacArthur also states on pp. 29-30 that the proper meaning of the Old Testament’s nearest equivalent term, “‘ebed” has also been hidden by modern translators:
“The King James Version, for example, never translates ‘ebed as ‘slave’—opting for ‘servant’ or ‘manservant’ the vast majority of the time. But contrast that with the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Old Testament from before the time of Christ. It translates ‘ebed with forms of ‘doulos,’ or ‘slave’ more than 400 times!”
WHAT?? The LXX translated the Old Testament from Hebrew to Greek, NOT to English! So MacArthur is leaping to an inappropriate conclusion about the meaning of the Hebrew in this case.

My greatest problem with the book was that the author, MacArthur, took the ancient images of slavery and superimposed them onto modern Christianity with the intent to create the notion that our normative relationship with God and our service to God should be that of a slave to a master, instead of that of a child of God responding out of love and gratitude to an omnibenevolent (all loving) Father God. Romans 8:15 says, “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba,” Father.”

With this slave-to-master representation set into place, the author proceeded to promote his standard lordship salvation doctrine dressed in new clothes, slave garb. He even used much of the same argumentation that he used in “The Gospel According to Jesus.” And, once again, he freely denigrated and caricaturized Free Grace theology, especially in chapter five.

Eternal Life For You

171 responses to “John MacArthur’s New Apostate Book: Slave

  1. John MacArthur goes deep into the meaning of the word doulos (slave) which in KJV is usually translated servant. Funny part is the very exact same word is used here where Jesus speaks to His Disciples (who are already clean) and says;

    Henceforth I call you not servants (SLAVE – doulos); for the servant (doulos) knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. John 15:15

  2. To be a believer in our loving Lord Jesus Christ it is a complete mystery to me for someone to attack His very nature by calling us His slaves?!?! What absolutely absurdity! The Word of God doesn’t need anyone’s help in explaining what He means. How extremely prideful one has to be to believe he has some hidden “secret” that our Father wouldn’t divulge to everyone.

    “For God so loved the WORLD….” He gave His Son freely for that love. He gave His Word for that love. He gave us the ability to be called sons and daughters of the Most High. To declare our Heavenly Father views us as His ‘slaves’ and not children? What utter blasphemy against His Holy name.

    1 Corinthians 12: “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”
    This certainly doesn’t sound as though we are ‘slaves’ Mr. MacArthur. It sounds exactly as His Word dictates…..we are His children!

    How far must one stretch the wonderful love our Savior has for us and turn it into such rubbish? Blah! Saddens my heart there are so many who have this view of God.

    Romans 8:37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

    Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God. who loved me and gave himself for me.

    This is my Father. Full of love and compassion towards me as well as ALL His children. We are precious in His sight. He loves me as a child and disciplines me as a child. There is no ‘slave’ in this equation.

  3. James, welcome and thanks for your question.

    Please see link below, under which you will find an interpretation of this passage.

  4. What does these two verses mean if they aren’t referring to Salvation:

    [9] That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    [10] For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

  5. To commenter Barbara: Thank you for your comments regarding John MacArthur’s book “Slave.” We are well aware of John MacArthur’s attacks on the gospel, and have documented them extensively at ExPreacherMan.

    You will find a few of our posts on MacArthur linked below:

  6. d taylor, it may be that the Lord’s purpose in telling the parable of the sower was not to distinguish between believers and unbelievers. However, He did make the unmistakable distinction. Since the Bible is the word of God, I assume He made this unmistakable distinction for a reason.

  7. i was reading a commentary on the parable of the soils the other day from a person who thought the three soils were of people who where saved but he went own to say this below.
    (I do not believe that the Lord’s purpose in telling the parable is to distinguish between believers and unbelievers.)
    I personally believe that this parable is there to help us battle the false teachings that we will face like lordship salvation, etc. the same as with the Gospel of John what a death blow to any false teaching the Gospel of John is
    John 20:30, 31

  8. You guys are right about the hymns.

    When those hymns are combined with contradictory messages from the pulpit – like “grace is free, but you have to count the cost” and contradictory messages from “educational literature” and support for evangelical outreach programs that teach false gospels (like Billy Graham), no wonder there are so many lost and confused people in the churches.

  9. Curtis,

    Right — and some old-timers like “Victory in Jesus” where it says “I repented of my sins and gained the victory.”

    Sad that folks can’t see that lie.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  10. Also be well aware of the music you are listening to. Even some of the hyms are laced with LS .

  11. Very good thread and I didn’t get through all of it yet. God set me free from LS and Calvinism. It was very dramatic what happened to me. I do appreciate the strictness to the clarity of the simple Gospel that the moderators practice here at expreacherman. I can no longer tolerate LS salvation and I am very sensitive to it especially after the damage done that I have seen and the damage I did to myself with it. That circular logic of LS/calvinism can drive a person insane. I am to examine my workmanship practicing Truth. can I wonder off from Truth? , You betcha I would be a fool the believe otherwise.
    I also study and meditate on the KJV I am not a KJV only but I do prefer the master piece the KJV is to me. When I read or hear another version that starts to upset me. It is an early warning to me to watch out.
    Also need to be well aware of the mysticism of the gnostics and of the “radical grace” movement that deny the old nature no longer exists. They have coined phrases as well “radical grace” being one of them. God is Love but You can love souls right into Hell as well.
    I am thankful for the pain I do recognize. Few come out from indoctrination.
    I do not want to see souls tormented over eternal life like I was.
    how do we defend the Gospel? be proclaiming The Gospel and contending for it.


  12. Lordship salvation is like Islam: it substitutes submission for trust.

    Muslims believe that Allah is Lord and that those who don’t submit every area of their lives to him will find their place in hell. Lordship Salvation is not much different. Just substitute Jesus for Allah, and it’s pretty much the same thing.

  13. Holly,

    I think I coined the phrase “Lordship Probation” and thought it would take off like wildfire but I haven’t seen it repeated anywhere else but here.

    It does describe the Lordship requirement folks very well.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  14. Terry – It really came to me, if they think they were just chosen, and they attack “decisionism” (belief), then they have not “come to Him that they might have life”…. The New Pharisees….

  15. Wow Jack… I need to borrow that for the blog 🙂

    He set us free from prison, the Savior, not the probation officer…

    Love that truth…

  16. Terry N, (we have several Terrys)

    We appreciate your comment and discernment.

    There are many folks who come to ExP with horror stories of having been trapped in the lie of works salvation (LS and Calvinism).. but were freed through God’s Grace by trusting Jesus Christ alone as Savior. (The Savior is Who He is — not a probation officer).

    We look forward to your future comments.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  17. Thank you Jack & Holly for your posts on this much needed topic!
    People are in bondage to this teaching & missing the freedom to enjoy the Grace that comes with trusting in Jesus alone for everything !! They will never rest in Jesus & what he has done for them. Jesus said himself in John 19:30 “it is Finished! ” Done Paid in Full! They always feel like they must work harder, or just questioning their Salvation daily saying “have I committed that sin today that takes me away from being saved! I better examine myself to see if I’m in the Faith or should I say still Saved!” Oh I never was saved if I’m doing this or that” Wow! what bondage!
    @ Holly I like what you said” The new Pharisees” A good name for them indeed!

  18. You know what disturbed me about Macarthur, his testimony doesn’t really include remembering believing, he just kind of always “was”. I just think you all need to write another article, “Calvinists, the new Pharisees”.

    Just like the Pharisees of old, they trusted that they were the “elect” and children of Abraham… but they would not come to Him, that they might have life. So thankful for the years and years and experience and I am sure tears that has gone into warning others of these things.

    God bless you all, I appreciate you, and I pray for you all, may He account fruit and harvest to you all, for His kingdom and His glory.

  19. Thanks Holly,

    If MacArthur and other proponents of LS, Chan, Washer, Sproul, Piper, et al actually believe what they preach, we pray they themselves will make that one-time decision to trust Jesus Christ alone as Savior — and all of their followers.

    We here at ExP really appreciate your sharing our articles on FB, your discernment and zeal for the simplicity that is salvation in Christ Jesus alone.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  20. This is a wonderful post John and Jack…. I do hope that people will see the simplicity that is in Christ and trust the Good News of what HE has done, not any works of righteousness that WE can do…

  21. Phil,

    The following is a pretty good explanation of Romans 10:9-10, written by Larry Moyer, with which I agree. One is justified (declared not guilty) by Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

    “Romans 10:9-10 is many times used to support the misconception that if you don’t confess Christ publicly, you can’t be saved. We read “ … that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Above all else, it’s worth noting that the word righteousness in Romans 10:10 is a noun form of the verb translated “justify.” Romans 5:1 reads, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Justified here means “to be declared righteous.” Therefore, the meaning of the first part of Romans 10:10 is, “ … with the heart man believes and is justified before God.” But confession in Romans 10:9-10 is a part of what’s necessary to live a victorious Christian life. The context is arguing that one has to be willing to confess Him publicly in order to triumph over sin…

    Regardless, the passage itself clearly says that believing is what justifies a person before God. A public confession of Christ is very important, but the importance is not related to our eternal salvation. Upon trusting Christ, we receive His gift of eternal life. By confessing Christ consistently and unashamedly, we experience victory over sin and gain eternal reward when we see the Savior face-to-face.”

    Regarding 1 Corinthians 12:3 – I do not interpret this to mean that someone must perform any work of righteousness (such as public confession of Christ) in order to be saved.

    You said: “By rejecting the lordship of Jesus in salvation you imply that it’s OK for man to hang onto his imaginary sovereignty and individualism while being a disciple.”

    My comment: Phil, this seems like a loaded question. I do not reject the Lordship of Jesus in salvation. In fact, I would assert that an understanding and belief in Christ’s deity is essential to salvation. Following is a an excellent excerpt from Clear Gospel Campaign that addresses your question quite well:

    “The fact that the divinity of Jesus is explicitly identified as an element of saving faith throughout Scripture should inform a theologian as to a logical interpretation of the term “Lord” in conjunction with eternal salvation. And the existence of over 160 verses of Scripture that declare salvation is by faith alone, and countless verses that further declare that salvation is not by the works of the law, should further inform even the most callow theologian that the call to obedience is expressly not a demand placed on man in exchange for eternal life.”

    You asked: “Is Jesus not the King of King and Lord of Lords?”

    My comment: Yes! See above.

    You asked: “Did Jesus not command his followers to die to themselves and to the world?”

    My comment: Yes! But, He never said that following Him nor dying to yourself nor dying to the world would result in salvation. The Bible does say, in many places, that salvation is by Grace through faith in Christ. Not of works – which following Christ or dying to yourself and to the world would entail.

    You said: “Jesus taught that following him is equivalent to a death sentence (Matt 16:24).”

    My comment: Again, taking up one’s cross and following Jesus will not result in salvation. Only trusting in Christ – and Christ alone – will result in salvation.

    Phil, your concluding question was: “What is your view of the lordship of Jesus Christ?”

    My view of Jesus Christ is that He is Lord!

    Now, I have some questions for you to consider:

    Phil, do you have assurance of salvation? If so, on what do you base your assurance? Is it on being a faithful follower of Jesus? Are you the most faithful follower of Jesus? If not, why not? Are you in the top 10%? How will you ever know where the cutoff point is? What if you become unfaithful next year and stay that way? Will it prove you were never saved?

    The answers to the above questions may help you to answer my final question:

    Phil, have you ever trusted in Christ as your Savior? Or, are you trusting in your walk with the Lord as your savior?

    Oooops, when I posted this comment, I neglected to give our friend John the credit. Thanks, John!!! (Jack)

  22. Hello,

    Question, If you reject “Lordship” teaching how do you deal with Rom 10:9-10 and 1 Cor 12:3? By rejecting the lordship of Jesus in salvation you imply that it’s OK for man to hang onto his imaginary sovereignty and individualism while being a disciple. Is Jesus not the King of Kings and Lord of Lords? Did Jesus not command his followers to die to themselves and to the world? Jesus taught that following him is equivalent to a death sentence (Matt 16:24). What is your view of the lordship of Jesus Christ?


  23. “and a HUGE following”

    MacArthur will never have as huge a following as any pope, and of course we all know what that is all about. Actually the two of them aren’t terribly far from one another if you just look at the LS assumptions and leave everything else out. But anyway, yes, the huge following is a sign of either a huge move of God (a la Peter and Paul in Acts), or it’s the sign of a huge false teacher.

  24. Reblogged this on Redeemingmoments and commented:
    I think more and more, people need to understand, that we have to prove all things, and whether John Macarthur is a Renowned Theologian, has a Bible with his name or a bit initial “M” across the front, 150+ books and a HUGE following, does not make his Lordship teachings and doctrines of grace (TULIP) sound…

  25. Terry,

    Welcome back. Your question is one often discussed here. You are right about V 15 saying that it applies to false teachers:

    Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Matthew 7:15

    We have commented frequently about these verses. Check these out:

    There are many more but these should suffice.

    “Fruit” of a Christian can be good and the fruit of a false teacher is generally always unscriptural and bad as your text verse says.

    For a believer in Jesus Christ this and many more verses apply. Fruit = benefit:

    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Galatians 5:22

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  26. Wow! I just love this post. Thank you Jesus for your Truth!
    Thank you also for your servants who teach your Word in love by your Grace & Mercy! You guys have touched some topics that are much needed today. You also mention some men of whom I listened to when I first was saved over 30 years ago like John MacArthur, Chuck Swindoll, & J. Vernon McGee. Wow, I had to call my Sister & ask her what she thought of the Lordship teaching etc. It was then brought to my attention that the radio station in Maryland that we listen to, took MacArthur off because of his teaching on Lordship. I totally did not understand why because I really liked listening to him. Thank God for the Holy Spirit who opens our eyes to error!
    I know what was meant by this false doctrine/ teaching being spread because before my eyes were opened I was telling others that Jesus had to be Lord first & then Savior! Wow, missed the part about Grace! The sad part was for some reason I wasn’t convinced of it. I knew I had trusted the finished work of Christ on the Cross, His Burial, His Resurrection & by having accepted this (the Gospel) I was saved. Grace & not by any merit of my own! Hallelujah Thank You Jesus! Now 30 years later it all is clear to me. All of you just placed a title to what I was hearing & was accepting.@ Shan welcome! I’m praying for the Holy Spirit to give the increase. The seed has been planted! Please give us a Praise report. 🙂

    Now I have a question for Jack. 🙂 What is your take/ view on someone using Matthew 7:16-20 to say a person is not saved. They say because they are not in church, have no visible fruit, etc. I said if you read verse 15 in content of what is being said it was pertaining to a false teacher. But they argue & even come right out & say he or she is not saved. I guess the question is what exactly is fruit? I hope I asked this correctly. I asked Jack but please anyone can answer. 🙂

    Thank you

  27. Bonhoeffer… they actually quote Bonhoeffer, a man who did not believe in a literal resurrection, questioned the deity of Christ, the virgin birth, called much of the Bible a myth, and they quote him as a theological source? Wow….

  28. Bruce, thank you, I actually read that awhile back, and did not remember it was about the book itself, but definitely the terminology they use in their arguments, I’m going to re-read, thanks.

  29. Hi Holly,

    Jack did the post on my review of MacArthur’s book “Slave.” The review is also at Amazon. Regarding the book, “The Gospel According to Jesus,” yes, I wrote a review of the book for Amazon (2 Stars, I believe). Also, my article for Free Grace Alliance called, “Grace Baiting,” was largely a response to MacArthur’s book, “The Gospel According to Jesus,” but the article covered more ground than the book alone. Here is the article link to FGA:

    Click to access baiting.pdf

  30. Bruce, how did I miss that you did this post? Now I’m going to look to see if you critiqued his book, “The Gospel according to Jesus”…

  31. Shan, learning about who Jesus is, and what He did for us is a good start to knowing what you believe. What all do you know about Jesus, His Word, do you have an understanding of His death in our place for our sin, and His resurrection? Do you know that He is God our Savior?

    How can we help? I am praying with John that you will come to know that He specifically died for you to pay the penalty (God’s wrath) for your sin. That He shed His blood, died and rose again, for each and every sin you have ever committed, are committing and will commit in the future. And like John said, He offers a free gift of salvation which comes because of His grace, through your faith in Him. You cannot “do” anything other than believe on Him.

    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Eph 2:8-9

    To have a close walk and good fellowship with Him later, spending time with Him in His Word is so important, and a blessing. When someone loves someone so much they give their life in their place, trust me, you want to get to know that great of a love.

    If you have any questions, let us know. Have you read the book of John in the Bible?

  32. Shan, welcome!

    I have prayed for you. Specifically, that you would believe God’s word that salvation is available as a gift through faith in Christ.

    Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

  33. Shan,

    Thanks for visiting and commenting. I pray you are seriously searching for answers.

    There are many, many Bible verses and texts which explain God’s salvation by Grace alone through Faith alone in Jesus Christ alone:

    Acts 16:31
    And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

    John 3:16-18
    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
    He that believeth on him [Jesus] is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    If you need further convincing, please read our post in the header above which is full of scripture “Eternal Life For You” at:

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  34. Jack,

    So how can I get saved? How do I become a child of God? Please tell me how based on what the Bible says. Thank you.


  35. Interesting peek behind the scenes, Sue, with which I can identify to a somewhat lesser degree. A painful wake-up call, yes, but hopefully useful to make us wiser (Rom. 8:28).

  36. Expected Imminently

    I haven’t met MacArthur, so I cannot offer an opinion; but I do know his type. For these, money equals security for him and his family’s future; so the trial of his faith trusting God to meet all needs is lessened. Not to appear ‘flashy’ they portray the image of one struggling to make ends meet. Exposing just enough to remain comfortable while maintaining an air of respectability.

    One I knew well could easily afford top of the range cars, but he plumped for ‘average’ so people wouldn’t point the finger at his wealth being greater than theirs (which it was). In the office were many, money bags of uncounted cash, just left lying around; once the cheques were banked he had no urgent need to use it. Much was passed on to his family members to set up businesses, buy homes, vehicles, holidays and insurances. On the surface, it wasn’t apparent how wealthy he was so people continued to give to the Lord – or so they thought.

    Certainly he liked the power and authority it gave him with his adoring public who hung on his every word. We became aware how partial he was to plagiarism to give himself an edge. If it was shown to be not quite Biblical, he was a master wordsmith and would twist, weave and manipulate verses around it to fool the Biblically illiterate which included Pastors.

    Waking up to that was incredibly painful. It’s horrible to realise that people you loved and trusted were just ‘users’ furthering their fleshly empire of hay, wood and stubble. 😦


  37. Interesting question. I can only come up with two reasons: power and money. But, that’s just me. I’m $ure JMac i$ totally $incere 😉 .

  38. Rob Ramcharan

    I alluded to it earlier, but one possible reason for going into preaching and ministry might be, “Beats working.”

  39. Hi Rob.

    I, too, have asked that question of Calvinists, “Why bother?” I usually put it like this, “So, if God has it all decided who’s going to heaven and and who’s going to hell, and there is absolutely nothing that the individual can do about it, then why have missions?” To date, I have never received a satisfactory answer to that question. The usual response is, “Well Christ commanded it in the Great Commission.” But that makes no sense at all, for why would Christ command people to do something that could have absolutely no efficacious results.

  40. Rob Ramcharan

    So, that still leaves the question of “Why does he bother?”
    I would hate to think that it has to do with the preference for sitting-down intellectual activity over anything that would be recognizable as work, or that teaching a large congregation and media audience results in a more comfortable lifestyle than, say, running a homeless shelter. But who can tell?
    What is really disturbing is how many people find his doctrines attractive.

  41. Welcome Rob R. Thanks for joining us today.

    You made the statement, “But what bothers me most about John MacArthur is that his aggressive insistence on doctrines that are not supported by the text is rendered irrelevant by his equally aggressive hyper-Calvinism. Preaching the Gospel is a useless thing if everyone is already either saved or lost by the time the evangelist shows up.”

    You are so right-on-the-money Rob! I found John MacArthur’s book “Slave” (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2010) and his abundant utilization of “slave” imagery all to serve as his platform for pushing his hyper-calvinist agenda. Listen to just a few quotations from the book and you’ll get the picture: “But unbelievers are not just infected by sin; they are eslaved by it. . . . The unbeliever is wholly corrupted by the bondage of his fallen condition and utterly unable to free himself from it” (page 121). MacArthur continues, “all sinners are completely unable to change their fallen nature or to rescue themselves from sin and divine judgment. They can neither initiate nor accomplish any aspect of their redemption. . . . As slaves to sin, all unbelievers are hostile toward God and unable to please Him in any respect. Their total inability [typical hyper-calvinist lingo] is underscored by the fact that they are not just bound to sin; they are also blinded by sin and dead in it. . . . Like Lazarus lying motionless in the tomb, the unredeemed soul remains lifeless until the voice of God commands it, ‘Come forth!’ ” (pages 122-123)
    He goes on, “Until God miraculously intervenes, they remain spiritually dead, helplessly enslaved to the power and corruption of sin” (page 124).

    MacArthur carefully avoids the myriad of verses that tell of God’s desire that ALL men would be saved and of God’s call for the unbeliever to come to Christ, trusting in him alone for salvation by grace alone through faith alone (e.g. Ephesians 2:8-9; Acts 16:30-31; John 3:16-18; 1 Timothy 2:3-4; John 6:40, 47, 51; John 11:25-26; John 14:6; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 John 5:1, 11-12; Romans 4:5; Galatians 3:26; Matthew 23:37).

  42. Rob Ramcharan

    John MacArthur has a pattern of playing fast and loose with Scripture. One example is in his sermon series, “The Murder of Jesus Christ”. He devotes considerable attention to the procedural safeguards employed by the ancient Jews to ensure that no innocent person was executed for a capital crime, but overlooks the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7:54) or the incident when Jesus was nearly stoned by the people of Nazareth (Luke 4:28). Neither of these accounts include the kind of elaborate ritual that MacArthur says was necessary before a criminal could be executed. The same is true of the death of John the Baptist’s (Matthew 14:10) Moreover, when Jesus was finally handed over to Pilate for execution, the Jewish religious authorities said “we have no law to put a man to death” (John 18:31). Pilate, who would have been in a position to know, did not disagree.
    But what bothers me most about John MacArthur is that his aggressive insistence on doctrines that are not supported by the text is rendered irrelevant by his equally aggressive hyper-Calvinism. Preaching the Gospel is a useless thing if everyone is already either saved or lost by the time the evangelist shows up. If a person is elect, believing incorrect doctrine cannot keep him out of heaven. If he is not, believing correct doctrine won’t get him in. Behavior doesn’t matter either, for the same reasons. It is a doctrine of either self-congratulation or despair, and I think that like all the other false teachers, John MacArthur is in for some surprises at the Grand Arraignment.

  43. Holly,

    Thanks for your heads up.. Stuff can just slip through, can’t it?.

    We have written much about Swindoll, none of it pleasing to him, no doubt. I posted a comment in January 2011:

    In that comment I quoted someone — maybe you, about Swindoll’s error. A search of “swindoll” in our ExP search box turns up much info detrimental to Chuck.

    Thanks again for your friendship and due diligence.

    In Jesus eternally, Jack

  44. I don’t know if the recommended reading comes from the blog or others, just a mention that Chuck Swindoll uses “the Message” and unfortunately doesn’t respond about his usage of this new age paraphrase that is so awful. Can you imagine the God of GREEN HOPE? Or has anyone ever heard of a light-seed? Googling it, I found a pretty interesting answer. Or “as above so below” replacing “heaven and earth” in the Lord’s prayer?

    There is no excuse for men of God to use this for any reason. Israel for example, is removed about 600 or so times from the Word. Gospel is removed all but once, where evidently they understand it enough to say Gospel worker, but not the word Gospel. Interestingly enough, it is replaced by “the message”….

  45. Note:
    Just in case some of you may not have subscribed to our posts, see our new one by our friend John:
    You May Be A Lordship Salvationist — IF..

    A great article,
    In Christ eternally, Jack

  46. Austen,

    Thanks for those verses — however most folks who are so steeped in LS will pay no attention or twist them..

    Yet God’s Word is what we must use to convince the gainsayers.. and those are good ones. So we:

    Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 2 Timothy 4:2

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  47. Here are some verses that have been helpful to me when I was mired in the teachings of Lordship Salvation.

    Matthew 11:28-30:

    “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” <- this one is right from the Gospel that they love to pervert too.

    And in direct contradiction to John MacArthur, John 15:15:

    "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you."

    And John 8:36:

    "So if the Son sets you FREE, you will be FREE indeed."

    As well as Galatians 5:13-14:

    "You, my brothers, were called to be FREE. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself."

    And my favorite for those who like to scream about doing the commandments of God, 1 John 3:23:

    "And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us."

  48. Steve Meikle

    Amazing!!! I did not know that MacArthur had written such a book. The thing is I am coming, by God’s Grace, to the exact opposite of poor Mac: Namely: THERE ARE NO SLAVES IN HIS KINGDOM. For to modern men like us the word slave means only a whipped and driven beast of burden like the galley slaves of Rome or the black plantation slaves of the Old American antebelium South.

    We are servants, not slaves; even if the Greek did not distinguish the two (just as fear and reverence were the same word in Hebrew Greek and Old English, but are different things). Moreover even if we are servants then it is a family business, so to speak and we are to be his loving children, delighting in the Father’s Love. Even though I worship God Almighty has Emperor and Tsar of Heaven, and Mighty Autocrat, (this is how He started to set me free from legalism, believe it or not – there is a testimony here if any are interested) I remember that Tsar Alexander III of all the Russias delighted to play with his children on all fours under his work desk. This stern Emperor was a wonderful father. We are not merely subjects and slaves of the Tsar of Heaven, but his children. I am a Russian History buff and God has given me this image to help me understand

    Woe to MacArthur. I was so fearful of Lordship Salvation that I did not study it closely, but I see that he really is apostate

  49. Hi Jason,

    Thanks for the warnings about Hanegraaff. I am saddened by many of his recent positions, as you have so clearly outlined. I remember when he first took over the leadership of CRI, possibly 25 years ago, he spoke out so clearly against the cults and against word-faith teaching. Too bad that he has gone astray in his theology in other areas.

    I am sorry that the lordship faith teachers have caused you to have some struggles in the area of assurance of salvation. You are not alone. I have read a number of testimonies of individuals whose assurance of salvation was decimated by reading Francis Chan’s unbiblical lordship salvation book “Crazy Love.” If I may be of encouragement to you, Jason, I have found John 10:27-30 to be very helpful to me personally:
    “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.”

    Blessings friend,


  50. I was thinking of Hanegraaff. I don’t see anything wrong about the book itself. It was written in response to the Prayer of Jabez, which seemed to the mind of its critics to be promoting selfish prayer. And I agreed with the author that the prayer of Jabez, while itself Biblical, is not the model prayer; the one given by Jesus is. One point that got my attention was that during Jesus day, it was a radical departure from Jewish tradition to teach that believers could be called sons of God and could address God as Father.

    I don’t agree with Hanegraaff’s amillennialism and replacement theology or his support for the two-state solution for Israel. I don’t agree with the way he mischaracterizes dispensationalists, especially after having had one as a guest on his program (Norman Geisler) and then having attacked the guest’s own presentation of that theology in a rather backhanded way. He is also a good friend of MacArthur’s and agrees with some of his Lorship sympathies. For example, Hank seems to agree with MacArthur’s characterization of free grace as “easy believism”, even while he pays lip service to Charles Stanley. For awhile, I myself bought into it, and it took me to read Bob Wilkin’s materials to snap out of it. And now I realize that Wilkin has his own problems.

    I have felt that my simple beliefs were mischaracterized by that phrase “easy believism”, while the other part of me felt convicted that the critics were right. Assurance has been a great struggle for me, especially as I become more aware of the requirements of the law and the Christian’s calling for holiness. But I have always wanted to keep the simplicity of the gospel in perspective, and yet I have still failed. I have still managed to allow myself to be confused with all the chatter.

  51. Welcome Jason:

    To which book are you referring, Hemphill or Hanegraaff? And what specifically did you like about that book?

    I agree with you that the God of the Bible is a loving Father, NOT a slavemaster. I see this concept so clearly in the parable of the lost son in which the father ran to the son with open arms to welcome him home. Remember, the son was a son when he first lived with the father; he was still a son when he went to the far-off land; and he remained a son when he returned to the father (a clear picture of the PERMANENCY of eternal life—John 10:27-29). MacArthur’s teaching of the “slave” concept is merely his latest attempt to promote the unbiblical concept of lordship salvation.

  52. The slave book treats you like a child slave. I prefer “The Prayer of Jesus”. It presents God as a loving father. The Lord’s prayer has been part of church liturgy centuries. It has even made its way into the Rosary. This is one thing the churches have gotten right. The same thing cannot be said of the slave concept.

  53. Bryan,

    Did you even read the earlier parts of this discussion? Have you ever read John 15:13-15? There, Jesus said that we were no longer servants/slaves—he now calls us friends. My review made MacArthur’s Calvinist/lordship salvation agenda quite evident. MacArthur’s arbitrary wholesale use of the English term “slave” in oposition to centuries of biblical scholarship was unmistakeably a platform to spout his Calvinist/lordship faith rhetoric. I did indeed read the entire book; the second half in particular strongly pushes the Calvinist “TULIP” agenda. I’ll give you the opening section of my review and I also highly recommend that you look at some of the One Star and Two Star reviews of the book “Slave” on Amazon if you truly want to examine a balanced look at the book.

    Here’s the opening of my review:
    WHAT? Are we to understand that Bible translators for centuries, hundreds if not thousands of highly-trained knowledgeable men of God, have kept a well-guarded secret about the true meaning of the Bible that only NOW Dr. MacArthur will be the one scholar who will bring us the real scoop?

    Yes, this is exactly what the book would have us to believe, that the common Greek term “doulos” has been mistranslated in every major version of the Bible since the earliest of printed Bible translations. According to MacArthur, “doulos” should be translated primarily if not exclusively as “slave.” Most modern translators (NASB, NIV, KJV, NKJV, ESV) as well as common Greek-English lexicons interpret the term in a variety of ways as, “servant,” “slave,” “bond servant,” “bondman,” or “attendant.” MacArthur also states on pp. 29-30 that the proper meaning of the Old Testament’s nearest equivalent term, “‘ebed” has also been hidden by modern translators:
    “The King James Version, for example, never translates ‘ebed as ‘slave’—opting for ‘servant’ or ‘manservant’ the vast majority of the time. But contrast that with the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Old Testament from before the time of Christ. It translates ‘ebed with forms of ‘doulos,’ or ‘slave’ more than 400 times!”
    WHAT?? The LXX translated the Old Testament from Hebrew to Greek, NOT to English! So MacArthur is leaping to an inappropriate conclusion about the meaning of the Hebrew in this case.

  54. You didn’t read the book. He doesn’t by any means skirt the fact that we ARE also sons, brothers and friends. But we ARE also slaves. By the way, if you choose to play down that fact in witnessing, you are not preaching 100% of the truth and are denying an essential truth in the gospel.

  55. Bruce,

    Interesting thoughts about “Slave.” I have not and will not read the book but I did glance at the Amazon stuff. My tired old eye could not take much of it.
    Naturally the Calvinist in John MacArthur would lead him to think that “doulos” would, to him, mean only “involuntary slave.”
    Since they say believers are chosen for salvation (not their voluntary choice), then if they consider themselves a believer who has been chosen to believe and are not an involuntary slave to Jesus, then they must not be saved. Would make perfect sense to an LS/Calvinist devotee.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  56. Bruce-

    Thanks for the invite. I have written a couple of reviews for a few things but not much. I wrote a review for Lou Martuneac’s book, for instance. Someone LS commented against my review but I couldn’t make heads or tails of what he was saying. Something about Finney. I have no idea where that came from. I think Lou answered him.

    I will probably not participate in the melee as I have not read Slave. I may go over and have a looksee, though.


  57. Jan: I have really appreciated your knowledge and insights on the LS debate on various discussion boards. I don’t know whether you participate on Amazon, but in case you do, things are getting a bit heated on some of the “Slave” reviews. Perhaps you would want to weigh in there.

    I have learned much from wonderful people of grace like you and Pastor Jack.
    Thanks again!

  58. Thanks Pastor Jack and Jan: Your comments were most helpful.

  59. As I said in one of my articles, this type of mean-spiritedness is seen occasionally from the free grace side, but it seems to flow out wholesale from the lordship camp.


    This is the overwhelmingly common experience of everyone I have encountered who holds to the FG gospel and defends it.

    It has also been observed by some of those whom I have linked to as well. The Lutheran fellow has done several videos on the bad behavior he sees from Christians who promote LS on You Tube, and one on the fruit of the flesh, which comes from living under the principle of law. He also has one called “Christian Gotcha” rebuking the Christians who use these tactics.

    In the comments on those vids there are atheists who are also fully cognizant of these incongruities and they are ever ready to take advantage of it. The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of this failure to use common decency in debate.

    On a different front, there is another approach used for those who seem to be searching out the issues. They are spoken to softly, but the words are clearly designed to leave a certain impression with them. To me it seems like they are being mentally groomed. The words are woven together in such a way as to form a sort of mental web. Carefully chosen words and phrasing are placed just so. In other words, propaganda.

    I saw a forum conversation once where a searcher asked about John MacArthur because she read something of his and was made to feel like maybe she wasn’t saved after all even though she had before been very sure she knew Jesus- the usual confusion he causes. This caused her great distress so she reached out to the people on the board about it. There were several helpful responses and then a MacArthurphile entered the conversation. His words were like bread crumbs luring this seeker to his desired destination, yet all the while he made it seem like he wasn’t being deliberate. But to me it sure seemed calculated and in some places manufactured and definitely practiced. This was not his first conversation of this kind, I’m sure. He played her like a fiddle.

    I get the same impression from the drive-by comment from Jon upstream. I really find it hard to believe he was completely unaware of this issue until he happened to encounter this blog (and how did that happen, anyway?). For someone supposedly so ignorant of the issue at hand, his answer sure seemed to be honed to fit. And again with that practiced, calculated propaganda tailor made to simultaneously discredit the FG view (while never actually addressing it directly) and bolster the LS view. Jack answered it well, and much more gracefully than I would have.

    But that silky smooth talk is very prevalent with them. Unless they decide that you need to be torn apart.


  60. Thanks Bruce,

    I certainly appreciate your comments and especially your allowing me to publish some of your writings which has been to our benefit.

    Keep up the great work for our Savior and please let me know when you write another and, with your permission, I will put it on my Blog. As you may realize, some folks have subscribed to the Blog and are notified when a new article is published. That is a great feature of my WordPress Blog host — just a click away.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  61. Hi Pastor Jack:

    This blog has been very educational and insightful and for the most part very civil—thanks to all. I trust that many will benefit from reading it. Pastor Jack, two years ago when I first began to comment on your blogs you gave me a warning that I have personally verified as being exactly on the money. You said: “The answer to your last question is ‘Yes.’ Generally, LS folks are very elitist and judgmental of those of us who preach salvation by faith in Christ alone — not by works of merit.” Over the past couple of years of article writing and blogging from a grace perspective (without engaging in name calling or vituperation) about the dangers of LS teaching, I have been blasted by the lordship/extreme Calvinist camp with some of the most un-Christianlike comments coming from professed Christians. Pejoratives strung together are the common fare. Honest logical dialog is replaced with sophistry, arrogance, obviating and condescension. As I said in one of my articles, this type of mean-spiritedness is seen occasionally from the free grace side, but it seems to flow out wholesale from the lordship camp. So a civil discussion is always a breath of fresh air.

  62. just don’t wait so long as to be pickled. 😉

    Hehehe. 🙂


  63. Thanks JanH, Pearl, Nathaniel and everyone else in this discussion,

    After all if we were perfect we would not need a Savior, and I know from personal experience, I am not anywhere near perfect, except in Christ:
    Philippians 3:9
    And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:”

    And as for the need for Paul’s presence, we have his writings, inspired by God’s Holy Spirit.. and I believe he has spoken against the theory of Lordship Salvation when he penned, “For by grace are you saved..” (no works required before or after for salvation). And as for the theory of Replacement Theology, he an others penned that there is NO replacement for Israel!
    Jan, you said, “trust that He will lead me in the way that I should go.” We know that for a fact because in John 16:13 Christ said:
    “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: …” God’s Holy Spirit has come and He indwells every believer and guides each of us 24/7. We know the guiding is there but our problem is following which is not always quite so clear cut.. It does become easier, however, as we “marinate” (good word), just don’t wait so long as to be pickled. 😉
    I have thoroughly enjoyed this civil and enlightened Bible discussion from a dispensational point of view and really appreciate you folks.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  64. Yep. “Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it.” I Thes. 5:24

    Thanks, Jan.

  65. Pearl-

    I can’t tell you how many times I have wished that Paul was still here so I could ask him questions! How I wish he could be called in to settle this Lordship question and the replacement theology issue and everything else.

    It is frustrating for sure. At that point I just have to remember that we are His workmanship and He will be faithful to complete what He began. I try not to worry but trust that He will lead me in the way that I should go. If I get really bogged down I will just stop for a while and let things “marinate.” Sometimes truths have to be grown into, if you know what I mean, and we just have to be patient and wait for Him to cause the growth.


  66. Hi Jack and Jan (and Nathaniel),

    I followed the links, Jan, and spent quite a few hours reading them last night. I found several teachers, whose teachings I have subscribed to, on the list of Polemic Persons. Needless to say, my feathers are somewhat ruffled, but I am more than willing to be shown where my thinking might be askew. Of these teachers, Keswick was the common denominator. However, reading his views on same, he didn’t completely dismiss Keswick, but did touch on some rather interesting points. I’ve not finished this part yet.

    Also, I’m finding his explanations on Arminianism and Calvinism the most thorough I’ve seen yet. I’m learning more here than anywhere else to date. Each camp has truth, but taken to the extreme, appears to dabble in heresy.

    Truly, there are too many voices. There is a right way, and obviously that right way can’t be different for each Christian. That’s absurd! And yet, how many denominations are there? And even in this man, I must be cautious. After all, he, too, is just a man.

    Can you tell I’m frustrated?

    “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” Eph. 4:11-16

  67. JanH,

    I believe Stanford was the first person I read (many years ago) who delineated and exposed the error of the MacArthurism/Lordship message.
    It was a breath of fresh air.
    Some of my family has been fooled by Calvinism for years (I was raised in and disgusted by Calvinism until I became an atheist and rebelled – thankfully I trusted Christ much later at age 35). I could see where Calvinism and MacArthurism arrived, in different ways, to similar conclusions. It was a “Eureka” moment for me. Thanks again, JanH, for your excellent Bible help.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  68. Jack-
    I have benefited greatly from Stanford’s teachings. I love his Hungry Heart devotional and have read any number of times just about everything he has on all these issues. The more I study these issues, the more I see what he means in his writings, and the more I find myself saying, “Yup! He’s nailed it again!”. 🙂


  69. Thanks JanH,

    Miles Stanford is a reliable Biblical scholar.. and really “tells it like it is.”
    Good reference for Nathaniel.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  70. Nathaniel,

    It is wonderful to see that you have escaped and been set free from the false religion and bondage of Pentecostalism. Unfortunately both that religion and MacArthurism have some truth but just enough poison to make them dangerous.
    I understand your distress and empathize with you. All believers must remember that when we see error in a preacher or church, we must realize that could very well be any one of us. Your study of the Bible, from a Dispensational, contextual perspective is critical to keeping yourself in Bible truth. Unless we cleave to the pure simple Gospel message of God’s Grace — anyone is capable of error.
    Even the Children of Israel, God’s privileged People of Promise, who were given the Law and the Prophets strayed from truth on more than one occasion. For instance here is one:
    Judges 8:33 “And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baalim, and made Baal-berith their god.”
    Judges 10:10
    And the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, saying, We have sinned against thee, both because we have forsaken our God, and also served Baalim.”
    But later they saw their error, changed their minds and served the Lord Who brought them out of Egypt:
    1 Samuel 12:10 “And they cried unto the Lord, and said, We have sinned, because we have forsaken the Lord, and have served Baalim and Ashtaroth: but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve thee.”
    1 Samuel 7:4 “Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth, and served the Lord only.”

    A believer can easily stray from Truth, but wise ones recognize it by God’s Word, confess/acknowledge it to the Lord (1 John 1:9) and begin again with the Truth.

    MacArthur has been called to task about his error but keeps pushing it, obviously thinking carnality can be cured by changing the Gospel and mixing God’s Grace with man’s works. That is a deadly, poisonous mixture.
    Nathaniel, we rejoice and shed tears of Joy with us in your new found Bible knowledge and wisdom. Be a Berean in your studies. What is a Berean?
    Acts 17:10-11
    “And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble [honorable] than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so..</b?"

    Nathaniel, we pray with you that you will take what we and others say and search the Scriptures whether those things are so.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  71. Nathaniel-

    I forgot to mention that Miles Stanford dealt with John MacArthur specifically. His writings may help you understand some of the issues that have been raised concerning him. The following link will take you to a page with a picture of a stack of books. Move your cursor over the books and choose “Polemic-Persons.” Go down to “M” and you will see John MacArthur’s name. That will call up links to several papers Stanford has written on him:


  72. Nathaniel-

    That is wonderful that you were helped out of the charismatic error. I am glad John MacArthur was helpful to you in that. Unfortunately, it is often the case these days that while a teacher may be helpful in one area, he may also be harmful in another. As always, the Holy Spirit is the final arbiter of disputes and as you seek God’s truth on doctrine He is sure to lead you. One reason I think He allows teachers to be wrong in one area or another is so that we will not make idols out of them nor put our trust in them, but in the Lord.

    Since the charismatic teaching was the issue for you, you may be interested in an online booklet called The Line Drawn by Miles Stanford. He disagrees with MacArthur on the issues we are discussing here, but would agree that the charismatic teaching is wrong. He writes from a consistently Dispensational perspective and may or may not say much the same thing as MacArthur on that (I haven’t read MacArthur’s works on the charismatics). He also has writings on Lordship Salvation at You can find a link to the LS articles on the right side of the home page. Since he addresses both Lordship Salvation and the charismatic error, you may perhaps find some balance and clarification by reading on both issues there.

    Here is the link to The Line Drawn, if you want to read it:


  73. Thank you very Much. Im a bit saddened because I was trapped in pentescostal cults for 5 years and got out only a year and half ago. It was through the ministry of John Macarthur that I first heard bible expository teaching. It was like a breath of fresh air. The churches i went to never taught through the bible. John mac’s teaching on charismatics freed me from experiential, mystical christianity. Now to hear that he may not be right after he has helped me so much brings tears to my eyes. I dont know who to trust. How could someone who knows so much an seem to love Christ and his word so much be so wrong?

  74. Thanks JanH,

    Your post was moderated because any comment with more than one link goes to moderation automatically. Not a problem — just takes time for me to catch up with it.

    Though I am not completely familiar with all of your list, it looks great.. and should give Nathaniel plenty of study materials..

    But JanH’s statement “for the most part” is a good warning, because as with any recommendations, be a Berean, listen to/read to what they say — and then check out what they say by Scripture in context.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  75. Here are some other ones that are very good also:

    William R. Newell, Romans Verse by Verse

    Samuel Ridout, William Kelly, C H Macintosh. William Kelly has done a full exposition of every book of the Bible and is, for the most part, very good. His expositions are available at this site, as are the works of these other authors:

    Lewis Sperry Chafer

    These can all be read online for free.

    And H A Ironside, whose commentaries can be purchased from Friends of Israel

    or from Amazon.

    You can also read some of his other writings online for free here:

    One of his most excellent works is Holiness the False and the True, which deals with his experience with the eradication error. It’s at that site.


  76. Nathaniel,

    A couple of other recommendations for good Bible study are, Charles Ryrie’s Study Bible and other books (highly recommended) — and probably anything anything by John Walvoord. (I understand Waklvoord is solid doctrinally though I must admit I have never read many of his writings).

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  77. Nathaniel,

    There are several solid Bible teachers, one of whom is a personal friend. He is a Professor at Frontier School of the Bible, Dr. Richard Seymour. His web site has many Bible teaching in free. downloadable PDF form on various subjects. Also you may subscribe to his quarterly Newsletter, The Clarity Trumpet.
    Also an excellent book on clear Doctrine is the book mentioned on the right sidebar above, Secure Forever! God’s Promise or Our Perseverance?, by Dr. Tom Cucuzza.

    A great web site is The Free Grace Alliance at:
    Bruce Bauer, an author who posts here regularly has an excellent article listed on the left side of that page, “Driven” by Bruce Bauer.
    You will do well with any/all of these recommendations.

    Praying for you as you study God’s Word!!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  78. Can somone recommend a good bible expositor other than John mac?

  79. Jon,

    Thanks for your comment — I personally agree with some of it and disagree with others. I believe you contradict yourself in places — or I did not understand what you mean. I applaud you for working with and leading many youth to Christ.

    You say:
    “And they run so fast away from human-goodness-legalism of religion to the you-earn-nothing-Jesus gives-everything Gospel of Grace.” Jon, I believe Chan, Driscoll, Chandler, Piper, etc may in some cases preach salvation by Grace but then attach a discipleship of “persevering” (keeping your good-works-or-else type salvation) by your own merits and they say such works MUST be visible to men.

    Are you inferring that something on this blog has encouraged this idea of your quote: “you have Jesus cause you believed in him but you don’t NEED to live for Him.” And, do you speak here of salvation or service for the Savior after salvation? Your Luke 9:23 reference is appropriate and every believer SHOULD do just that.. but do you condemn him and reject his salvation if he does not? Is he lost because he does not meet your standards of service?

    You say:
    “Repentance requires movement. The difference between genuine repentance and worldly sorrow is ALMOST always movement.” Not true! Repentance IS a change of MIND. Do you speak of service or salvation? A change of mind about Who one trusts as Savior (Jesus Christ) is true repentance for salvation.. To change one’s mind about how he will WORK to serve his Savior is repentance for service — he changes his mind but then he begins working for his Savior. Such is not necessary for salvation — it never convinces the Lord of one’s sincerity of salvation. The Lord already knows the believer’s mind.

    You say:
    “Repentance is a changing of the mind.”
    YES, I agree as I said above!!!
    But then you say, “It’s a turning of the direction.”
    NO !! Had you said a change of mind should cause a turning of one’s life or direction I would agree. We encourage that but we do not mix that with one’s salvation. Grace and works are indeed separate. “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” Romans 11:6

    Believers have a choice to be obedient or disobedient. Disobedience incurs God’s discipline. If obedience were automatic or forced by the Lord, there would be no need for God’s discipline for disobedience.

    Further you say that some preach, “it’s O.K. for you to remain in your sin, you have Jesus now”. Do you infer that is what is taught here? If you think that you have not read this blog — please point that out to me.

    We know and you admit believers do fail in our service and our life as we see in Scripture and real life — but when one does so but then decides not “give his whole life to Jesus” in your words, has he lost his salvation??? That seems to be your point — along with Chan, MacArthur, et al.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  80. Jonathan Michaels

    After spending some time reading on your blog, I know my opinion will not be agreed with but I will provide an answer to John Williams from my experience with working with young adults for the past 25 years.

    Here is why, as I see it, they are attracted to men like Chan, Driscoll, Chandler, Piper, etc:

    1. For many it is because they have come from a strong legalistic background where following Jesus was all about exteriors with no real concern for the heart motives (a breeding ground for hypocrisy). They have found in these men a strong call to true repentance … not just “looking the part” (pharisees) but having a circumcised heart. This is a glass of water to a young man or woman dying of thirst in a legalistic church. And they run so fast away from human-goodness-legalism of religion to the the you-earn-nothing-Jesus gives-everything Gospel of Grace.

    2. Others have come from the other side of religion where “everything goes”. There is no need for a changed life, no call to anything greater, no difference between your old self and new self … this idea of, “you have Jesus cause you believed in him but you don’t NEED to live for Him” is not at all something to spur a young person on to follow. They actually want to hear Luke 9:23!

    3. The final reason young people are drawn to these men is that they have seen and/or lived with sin in their lives and have now met Jesus and want to truly repent. Not just say, “sorry”.

    If your wife cheated on you and said, “sorry, I cheated. I know it is wrong. I SHOULD be faithful but I’m not going to be … in fact he’s moving in with us … but trust me, I am really really sorry … totally repentant”. Her giving up the extramarital affair is not a way of “paying for her sin” nor is it her providing “good works” – it is evidence that she is actually repentant. Repentance requires movement. The difference between genuine repentance and worldly sorrow is almost always movement. It’s not just “I’m sorry,” but it’s a brokenness that says, “I’ll do whatever the Lord asks me to do to make that’s right. Whether that’s counseling, whether that’s Recovery, whether that’s joining this, whether that’s leaving this, I repent.” Repentance is a changing of the mind. It’s a turning of the direction. So where somebody says, “I’m sorry,” but that’s not there, there’s no real repentance. And our youth get that. They want something to die for. They don’t want to hear, “it’s O.K. for you to remain in your sin, you have Jesus now”. They want to hear, “your sin is completely forgiven, now follow Jesus with your whole life … if you fail and fall (cause God’s Word says that it’s guaranteed to come) you know that you have a great high priest and an advocate and that your sins are forgiven … so confess, be forgiven and continue to give your whole life to Jesus!” They want to leave the tax booth and the fishing nets and these men are calling them to do that. They are giving them a very high view of Christ and the young people want to follow Him.

    Sorry if that was a bit of rambling. You can disregard it as anecdotal and coming from an obvious bias toward the expository preaching of these men (although until finding your website I wasn’t even aware of the battle lines or labels of LS and FG). These are just some thoughts from a guy who has devoted his whole life to sharing the gospel with young people and have been blessed to see the fruit of young men and women seriously taking up the call of following Jesus … no longer satisfied with the comfortable religion of their parents, or the emptiness of worldliness.


  81. JanH,

    Great observation..
    Driscoll’s Blog advertises, “Christian Sex Q&A (Mature Content)..” This attitude of preaching sex in open mixed forums and mixed church audiences is naturally attractive to prurient minds of young people.
    I’ve had discussions with other young men studying for the ministry who thought the subject was fine for mixed audiences. Needless to say, I disagreed.
    So the New Age antics of such as Driscoll et al will attract the young unsaved as well as babes in Christ.
    What a pity ….. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” 1 Peter 5:8

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  82. I think part of it also has to do with the New Calvinism embodied by such men as Mark Driscoll, Matt Chandler, and other strong, authoritative types in the pulpit. Tim Keller is another one. There are many more, I’m sure. They are all about engaging the culture, like the Emergents, but with doctrine, and they provide a worship atmosphere that is attractive to the younger generation. The Resolved conference is especially geared toward the late teen/early twenties crowd. There is a lot of emotional connection involved, plus (I have heard others say this) an intellectual appeal. All of these things appeal to the flesh, but in a seemingly orthodox way, so they think it’s all good.


  83. Pearl,
    Not only is it “unattractive” as you say, it is downright dangerous.
    I like your description “Holy Clubhouse” but I fear what we see is not a Biblical Holy Clubhouse.

    John, I pushed the “Post” button before I finished my note.
    There is a solution — to expose the lie and preach the Gospel truth — without compromise, — Jesus Christ and Him crucified, dead, buried and resurrected as payment for our sins.. By Whom, through our decision to trust Christ as Savior, we have eternal life.
    That message is becoming lost these days.
    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  84. John,

    Thanks for your interesting comment..

    Your question probably has many answers and I don’t pretend to know all of them.
    The New Age, Emergent Movement, Contemplative Spirituality, Lordship, Calvinist behemoth rolls on, promoted by pastors and writers who aim their writings in the direction of our youth.
    I have a relative (“Sam” – not his real name) who was studying for ministry. He read Dan Kimball’s book “They Like Jesus but Hate the Church” which targeted young disaffected Christians, It is pure New Age propaganda for rebellious young people.
    After devouring the book Sam exclaimed, “Sign me up!”
    Dan Kimball’s influence on the Emerging Church is historic.. and devastating to Biblical Christianity.
    I quote here from my Blog Post in 2007:
    Emergent guru, “Dan Kimball relates his own breakthrough in overcoming the frustrating experiences in trying to motivate the young people in the evangelical church…”
    John, I may have rambled and departed from your premise — but Lordship Salvationists, Calvinists et al seem to appeal to many who would be lazy and are searching for “something new.”
    Pray for our Youth.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  85. I’ve noticed that too, John, at least in the blogging world. It seems to congeal very well with the pride that is so deeply embedded into our sinful frame. And, not only that, it allows for that superior tone that I see on these blogs…not all mind you, but a lot of them. It’s downright unattractive.

    I get the feeling that it’s some kind of Holy Clubhouse.

  86. John Williams

    We probably have more churches per capita than anywhere in my home town. We are now seeing a strong move by the young people towards Calvinism and lordship salvation. Why are young christians so attracted to this movement? With the lifestyle of their generation they, more than any should be open to the love and grace of our Lord Jesus. What is it?

  87. Friends, we should all pray for constant discernment for each other and for every faithful believer who may have a larger megaphone.
    I regularly pray that I will be faithful to my Savior and His word — that nothing will draw me away from the Truth that sets men free.

    I witnessed the decline and fall of the ministry where I trusted Christ as my Savior and later graduated from Bible college — a fall precipitated by small but persistent compromises.
    Compromise is easy.
    As Paul said to Timothy (and consequently all believers) ” Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 2:1

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  88. I can’t help but believe that a Christian’s descent begins with tiny compromises, seemingly harmless ones, which dull the senses and make the next compromise all the easier, until that Christian becomes completely deaf to the pure Word of God.

    That is exactly how it works.


  89. Oh wow, Bruce. The Lighthouse link has gotta hurt a little bit, huh? I can sure understand your reason for recommending it as an alternative. Being that it’s from 1990, I’m sure it’ll be solid. But, unfortunately, it could cause readers to stick with him and be influenced by his newer writings. He quotes from “The Message” frequently. A lot of people think the discernment ministries are creating too much of a stir about “the message”, but it behooves us to look into it, and his theology ought to be of grave concern to the body of Christ. I would not hesitate to call Eugene Peterson a false teacher.

    As for Chuck Swindoll, I wouldn’t call him a false teacher, but rather in the company of “even the elect” being deceived, which we’re seeing too much of these days. It’s a frightening thing to me. I find myself worrying that if these “solid” Christians could be misled, then what makes me think I’m any better or smarter? Look at Demas! He’s mentioned at the end of two epistles as being a faithful, fellow laborer with Paul, and then, in Paul’s last epistle to Timothy, we are shocked to learn that Demas has forsaken Paul, having loved the world more. That’s frightening and heartbreaking! So, was Demas a false convert, or just weak? Will he be in heaven? These kinds of things shake me up inside…I feel like the disciples in the upper room upon hearing that one of them would betray Jesus…”is it me, Lord?”

    So, I keep watch of the false things. I can’t help but believe that a Christian’s descent begins with tiny compromises, seemingly harmless ones, which dull the senses and make the next compromise all the easier, until that Christian becomes completely deaf to the pure Word of God. So, I can sure see how Jack is still going strong! He has not compromised truth for the sake of keeping the peace, which would not be true peace at all. May I be found as faithful.

  90. Hi Pearl:

    Thanks for the references and updates. My recommendation for Swindoll was strictly for the one book, “The Grace Awakening,” a strong promotion of the message of God’s grace in response to rampant legalism in the church. Published originally in 1990, the book appeared to be a retort to MacArthur’s 1989 LS book, “The Gospel According to Jesus,” although Swindoll doesn’t label the writing as such. Swindoll was my pastor about twenty years ago in California. I found him to be, at that time, biblically sound and a fine expositor of the Scripture. I haven’t really been following what he has been doing in recent years.

  91. JanH,

    Right, less heat and more Light. If I have at any time lacked societal grace I apologize. I am naturally very passionate about a clear simple unpolluted Gospel message.. and then a clear “live by Grace” message also.

    I agree with you about mysticism and the Contemplative movement. I have read some earlier works by Swindoll and outside of no clear Gospel, they were innocuous to me. He writes as if everyone who reads his stuff is already saved (at least what I have read which is not much). Thanks, Pearl, I am glad to know about the Lighthouse reference as I use their research often. Unfortunately, they do not point out LS error, though. I initiated a phone/email discussion with the editor and one of their writers who disputed my inference that they condoned LS (yet they did not promote it). However they do a superb and thorough job on New Age, Contemplative and Mysticism.

    I appreciate the grace and civil tome of late and know it will continue here and in future posts.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  92. Thanks for hanging with me, Jack.

    I did read Bethany’s post; bless her heart. I’ve never heard of Chan (lucky me!). How can I argue with anything you said? I couldn’t agree more.

    I’m about to make my way through Bruce’s past writings as well. However, there is something I feel needs to be addressed about Bruce’s Amazon critique: I didn’t have a problem with anything he wrote (how could I? I’m still green) until he recommended a book by Chuck Swindoll (I know, I know…people love him too). But, It seems that Mr. Swindoll has been swept away with the false mystic practice called “spiritual formation” aka “contemplative prayer”. Here’s an article by Lighthouse Trails:

    Anytime his program plays on BBN (which is twice a day during the week), we turn it down. I’m sure he’s a very likable fellow, but then, I’m sure MacArthur can be nice guy too…when he wants to be 😉 .

    Jan, I’ve enjoyed reading your perspectives. You write very well and it’s easy to comphrehend. I’m afraid I couldn’t get into a couple of the youtube videos you provided earlier in the thread. They were sooooooo dry! As I mentioned, I plan on reading Bruce’s articles as well. Together with Jack’s thorough explanations, I really shouldn’t need any more. It’s just a matter of digesting the material.

    Thank you for your patience! You’re all good folks!

  93. We could all use more grace.


    You are right and it is incumbent on us to make sure we are as gracious as possible when we speak our views. Thanks for that reminder.

    I remember a conversation I had once with a Calvinist that got so heated (well, she was mad, I was more shocked) that given some of the things she was saying, by the end of it I felt I had to make a point of saying I believed we were both saved. She did not return the sentiment at that time. A few months later I went back to her and required her (nicely) to confess to my salvation. By then she was over it and had no problem at all confessing me as a sister in Christ. But, yeah. Things do get heated in these debates!


  94. Pearl, thanks for your thoughts and your kind, non-confrontational manner.

    As a former pastor, I have a real problem with false doctrine whether it be Calvinism, Luther’s teaching, Lordship Salvation, (MacArthur, Francis Chan, et al), Mormonism, Roman Catholicism etc. or any other teaching contrary to sound Bible doctrine. Each of these may have a touch of good but any good is spoiled by the leaven of legalism. We don’t mix Grace and works for salvation. “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace:…” Romans 11:6a
    I have seen unbelievers become confused by doctrine that is not stated clearly — and believers who have abandoned their clear doctrine, fallen for the false and thereby question their own salvation.
    Witness this disturbing and then encouraging email I received from “Bethany” who read Chan’s LS book. With her permission, I made a Blog post from it. Very interesting. Short link to the post: (Hope this works).

    Therefore I must consistently and tirelessly plead for the clarity and simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I repeat:
    “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:3
    When the discussion is calm and reasonable, I will try to persuade. But when it becomes contentious, that defeats the the purpose of this Blog. Bill said, “Jack, I’m not going to reply to your comments. …. you and others like you that deny the power of the gospel. Your gospel is no gospel at all.” That insult is unnecessary and contentious.

    And Pearl, you said, “If anyone, in any denomination, puts Jesus Christ first and foremost in their life, then the natural work of the Holy Spirit will surely follow.
    I will heartily agree with that if such a person has trusted Jesus Christ alone as their Savior and by your statement, is determined to be obedient to the guiding of the Holy Spirit i.e. “put Jesus Christ first and foremost in their life”. That really is the point. The LS folks say that if a believer refuses to obey the Holy Spirit to do good works, then they are not saved, thus putting upon them — the yoke of legalism. Who is to determine how many, if any, good works a believer is doing? Answer: The Lord.
    If good works were automatically the result of salvation, one would wonder “Why does half of the New Testament exhort believers to do good works?” Answer: Because it is not the inclination of man to do good works, hence we need to be encouraged and prompted by God’s Word and His Holy Spirit to do so. He is always faithful — we are not.
    Yes, every believer SHOULD be obedient to the Lord’s leading by His Holy Spirit.
    Also I might add that many denominations never preach the Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ alone — but insist their parishioners be obedient to a Holy Spirit Whom they know not. Without Jesus Christ as Savior, they have not been indwelt with God’s Holy Spirit and thus cannot be obedient to that Holy Spirit for good works — but only respond or reject when He leads them to trust Jesus Christ as Savior.

    I will stand, pleading for Biblical accuracy and simplicity — and the salvation of lost, confused souls.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  95. I thank you all (Jack, Jan and even Bill 😉 ), for respectfully explaining to me (and others I’m sure) the very subtle differences between Free Grace theology and Lordship Salvation.

    I have to say I’m saddened by Bill’s being banished. I can understand his frustration in hearing Calvin being referred to as an apostate, but Luther too? I think Bill deserves more patience taking all of this into consideration. I don’t think he’s been outright insulting and combative, but merely offended, which is understandable. I have heard that Luther still adhered to many Catholic teachings, and reading the ones you set forth were pretty major. However, would this make him an apostate? Even Peter had a hard time abandoning his lawful ways. Having said all this doesn’t mean I’m agreeing with Bill’s position.

    I’m inclined to lean more in Jan’s direction: that a Christian will naturally produce fruit. I think Bill is essentially saying the same thing. I don’t believe Bill is a heretic, but a brother in Christ. I will say, having read Jan’s article at Defending the Gospel, that John MacArthur’s teachings are confusing at best. I honestly don’t know if he is an outright heretic. I’d need to learn more. Also, I’m not seeing much on Paul Washer that convinces me he’s a heretic either…and I don’t even like the guy.

    The one thing that perturbs me the most is the tone these teachers convey. They lack love and grace. This is the first and foremost reason why I’ve been turned off by them. I would say the same about many other popular teachers (I’m tempted to name names, but I won’t). When the lawyer asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was, Jesus’ reply was that we love the Lord God with all our heart, soul and mind, and to love our neighbor as ourself. All the law hinges on these two. Love is not a vacuum. If anyone, in any denomination, puts Jesus Christ first and foremost in their life, then the natural work of the Holy Spirit will surely follow.

    We could all use more grace.

  96. Thanks Jan,
    I continually pray for those who have embraced the lie.

    In Christ, Jack

  97. Jack-

    They won’t hear it from their “enemies” (Dispensationalists), but neither will they hear it from their friends (other Reformed men and Lutherans). I don’t know what can be done for them at that point. Except prayer, of course.



  98. Dear Blog Friends,

    This is one comment I make in answer to Bill about Martin Luther whom I called out for false doctrine. (Calvin will be another comment later). This is long for which I apologize, but I have excised some of it.. These are actual quotes from Luther’s published documents. I thank my good, personal friend Dr. Max Younce at Heritage Baptist Bible Church for providing the quotes and references.

    Luther’s Small Catechism, P.173, under B. Here are Luther’s words concerning Infant Baptism.
    “Because Holy Baptism is the only means
    whereby infants, who, too, must be born again, can ordinarily be regenerated and brought to faith.”

    Further Here are Luther’s words in his Large Catechism, P. 83, #24.
    “To put it most simply, the power, effect, benefit, fruit, and purpose of Baptism IS TO SAVE.”

    In his Small Catechism, Page 174, #626 C., Luther makes it perfectly clear what he is trusting for his salvation, and that is WATER BAPTISM!
    “II. The Blessings of Baptism. What does Baptism give or profit? It works forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare.”

    He says the same on Page 16, #11, Small Catechism

    Here are some more of Luther’s words concerning his faith in water baptism for salvation, as stated in his Large Catechism:

    Page 81, #6 – “Moreover it is solemnly and strictly commanded that we must be baptized, or we shall NOT be saved.”

    Page 83, #24 – “To put it most simply, the power, effect, benefit, fruit, and PURPOSE OF BAPTISM IS TO SAVE.”

    Page 85, #36 – “But it becomes beneficial to you if you accept it as God’s command and ordinance, so that, baptized in the name of God, you may receive in the WATER, the promised salvation.”

    “Further, we are not primarily concerned
    whether the baptized person believes or not, for in the latter case (i.e., does not believe) Baptism does NOT become invalid.” (Page 87, #52).

    “Baptism is valid, even though faith be lacking.”
    Baptism does not become invalid even if it is
    wrongly received or used, for it is bound NOT to
    our faith, but to the Word.” (Page 87, #53).

    Even though a Jew should today come deceitfully and with an evil purpose, and we baptized him in all good faith, we should have to admit that his baptism was valid (i.e., gave him eternal life and etc.). (Page 87, #54).

    Concerning the baptismal water;
    “It is not simply common water, but water
    comprehended in God’s Word and commandment and sanctified by them. It is nothing else than a DIVINE WATER.”
    (Large Catechism, Page 82, Par. #14).

    “God himself stakes his honor, his power, and his might on it. Therefore it is not simply a natural water, but a DIVINE, HEAVENLY, HOLY, and BLESSED WATER.”(Large Catechism,Page 82, Par. #17).

    “Moreover, it is solemnly and strictly commanded that we must be baptized or we shall not be saved.” (Large Catechism, P.81, Par. 6).

    Luther’s statement:
    “Our know-it-alls, the new spirits (i.e., those who disagree with Luther), assert that faith alone saves and that works and external things contribute nothing to this end…faith must have something to believe — something to which it may cling and upon which it may stand. Thus faith clings to the WATER and believes it to be Baptism, in which there is sheer SALVATION and life…” (Large Catechism, P. 84, Par. 28,29).

    Regarding the Jews:
    The following are some excerpts of quotes from the “Medieval Sourcebook: Martin Luther (1483-1546) The Jews and their Lies, Excerpts (1543).”

    1.“Therefore the blind Jews are truly stupid fools..”

    2. Now just behold these miserable, blind, and senseless people.

    3. Therefore be on your guard against the Jews, knowing that wherever they have their synagogues, nothing is found but a den of devils in which sheer self-glory, conceit, lies, blasphemy, and defaming of God and men are practiced most maliciously and veheming his eyes on them.

    4. (not printed — Luther uses language I would not).

    5-9 (Luther’s rantings)

    10. I shall give you my sincere advice:

    “First, to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them…

    “Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. For they pursue in them the same aims as in their synagogues. Instead they might be lodged under a roof or in a barn, like the gypsies. This will bring home they are not masters in our country…

    Source: Search the internet for:
    “Medieval Sourcebook: Martin Luther (1483-1546) The Jews and their Lies, Excerpts (1543).”

    Luther retained his Roman Catholic heritage:
    Luther states that, without the two sacraments (i.e. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, no one can be a Christian. (Large Catechism, P.80).

    In Paragraph 242 of Page 169, Luther says that,
    “By a sacrament we mean a sacred act. By which God offers, gives, and seals unto us THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS which Christ has earned for us.”

    Luther believed the priest, as well as he and his preachers, could forgive sins, as he states in his Small Catechism on Page 188:


    What is confession? Confession embraces two parts. One is that we confess our sins; the other, that we receive absolution, or forgiveness, from the pastor AS FROM GOD HIMSELF, and in no wise doubt, but firmly believe, that by it our sins are forgiven before God in heaven.”

    On the same page, under #284, he emphasizes the same,
    “…BEFORE THE PASTOR we should confess those sins only which we know and feel in our hearts.”

    Luther’s blasphemy:
    “The called ministers of Christ preach the Word of God, administer the Sacraments, and through these means of grace offer and convey the forgiveness of sins. This is as valid, in heaven also, as if Christ, our dear Lord, dealt with us Himself. ” (Small Catechism, P.185, 186, Par. 276).

  99. Bill,

    You make a mistake by not knowing that Luther and Calvin both held doctrines contrary to Biblical dispensational rightly dividing the Word. I realize you must not believe in that method of Biblical interpretation.. most LS and Calvinists do not.

    If I get a chance I will include some errors by Luther and Calvin on this post.

    Further, you add very little to the honest discussion of Biblical principles other than division.
    This post is here to expose and rationally discuss the errors of false teachers… not to have one of the same preaching false doctrine and insulting your Blog host and our readers.
    Bill, I appreciate my Blog friends but when one abuses the privilege as you have done, I say — Goodbye to you! You will be excluded from commenting on my Blog…
    I sincerely pray you will rest in the eternal security that only comes by trusting the Savior, Jesus Christ… and NOT the unsure illusion of your own works.

    In Jesus Christ eternally.. Jack

  100. Jan H, I said clearly that works are not required or necessary for salvation. That being said your criticism of Piper and MacArthur even if their wording is not perfect, Jesus, James, and Paul used language much harsher than Mac Arthur or Piper for those that thought that save without works can save. MacArthur and Piper are addressing apostates and from that perspective their language is very moderate. Jesus said that a tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

    Jack, I’m not going to reply to your comments. You need to read the Gospel according to Jesus, this book addresses you and others like you that deny the power of the gospel. Your gospel is no gospel at all.

    And now to make matters worst you added Luther and Calvin to the list of apostates, by calling them false teachers. Anybody that wants to understand the faith delivered to the saints should go to the White Horse Inn and listen to their weekly broadcasts. They are only half an hour long.


  101. JanH
    You said, “Personally, I do think saved people will have fruit of such..”

    I would agree if you had said, as does Ephesians 2:10, we SHOULD..

    In Christ, Jack

  102. Bill,

    I appreciate your scholarship… but when I analyze your statements you are using circular logic and contradictory statements. That is the reason LS and Calvinist teaching confuses.
    Faith in Jesus Christ is ALL that is required for salvation, whether works follow or not. Yes, good works should follow (Ephesians 2:10) but are not a necessary proof to The God of our salvation. He sees our faith.. with or without works. James is talking to believers.. In James 2:24, “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” As James says TO BELIEVERS, “YOU see..” Man sees! Our works justify us before man but not before God. Romans 4:2 “For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

    We believers are not justified by our works before God, no matter how slickly this teaching is presented by MacArthur, Luther, Piper or Calvin, et al. That is the problem with those who mix Grace with works or do not consistently preach God’s Grace.. The Gospel becomes diminished when anyone infers that if works do not follow faith in Christ (or any other tricky way it may be said) — then they say we are not saved. That is a lie.
    It is a shame that “pious” believers try to put a guilt trip upon other believers whom THEY think are not doing enough/any “good works.” Carnality or a lack of good works cannot be cured by making folks doubt their salvation. God knows our faith in Jesus Christ and thereby secures our ETERNAL salvation and He sees our works. Man can only guess about another’s works — and then condemn if what he sees is not sufficient in his puny mind.

    Bill you said, “If no good works flow from a profession of faith, I mean none at all, then this profession of faith will not save.” This is ridiculous. Who are you to presume that anyone’s faith in Jesus Christ will not save them? You, my friend, are not God! Likewise, your statement “Faith without works is dead.” is abusing Scripture. Your interpretation of this verse would negate God’s guarantee of eternal life. Upon belief, faith is there but may not be producing visible results (dead) TO MAN.
    I apologize that I cannot write an expository message on the book of James.. but, rest assured, it certainly does not contradict God’s Grace. Like many other books, the writer is exhorting Believers to good works — but not to prove their worthiness before God.

    About moderating your comment, you must understand that Luther and Calvin both preached false doctrines — no matter that there is a smattering of truth in each. Therefore I will let readers do their own search for your quotes and will moderate any links to false teachers. I prefer not to publish links to authors who are not consistently true and honest about God’s Grace — unless there are attendant caveats that their basic Bible doctrine is false.

    By God’s Grace a believer has the capacity for good works but not the necessity for salvation before God.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  103. Bill and all,

    As for the place of works in the life of the believer, I personally agree with Charles Ryrie who says that a saved person will demonstrate works at least to some degree. Where I would depart from the LS group is that I would not say these works are necessary for salvation. I do not like the use of the word “necessary” as it is commonly used or clearly implied in the teaching of the LS proponents. In another program, the Lutheran pastor in dealing with this on the question of whether works are necessary asked, “necessary for what?” That may sound like splitting hairs, but the distinction is important. The way it is phrased by many in the LS crowd, it seems like these works are necessary to gain entrance into heaven. This comes from both John Piper and John MacArthur. Piper has gone so far as to agree with his mentor Daniel Fuller that the backward looking faith that looks to what Christ did for us on the cross is insufficient to be called saving faith and that grace is given to those who keep the terms of the covenant they are now in with God. I don’t know if you read through the article on the Trinity site (it is long, I know) but this is what he has said.

    In discussion with someone who attends Piper’s church, the person would OFTEN (always, I think) say “without works a person will not be finally saved”. Instead of saying a person who does not have works HAS NOT BEEN saved, she kept pointing to a future salvation that was clearly contingent on works being present and whose absence was a deal breaker. Kev can attest to this as it was on his blog. If he is reading this thread he will instantly know who I am talking about.

    What they say is basically, you are not saved (justified) by works but you won’t be finally saved (get to heaven) without them either. So they put works to a purpose that makes faith alone in Christ alone insufficient for salvation.

    MacArthur puts it more subtly in saying that while we are not saved by works but unto them, God looks for fruit to see if we have been regenerated. It is by this that He will know that we are really born again, basically, and so in this sense we will be judged by our works. I wrote an article that deals with this here:

    Personally, I do think saved people will have fruit of such simply because that is the nature of how God made living things to work. They produce fruit after their kind. Believers are given a new nature that produces stuff in keeping with itself just as our old nature does. Not all Free Grace people hold the same opinion on that.

    I’m not sure if I said this before, sorry if I repeat myself here. What MacArthur, et al do is fail to distinguish between law and gospel such that they preach law AS gospel. MacArthur holds that the gospel is a call to obedience, when really it is a call to believe the good news. The purpose of the law is to condemn us and drive us to Jesus, not a rule of life for the believer to live by. It does need to be preached in an evangelistic presentation, but it needs to be preached according to its God appointed purpose-to demonstrate our sin and His just wrath against us, which the Holy Spirit is faithful to convict us of when the law is preached. The gospel is the good news that Jesus bore the wrath of that guilt for us in His body on the tree so that we can be declared righteous in the sight of this holy God, which the Holy Spirit will also testify to the truth of. However, this gospel is only really seen for what it is when it is set against the bad news-the law that condemns us. We do need to have both in our preaching/evangelism because the law gives the context for the gospel’s good news. If the law is not accepted as true by the sinner then the gospel won’t be either, or not in the right way and salvation won’t take place. However, once the judgment of the law and the forgiveness of the gospel are both accepted by the sinner, the result is a regenerated person who has a new nature and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who begins to work out in their condition the salvation they now have that has been completed already for them by Christ, whom they are now in, which is their new position. This is not at all clear in the teaching of MacArthur, et al. and so has given rise to much controversy.


  104. Pearl: Bill, you stated earlier that a Christian will naturally do works out of gratitude toward Jesus Christ. I think you’re right, in just about every redeemed, blood bought sinner strongly feels the need to “do something for God” to express loyalty and appreciation to Jesus, but does that make it right?

    Bill: No it does not it make it right. There’s a post of mine that is awaiting moderation where I put a link to Luther’s “Freedom of a Christian”. Another must read. Any works we do to gain favour with God have the wrong motivation. We can not gain favour with God, we already have it if we believe in Christ! Nothing we can do, will enhance our status with God. God does not need our works but our neighbour does. I just borrowed this last sentence from Luther as well.

  105. Pearl, I’m going to answer your concern:

    Pearl: “Bill, I find myself agreeing with much of your last comment. I do have a concern about one of your statements, however: You said that, while good works are “not required for salvation, nobody will be saved without them.” The first part of that just doesn’t makes sense to me, and I’m not being sarcastic. Am I misreading this?”

    Bill: OK, let me answer this one. What I mean is that good works can not add anything to our salvation. Human works do not have salvific value, God only accepts Christ’s perfect obedience and the penalty for sin he paid on the cross on our behalf. In essence all I can give God is my sin and Christ gives me his perfect righteousness, only on this account I am accepted by God. So good works are not the grounds on which God accepts me, for no flesh shall be justified by the deeds of the Law.
    Now when we have a faith like this, any works we perform are not motivated to obtain favour with God, we are free from the law of sin and death, we are free in Christ. We can freely serve God without expecting to gain acceptance from God, God has already accepted us in Christ on account of Christ’s work on the cross. It is the works that follow this justifying that are acceptable in God’s eyes on account of our faith. Like Luther brilliantly put it, it is the tree that makes the fruit good and not the other way around. Matthew 7:17 attests to this. So first the tree is made good through faith, and then only it can produce good works. For a good tree (faith) can only produce good fruit and a bad tree (unbelief) can only produce bad fruit. What is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23). So faith in Christ can not fail to produce good fruit.

    I hope I explained where I’m coming from when I said that good works are not required for salvation but nobody will be saved without them. Sa yes salvation is of faith alone, but the works that result from this faith are precious to God and acceptable on account of faith. So because saving faith produces the fruit of the spirit, nobody will be saved without good works (or the fruit of the spirit). In essence faith in Christ is a good tree, not a barren tree that doesn’t produce fruit.

    You are right that we now got into a discussion of works, but without this discussion it would be impossible to understand MacArthur nor the epistle of James. Both MacArthur and James are fighting the heretical claim that faith in Christ can be fruitless. These heretics are described in 2 Timothy 3:5 as “having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.” There are two heresies, the galatian legalistic heresy that Paul exposed and the anitnomian heresy that James (and also Paul) exposed. The legalistic heresy claims that we can be justified by works, the antinomian heresy claims that we can get into heaven without good works (essentially claiming that faith in Christ can be a dead faith that fails to produce works and still gets us into heaven).

    Now it is very important to understand that good works are not what the world consider good works. Martin Luther’s Heidelber disputations are a master piece on what is and what is not good works. I’ll try to post a bit on that right after this post. I’ll put a link if not you can google them.

  106. Bill, I find myself agreeing with much of your last comment. I do have a concern about one of your statements, however: You said that, while good works are “not required for salvation, nobody will be saved without them.” The first part of that just doesn’t makes sense to me, and I’m not being sarcastic. Am I misreading this? I don’t see how any person outside of redemption can offer any “good work” except that one believes! And as to the second part of this statement, if expressed faith without works is dead, then what do we say about the thief on the cross?

    It seems to me (and correct me if I’m wrong) that the topic is now veering into just plain works, when earlier it was on whether or not the two teachers in question teach that one must have works to earn salvation. I watched a couple of the youtube videos on Washer, but it was very late and my attention span was practically non-existant. I’ll review them over the weekend. I’m seeing a few other responses elsewhere (youtube clips) which have Washer addressing points on repentance and works (funny, he used the very same verse to support his point that the opposition used to condemn him). This makes this all the more confusing to folks like me.

    Bill, you stated earlier that a Christian will naturally do works out of gratitude toward Jesus Christ. I think you’re right, in just about every redeemed, blood bought sinner strongly feels the need to “do something for God” to express loyalty and appreciation to Jesus, but does that make it right?

    I’m a parent of three children (the oldest just turned 14). Ever since they were able to walk, they’ve each had a desire to give their input in just about every area of life. Sometimes, it gets downright frustrating, especially when one wants to help in the kitchen by handling a very sharp knife. Just the other day, my youngest wanted to have a go on my hair with a very hot curling iron (he also offered to trim my bangs). These are the more dangerous tasks where I do not want my child’s assistance, no matter how sincere he is. Most of the time, on the harmless things, I allow it. Usually the final product is a frightful sight. But I love them, and so I grin and bear it. (I keep reminding myself that one of these days, I’m going to miss it)

    From all I’ve learned by the teachers I “follow”, this is not the attitude of God the Father. He didn’t give His only begotten Son only to save me from hell, but to impart His life in me (Romans 5:10). He never did intend that I express my gratitude by working on His behalf. He wants me to surrender myself completely to His control that He may live His life in me. Frankly, in America, I don’t think 95% of us are surrendered. We really don’t have a clue what that means. This one thing is true: Jesus Christ is not preeminant. We are more concerned with false teachers than we are the loveliness of Jesus Christ. We don’t truly love Him. We just really, really like Him alot.

    When Jesus asks if, when He returns, will He find faith upon the earth, I often wonder if He’s speaking about this very thing. Do I have faith to take Him at His word that without Him, I can do nothing? I can be incredibly busy in Christian ministry, and yet, still be doing “nothing” that has its origin in Him. That is works without faith. Works that will be tried by fire and consumed because they are hay, wood and stubble (of the flesh), and I will have grieved Him and quenched Him, yet, be saved, as one plucked from the fire. I believe those are the tears that will be wiped away by the Father. Tears of regret. Upon contemplation of all this, I find myself saying “Lord, I believe. Help me with my unbelief.”

    So, yes, works are important, because it shows we used our free will to yield ourselves to Him. And if I have nothing that survives the testing by fire, it will reveal that I had faith only as far as His blood washed me from my sins and reconciled me to the Father, but not faith enough to be saved by His Life (again, see Romans 5:10). As Alan Redpath said, such a one is “a saved soul, but a wasted life”.

  107. With regard to Paul and James here’s a great summary that somebody else wrote. It summarizes perfectly that works contribute nothing to salvation but that good works always follow from salvation.

    The question of faith alone or faith plus works is made difficult by some hard-to-reconcile Bible passages. Compare Romans 3:28, 5:1 and Galatians 3:24 with James 2:24. Some see a difference between Paul (salvation is by faith alone) and James (salvation is by faith plus works). Paul dogmatically says that justification is by faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), while James appears to be saying that justification is by faith plus works. This apparent problem is answered by examining what exactly James is talking about. James is refuting the belief that a person can have faith without producing any good works (James 2:17-18). James is emphasizing the point that genuine faith in Christ will produce a changed life and good works (James 2:20-26). James is not saying that justification is by faith plus works, but rather that a person who is truly justified by faith will have good works in his/her life. If a person claims to be a believer, but has no good works in his/her life, then he/she likely does not have genuine faith in Christ (James 2:14, 17, 20, 26).

    Paul says the same thing in his writings. The good fruit believers should have in their lives is listed in Galatians 5:22-23. Immediately after telling us that we are saved by faith, not works (Ephesians 2:8-9), Paul informs us that we were created to do good works (Ephesians 2:10). Paul expects just as much of a changed life as James does: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). James and Paul do not disagree in their teaching regarding salvation. They approach the same subject from different perspectives. Paul simply emphasized that justification is by faith alone while James put emphasis on the fact that genuine faith in Christ produces good works.

  108. Pearl, Christ alone is righteous and the righteousness of those who believe. You are right on that one.

    Jack, I agree with everything you wrote except a couple of things that I think I will point out. Because I’m starting to sense the same issues on free grace theology that MacArthur and Michael Horton have identified. And that is namely that free grace understands justification but denies the sanctification of all believers in Christ. I will point out to two posts above from Jack and write my reply below:

    Jack: “But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.”
    Every believer in Jesus Christ is permanently indwelt with God’s Holy Spirit.. and is therefore being continuously led by His Spirit, 24/7. Some obey that leading and others do not. ”
    Bill: I think that all christians show some degree of obedience and no christian can obey perfectly. Every christian receives different gifts from God and to a different extent. But everybody that God justifies he also sanctifies and obeys God to some extent. As the reformers put it although good works are not required for salvation, nobody will be saved without them. Good works are the result of salvation not the cause of salvation, but nobody that is saved can fail to perform good works.

    Jack: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we SHOULD [my emphasis] walk in them.”
    As we see here (and for which I am thankful) the Lord says “we should” and not “we must” walk in them. The Lord did not make our salvation dependent upon performance of any kind of mandatory good works. Good works and obedience seem to be required by the Reformation statement and are advocated by MacArthur and Piper, et al. YES, we SHOULD walk in good works but we must never indicate or infer to anyone that our eternal salvation depends upon our works.”

    Bill: I agree that nobody should infer that our eternal salvation depends on good works. But it is paramount that we add that NOBODY that is saved will fail to perform good works. If no good works flow from a profession of faith, I mean none at all, then this profession of faith will not save. Faith without works is dead. And nevertheless I must add that works contribute nothing to our salvation, the works of the saints are like filthy rugs, they are polluted by sin. The best works of a believer can not add one bit to Christ’s finished work on the cross, but this can not be used as an excuse to say that any believer will enter heaven without having produced good works. Good works are the result and not the cause of salvation, and the best works of the saints are still polluted by sin, and without Christ are worthless.

  109. Bill,

    I will be the first to agree that many of the truths in God’s Word are “hard.” I would never attempt to remove one jot or tittle.

    Being “hard” and “wrong” are two different things. At this point, I don’t know if I agree with Jack or not about Mr. MacArthur. Mr. Washer’s name has also been mentioned.

    I grew up in a church that spoke a great deal of the balance between the law and the gospel. I understand that both are important.

    I will study what has been posted here and elsewhere. As there are others whom I respect who like Mr. Washer, I have moved this item up on my list of priorities and will comment here when I have my own opinion.

    God’s blessings…

  110. Pearl,

    God’s Holy Spirit not only guides but also convicts.. but as believers — we who are saved by God’s Grace in Jesus Christ alone — should never let the LS and leagalists rob us of our Joy in God’s Grace.
    Romans 15:13
    “Now the God of hope [assurance] fill you with all JOY and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope [assurance], through the power of the Holy Ghost.” (my emphasis)

    I am joyfully assured and eternally secure in Jesus Christ.. Hence I attempt to please the Lord.. not out of fear but because of His Agape Love.
    2 Corinthians 5:14
    “For the love of Christ constraineth us; …”

    And because of Jesus Christ I can declare without doubt:
    I am in Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  111. Just two cents from nobody in particular, My tender conscience was indeed inflicted with conviction by Bill’s latest comments (which used plenty of scripture to support his stance), striking that familiar fear into me. But I knew deep within my spirit something was amiss. Jack’s response, in contrast, also using scripture, was a soothing balm, restoring peace to my soul. Christ alone is my righteousness.

    Does God contradict Himself? I think all of us here would agree that He does not.

  112. Bill,

    The Gospel is NOT to appease the sinners conscience but, upon faith in Jesus, SAVE the sinner.

    Matthew 5:17 Jesus Christ speaking:
    “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.”

    Jesus Christ IS the Fulfillment of the law.

    John 1:17
    “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”
    Acts 13:39
    “And by him [Jesus] all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.”
    Romans 3:20
    “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
    Romans 3:27-28
    “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. [28] Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”
    Romans 6:14-15
    “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. [15] What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.:
    Galatians 3:24-25”
    “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. [25] But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster [the law].”

    John 16:13 Christ Speaking
    “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide [lead] you into all truth: …”
    Galatians 5:18
    “But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.”
    Every believer in Jesus Christ is permanently indwelt with God’s Holy Spirit.. and is therefore being continuously led by His Spirit, 24/7. Some obey that leading and others do not. Disobedience to His Spirit does not sever or break our eternal relationship with our Savior. However such disobedience does harm our fellowship with our Savior and other believers and results in God’s discipline.

    Bill, Your case has been discussed in past posts and comments — you must read some of Bruce’s quotes from MacArthur and search my many posts on MacArthur’s quoted errors. Even though Mac calls his preaching “grace” he is putting people under the law for salvation. This is not surprising with his closet Calvinist positions.

    BTW, James wrote his letter to believers — who could not possible lose their salvation. The book of James is a false resting place for those who would inflict upon Believers the legalism condemned in Galatians.

    As Ephesians 2:10 says.. we are created for the purpose of good works — which we SHOULD do… And every believer SHOULD.. However, not doing them does not cancel the salvation purchased by the Blood of Jesus Christ.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  113. And also I forgot to mention that the Law ought to be preached to christians as well. Paul, John, or James never left the law out in their epistles to christians. Galatians is pure gospel up until Galatians 5:13 where it turns into pure obedience to God’s moral law. So the law has a twofold purpose to drive the sinner to Christ as I explained in my previous post, and to drive the christian to good works. We may or may not like it but the law is an integral part of God’s word and it ought to be preached to both christians and non-christians. We can’t just preach the book of Galatians up to Galatians 5:12, we ought to preach from Galatians 5:13 onwards as well where Paul warns christians that they ought to be mindful of good works. We can’t say we just love pure grace and we love the book of Galatians but reject Galatians 5:19 to 5:21 which is addressed to christians:

    Galatians 5
    19Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: (AJ)immorality, impurity, sensuality,

    20idolatry, (AK)sorcery, enmities, (AL)strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, (AM)disputes, dissensions, (AN)factions,

    21envying, (AO)drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not (AP)inherit the kingdom of God.

    We may or may not like this approach but it’s the balanced approach that the bible uses. Always after preaching grace we ought to preach good works, the works of gratitude that flow from that grace. And I believe this is what MacArthur does and he is no harsher than Paul.

  114. Chris, the preaching of God’s word in its entirety includes the preaching of both the Law and the Gospel. I believe the people that find MacArthur’s preaching hard are making the same mistake of Martin Luther when he said the book of James is hard to understand. Paul and James both teach pure christian doctrine, and yet Luther had trouble with James, he misunderstood James the same way some people today misunderstand MacArthur.

    Although there is a logical separation of law and gospel, and they ought to be kept separate, you can not preach the one without the other. The Law ought to be preached in full, else the gospel can not be receive. The Law ought to do its work of driving the sinner to despair and hopelessness, before the sinner is ready for the gospel. Nobody can accept Christ as Saviour for past, present, and future sins until they know that they have accepted that they are utterly inadequate to please God by their own efforts. Only the law can drive the sinner to this kind of condemnation before God, and only the gospel can appease the sinner’s conscience that’s been driven to despair by the Law.

  115. Hi Y’all,

    Thanks for a very interesting and instructive “conversation.”

    There are two reasons that I have listened to Mr. MacArthur only a few times.

    The first is his tone. The few times I heard him, it was a hard listen. I understood that this didn’t mean that his doctrine was wrong. But, I’m too old to spend learning time on things that grate.

    Second, I know someone who had a bad experience with Mr. MacArthur’s ministry. For years the incident, which I will not explain here, kept me from listening or reading anything by the man. Gradually, I thought that the fault may have been that of my acquaintance.

    This LS issue is new to me. I think it is good that this discussion is taking place. The best counterfeit of any truth is the closest thing to it. From what I’ve read here, this may be one of those cases.

    I will reserve a complete verdict until I have had the opportunity to study this more. Thanks to all for the links provided.

    God’s blessings…

  116. Bruce,

    I read MacArthur’s book The Gospel according to Jesus. As I said I believe MacArthur in his passion to fight antinomianism went too far in the other direction. I think both the Lordship and non-Lordship sides made mistakes.

    That said I believe the key question is “do you trust solely on Christ’s atoning sacrifice for salvation”? I believe John MacArthur does, I do not think John MacArthur of Paul Washer for that matter trust in their own works for salvation. Nevertheless, I do think that MacArthur, Washer, Ray Comfort, and others do over-emphasize at times the fruit of salvation (good works) to confirm whether a profession of faith is legitimate or not. I do think though that their “law preaching” is aimed at unbelievers or false converts that make professions of faith, and I do consider them christian brothers. And by the way there is no doubt that there has to be good fruit as a result of faith, for a good tree (faith) can not produce bad fruit and a bad tree (unbelief) can not produce good fruit.

    My point is we have to be careful who we call a heretic. It is one thing to call Rick Warren a heretic (he relies on all sorts of non-biblical and worldly resources, and his most recent health and wellness plan is turning the church into an expensive fitness club where you need to tithe your income in order to lose weight) and it is a very different one to call MacArthur a heretic. I can not in good conscience call John MacArthur a heretic.

  117. Bill, as to your points “a” and “b” above, those are caricatures of the Free Grace position on salvation. MacArthur regularly misstates Free Grace positions, often in a dismissive, demeaning way. To read answers to these and other criticisms of Free Grace theology, see, for one example, my article entitled “Grace Baiting: Twenty Ways Lordship Faith Advocates Mischaracterize Free Grace Theology.” You can access it through Jack’s site:

  118. JanH,

    By the way I do agree 100% with Michael Horton’s criticism of John MacArthur. But I also happen to agree 100% with Michael Horton’s criticism of Free Grace theology.

    I have read a few of Mike Horton’s books and I regularly listen to the his program the White Horse Inn.


  119. OK, Jack and Jan this is all good. Thanks. Just to clarify though,

    1) I do not adhere to lordship salvation. I would not have presented things the same way John MacArthur did in his book the gospel according to Jesus. Still I think John MacArthur presents the gospel in his radio program Grace to You in a quite impressive way.

    2) I do agree with concerns that John MacArthur has about “free grace” though and I would appreciate your feedback on this. My two main concerns with free grace are the following:

    a) Free Grace teaches that if somebody abandons the faith, he is still saved because he said prayer years ago. I don’t think this is possible, I believe that if somebody made a profession of faith and later denies Jesus Christ he is not saved.
    b) Free Grace teaches that you can become a christian and experience no transformation whatsoever. Faith fails to produce good works in the believer according to Free Grace. I do not believe this teaching to be biblical.

    Yes it is true as Jack indicates that christians sin, and it was Luther who said that christians are fully sinners and fully saints at the same time. MacArthur would also agree with this. Nevertheless we can not deny that every christian when he trusts in Christ’s atonement alone for salvation is transformed and sin loses its power and he stays in God’s word and so forth. So yes I agree that christians sin and are fully sinners in the flesh, and at the same time are saints in Jesus Christ. God imputes Christ’s righteousness to the sinner, and this is the only righteousness a sinner has. Paul also writes, “having no righeousness of my own”. his righteousness was only in Christ.

  120. It doesn’t want to post my link. (I see I forgot it in the last post.) Hopefully it is just in moderation.


  121. Oops. Apparently the blog doesn’t like my link. I’ll try this one. The article is the one for Nov 15, at the top of the page:


  122. I had one more that I thought I posted but it didn’t show up. I must have hit the wrong button or something. Here it is again. I hope it isn’t a repeat.

    This final link is to the internetmonk blog hosted by Michael Spencer, who went by the moniker imonk. In spite of his moniker, he was Southern Baptist. He passed away this past year. In the comment thread of an article Spencer answers a question posed by a reader on John MacArthur. The article was on justification and written by an Orthodox priest named Father Ernesto. I need to stress here that I in no way endorse the teaching in the article. My interest is in the comments. Here is the question, followed by imonk’s answer:

    “Confused” asks this:

    I think what Father Ernesto describes sounds a lot like the “Lordship Salvation” expounded by John Macarthur (with a considerably more mystical bent, of course). I don’t see how what Father Ernesto is saying is that different than saying things like, “Faith alone, but a faith that is never alone.” At what point are we getting down to semantics?

    imonk answers:

    “Faith alone, but true faith is never alone” isn’t Lordship salvation. It’s Luther.
    “Obedience = Faith” is what I hear in Macarthur’s books, esp Hard to Believe.

    In addition to these articles, videos, and comments, Michael Horton edited a book in 1992 on the issue called Christ the Lord; The Reformation and Lordship Salvation. In that book he specifically called MacArthur out for his Catholic teaching on infused righteousness. Horton said MacArthur’s staff informed him that the matter was taken care of, yet it still seems to come up today. MacArthur’s teaching sounds like Catholicism to both Pancake and Collier and has, in the past at least, sounded like it to other Reformed men as well.

    Pancake and Collier are active online and have contact buttons on their websites. I imagine if anyone wants any further input on MacArthur, et al and whether their teachings match Luther and Calvin, these men could probably be sought out for further discussion.


  123. JanH,

    I will reiterate that some of the things these men write/say/preach may be accurate but many of them have a base doctrine which is false. We pray our readers will have discernment enough to understand the truth from the lie.

    If any of you have questions, please do not hesitate to ask.


  124. And finally, a comment from Michael Spencer, who passed away last year. He ran the internetmonk blog and went by imonk on the blog. In spite of his internet moniker, he was actually Southern Baptist. He answers a question asked in the comment thread of an article on justification written by an Orthodox priest named Father Ernesto. I do need to stress here that in no way am I recommending the teaching in this article. Read the article at your own risk. I am interested only in this question and answer in the comments. I am quoting it here, but you can go see for yourself the full context of the thread, if you are so inclined.

    Confused asks:
    I think what Father Ernesto describes sounds a lot like the “Lordship Salvation” expounded by John Macarthur (with a considerably more mystical bent, of course). I don’t see how what Father Ernesto is saying is that different than saying things like, “Faith alone, but a faith that is never alone.” At what point are we getting down to semantics?

    imonk answers Confused:

    “Faith alone, but true faith is never alone” isn’t Lordship salvation. It’s Luther.
    “Obedience = Faith” is what I hear in Macarthur’s books, esp Hard to Believe.

    In addition to these videos, articles, and comments, Michael Horton has compiled a book of essays by himself and other Reformed or Lutheran men on the issues in the Lordship debate, calling MacArthur out on his teachings. The book is Christ the Lord, the Reformation and Lordship Salvation, published in 1992. In this book Horton calls MacArthur out for his Catholic teachings of infused righteousness. He was assured by MacArthur’s staff that the situation had been remedied. Yet, the issue still seems to come up today, even so.

    So the Reformed/Lutheran community has weighed in negatively on this issue. As far as the matter of MacArthur, et al deviating from the teachers of Calvin and Luther, I would suggest taking that question to the Reformed and Lutheran communities for further discussion.

    I hope this is helpful.


  125. JanH,

    Wow! What a great collection of links.. Thanks.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  126. Thanks JanH,

    Very interesting.. I have always found that most LS folks are also (maybe closet) Calvinists — but the Calvinist camp may be split between those who adopt an LS position and those who don’t.
    Having been raised in Calvinism, then rejecting it in favor of Atheism, I see the real danger of Calvinism. That is a whole other story — worthy of a short novel. 😉
    I have a particular aversion to the teachings of those who espouse any of the 5 points. I like the people but not the doctrine.

    Thanks again for all the “conversation” and discussion.

    In Jesus Christ securely, thankfully and eternally, Jack

  127. While we’re in the neighborhood, let’s pop in on R.C. Sproul:


  128. Here are some articles from The Trinity Foundation by another Calvinist with impeccable credentials, John Robbins. This one is on John Piper:


  129. More Collier. More Washer:

    You have noticed a lot of Collier videos. He has an absolute TON of videos against LS and LS teachers. You can find them for yourself at his You Tube channel.


  130. More Collier:

    Lordship Salvation’s similarity to Roman Catholicism. From a Reformed Calvinist, remember.


  131. Next we have Monty Collier, a Calvinist of impeccable credentials, who condemns Lordship Salvation in no uncertain terms. Here he tells us what the gospel is not:


  132. Here is Pancake again with his pastor Gary Held. They discuss answers to a question Matthew posted at a Christian forum he used to moderate on what the minimum requirements are for salvation. The important section in in the first half of the show. There is some small talk type stuff in the beginning that seems to last a while so be patient. They will get to it. There is one answer in particular that is of interest to our concerns. Pastor Held gives an interesting and, I think, insightful take on what is being done in this person’s answer.


  133. OK. Pastor Jack has given me permission to post these links to Reformed and Lutheran men who oppose Lordship Salvation on the ground that it is not in keeping with the teachings of either Calvin or Luther. I promised to do so with a caveat that we cannot agree with everything these men hold or say in these articles. They are for research purposes only, to allow men from the Reformed and Lutheran persuasions to argue that Lordship Salvation is not Biblical from their perspective any more than it is from ours.

    Due to moderation issues I will give a series of posts each with its own link and a brief comment on the content at that link.

    Here is the first one:

    This is the Lutheran man, Matthew Pancake (yes, that is his real name) who is a new convert to Lutheranism. He converted out of Evangelicalism because he could not find the gospel of grace in Evangelicalism. He critiques a sermon by MacArthur. He does not mention this, but in listening to it I noticed that here is yet another sermon where the gospel is not preached. You will not hear about Jesus death, burial, and resurrection in MacArthur’s sermon here. He speaks solely about the person’s work in building on the rock of obedience to God’s word.


  134. Brother Stephen,

    Thanks for your comment — Keep plugging away.
    FYI, Piper and I do not agree on the proper interpretation of Scripture. He is a Calvinist and an advocate of Lordship Salvation, even though his views may at times be hidden.
    Knowing his propensity for things with which I disagree — I would not recommend his teaching. He may hit upon a truth at times but then again he continues to glibly propagate error.

    Several comments above will help clarify many errors of Piper and MacArthur.
    Hang in there and cleave to the Truth — our Savior, Jesus Christ.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  135. To all of you who have commented and continue to do so:

    These are terrific comments and questions.. I deeply appreciate your contributions to this Blog.

    First, I am not a believer in “Reformed” doctrine as presented today, neither that formulated by Calvin, nor am I a Protestant. I am not here to protest anything (except Biblical error). My goal is to proclaim the Gospel of salvation, the “simplicity that is in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:3
    I do not agree with the quote from the Protestant Reformation about Faith because the statement is rather amorphous and misleading.
    Look at Ephesians 2:10
    “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we SHOULD [my emphasis] walk in them.”
    As we see here (and for which I am thankful) the Lord says “we should” and not “we must” walk in them. The Lord did not make our salvation dependent upon performance of any kind of mandatory good works. Good works and obedience seem to be required by the Reformation statement and are advocated by MacArthur and Piper, et al. YES, we SHOULD walk in good works but we must never indicate or infer to anyone that our eternal salvation depends upon our works. And yes, our fellowship with Christ and other believers is enhanced by our good works.
    Upon belief in Christ we are immediately given a new righteous nature from God which we are told to “put on” and nurture — but we still have the old sin/flesh nature which we are told to “put off.”
    Throughout the Bible, we believers are exhorted to “put on” or array ourselves with the attributes of the new nature or new man but, thankfully, there is never a statement made that our security or eternity is in jeopardy if we don’t. God’s salvation is totally free through our faith in Christ.
    Ephesians 4:24
    “And that ye PUT ON the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
    Colossians 3:10
    “And [we] have PUT ON the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him:”
    We need to realize that as we “feed” the new nature (with God’s Word and fellowship with other strong believers, etc) the less the old nature should influence us.
    And yes, we are told to PUT OFF the attributes of the old nature/man.
    Ephesians 4:22 “That ye PUT OFF concerning the former conversation [behavior] the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;”
    And in Colossians 3:8-9 “But now ye also PUT OFF all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;”
    Therefore there is a constant battle between these two natures. Paul explains his battles in Romans 7:14-20. He struggles but conquers through obedience to the Lord and his eternity is never in question.
    This doctrine of the two natures of a believer is a very important teaching to understand and once clearly understood, clears many errors.

    This is a topic that almost requires a series of teachings from the Word.. but once understood certainly gives us comfort regarding our secure eternity.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  136. Jack- I have a couple of links that I can refer Bill to from Reformed and Lutheran men but I don’t want to post them without your approval.


  137. I have a question for those that call John MacArthur apostate or that claim that he advocates a works based salvation.

    Do you agree with the Reformation’s tenet “Salvation is by faith alone, but not a faith that is alone”. This is what Luther and Calving taught, we are saved by faith alone, but faith is always accompanied by works.

    When God justifies a sinner, declares him righteous on account of his faith alone, he also purifies his heart. In other words God both justifies and sanctifies the believer in Jesus Christ. Through the gospel we get both relief from the penalty of sin (forgiveness of sins) and from the power of sin (good works). God does not give one thing without the other one. There is no such thing as forgiveness of sin that is not accompanied by good works, it is not the way the God of the bible operates.

    Having said that believers are not perfect, they still sin and need continuous forgiveness every day.

    If anybody disagrees with the above please explain, but those are the teachings of the protestant reformation.

  138. Jan:
    Excellent comments about the fallacies of lordship faith teaching. You summed things up well, and might I add, with much grace. Thanks!

    I read the Piper article. It said some things with which I disagreed and some with which I agreed, such as, “What is faith? . . . It is not a simple mental assent to facts—not lordship facts and not Savior facts. It is a heartfelt coming to Christ and resting in him for what he is and what he offers.” I say fine, believe it! And don’t cloud the air with the addition of lordship faith teachings.

    Listen to a couple of quotations of Piper from Thomas Cucuzza’s fine book, “Secure Forever! God’s Promise or Our Perseverance?” (See Pastor Jack’s link to the book at the top of the page). Quoting Piper: “We mean that the saints will and must persevere in the obedience which comes from faith. Election is unconditional, but glorification is not. There are many warnings in Scripture that those who do not hold fast to Christ can be lost in the end.” He continues, “Nevertheless, we must also own up to the fact that our final salvation is made contingent upon the subsequent obedience which comes from faith.” Cucuzza comments: “1. He says that “those who do not hold fast to Christ can be lost in the end.” Is he not saying that we are kept saved by works—by persevering? 2. He says, ‘our final salvation is made contingent upon our subsequent obedience which comes from faith.’ Is he not saying that we are saved by obedience, which is works?” (Cucuzza, pp. 54-55).

    Steve: In the article that you link to by Piper, he makes the statement, “Submitting to the lordship of Christ is a lifelong activity. It must be renewed every day in many acts of trust and obedience. Submission to Christ’s lordship is not merely a once-for-all experience.”
    Cucuzza quotes a more recent expansion of this viewpoint of Piper’s: “John Piper . . . described himself as a ‘seven point Calvinist’ . . . [and said] that no Christian can be sure he is a true believer; hence there is an ongoing need to be dedicated to the Lord and deny ourselves so that we might make it.” Cucuzza comments, “This conclusion and mindset is all the fruit of the doctrine of perseverance. For those who hold to it, it robs them of the joyful assurance God wants every one of His children to have” (Cucuzza, p. 56).

  139. I’m stunned, Jan! It is amazingly subtle. Praise God that He opened your eyes! This reminds me of something Maj. Ian Thomas preached regarding Galatians 5:16, which says “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” Here’s that quote:

    “God’s Word says ‘Walk in the Spirit, do what you are told, obey truth, and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.’

    “The devil says ‘Don’t fulfill the lusts of the flesh and then you will walk in the Spirit.’

    “That’s the cleverest device of the devil that I know.  If he can’t persuade you to reject truth, he will invert truth and turn truth into a lie.  We must be aware of his subtle devises.  For if he can keep you preoccupied with trying to crucify yourself, you will keep yourself alive trying to crucify yourself, and there’s nothing quite so frustrating as that.”


  140. One other thing that I have noticed in Lordship Salvation preaching is that it has an alarming tendency to rip up the wheat. Many believers are wrongly led to think they may not in fact be saved after encountering this teaching. My personal opinion is that it is likely that those are the people most likely to respond to this teaching, rather than the unsaved, because the saved already have a new nature that delights to do God’s will and wants to be in fellowship with Him. So telling these sensitive souls that they may not really be saved unless they have given their all (and who can really say they have done that? Only Jesus has done that and He did it for us) sends them into a tail spin of uncertainty and distress.


  141. Hi Pearl-

    You’re welcome. I’m glad I was helpful to you.

    I think you hit on something important when you say the differences are subtle. I would be remiss if I let you think he NEVER shares Christ crucified. But he does not, at least not that I am aware of, ever condition eternal life on the normative use of the word “trust.” He always (I don’t think that is too strong a word) describes a person’s salvation experience in terms of whether they demonstrated submission to Jesus as Lord rather than whether they beheld Christ as crucified in their place and received His finished work on their behalf. What Christ did on the cross is not directly dealt with. Christ as Lord is instead.

    In that same Resolved conference Rick Holland, who is a pastor at Grace Community Church, also preached. He preached on the atonement. He did a really good job, except for one comment on how Jesus died for many as opposed to all. But the facts of what the atonement is were very well presented. Yet, after speaking for over 40 minutes on Christ’s atoning cross work, he then entreated his audience to “receive Jesus as Lord and He will become your Savior.” Clean out of nowhere, and in spite of the fact that he had said nothing about it at any previous point in the sermon, he interjects Christ’s lordship and the reception of that as the means of salvation. He did not let his audience deal with the cross directly, but interposed Lordship between the sinner and the cross.

    I have the 2003 edition of Hard To Believe. On the back cover eternal life is called a reward that only comes from faithfully following Jesus. Here is the exact quote:

    The hard truth about Christianity is that the cost is high, but the rewards are priceless: abundant and eternal life that comes only from faithfully following Christ.

    On page 41 MacArthur describes the conversion of someone who had come to his church like this:

    His soul opened to the strong influence of the Holy Spirit and he bowed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Today he’s not only a dear friend, but a faithful follower of our Lord, joyfully submissive to the word of God.

    There is nothing wrong with the second sentence. We want to hear that believers are living consistent, obedient lives. That part is wonderful. But the first sentence does not glorify God because he does not address the fact of our salvation through faith in the shed blood of Christ. He could have easily done so and met his own requirements of an obedient believer because of the second sentence. But he doesn’t. It is all and only Christ as Lord. He does not say anything about this person believing Jesus died for him. Christ’s lordship takes priority over His cross work and/or is interposed between the sinner and the cross in their evangelism and conversation about salvation.


  142. JanH,

    Thanks, you nailed MacArthur and Washer.

    The Gospel of Salvation of Salvation in Jesus Christ is so simple — yet so many “scholars” miss that simplicity completely.

    “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the SIMPLICITY that is in Christ.”
    2 Corinthians 11:3

    Great comment.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  143. Thanks, Jan. I’m beginning to see the very subtle differences. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard McArthur lay out the plan of salvation before. However, about five years ago, my husband did read parts of the book “Hard to Believe” and I now recall his being somewhat shaken by it. I didn’t pick up the book to investigate…it probably would’ve sent me over the edge regarding my eternal security if I had. Thankfully, he’s long since moved on and very well grounded in Christ.

    I really appreciate your contribution, Jan. You know your stuff!

  144. Stephen Devries

    Brother Jack,

    I am still plugging away full speed on this journey and thankful for your help along the way.

    My wife pointed me to this article by John Piper and although it is quite long I would love to hear your thoughts/arguments! Many of my friends are not MacArthur fans (mostly because of the arrogance that seems to come out as he speaks) but they think so highly of John Piper. I would guess that his view of Calvanism would put you off immediately but I would enjoy and benefit greatly from hearing your response to his arguments for following Jesus as Lord and would think that it would make a very interesting blog entry.

    Thank you again … you seem to be tireless at this 🙂

    Forever in His Grace,

    The link:

  145. What both Washer and MacArthur do is make salvation contingent on the lost sinner receiving Jesus as LORD, that is Master of his or her life in order to become a Christian. Anything that is not that is not saving faith. MacArthur has stated that in his gospel presentation all he is asking people to do is turn from sin and follow Jesus. This is not the gospel, which is believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (his substitutionary atoning death in your place) and thou shalt be saved. There is a 55 minute long sermon he gave at one of his Resolved conferences (2009, I think it was, or 2008) where he did a commendable job of presenting to the sinner his lost estate, but then told them the way to escape hell was to make a public profession of Jesus Christ as Lord. The closest he came to telling his audience about Christ crucified was when he quoted Romans 10:9, the end of which says, “and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead…,” and one other place where he added Jesus as not only Lord (of your life) but that He is the only Savior and the only Redeemer. By his tone you could tell he almost forgot all about that part. MacArthur’s priority in salvation is the sinner submitting to Christ as Lord, not the actual gospel, which is Christ crucified for you. He preaches law as gospel and considers any gospel presentation which only uses the law to condemn as an antinomian gospel. He considers saving faith to be a commitment to Jesus Christ. Saving faith is a commitment we make rather than believing a message composed of propositional truth. Washer is in the same vein, though Washer will do a better job of outlining what Christ did. However, because he is a Calvinist, Washer is always careful to qualify Christ’s death as being for “God’s people,” not for whosoever will, as Scripture says.


  146. Thank you and hi again, Jack.

    Just a point of clarification: I wasn’t necessarily bound to the Lordship Salvation teaching, so I can’t claim to be freed from it as others have. I think rather, based on a steady diet of inconsistent teachers via the local Christian radio station (i.e. John McArthur one hour, Vernon McGee the next), and a severe lack of studying His Word, I was a lazy and confused believer, easily swayed by a good argument from either side as long as it came from a reputable source (“Christian” radio).

    Reading Steve’s comments on the other McArthur thread, I must also submit that I, too, am very new to this information on “Lordship Salvation”. I never even heard of the term until I found your blog. While I’m not terribly fond of either McArthur or Washer, I didn’t know they were considered “false” teachers by so many. I do plan to follow your suggested reading material to learn more, and, of course, be that Berean.

    Thanks for your patience with me!

  147. Pearl,

    Thanks for your great note. It is so refreshing to read notes from those who have been freed from the bondage of the Lordship Salvation lie.

    Washer is a dangerous Calvinist — and describes himself as a “Five Point Spurgeon” (Spurgeon was sort of a closet Calvinist).
    In this video he says just that as he speaks of regeneration. Calvinists believe a person must be regenerated by God before they can believe — which in effect means that God must choose whom He will regenerate, thus he chooses whom He will save. This is more of the lie of Calvinism. Here it is, if you can stand Washer’s screaming.

    You sorta answer your own question.. You have chosen some great preachers of the past.. and MacArthur and Washer will NEVER emulate any of the older saints who speak the Truth in Jesus Christ clearly. Be a Berean.. Whatever you read or hear (even what we say here), check it out and compare with God’s Word in context and believe God’s Word in context.

    Thanks Pearl for your interest..

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  148. Good Afternoon, Jack!

    I’ve been reading your, and Bruce’s, past posts on McArthur with great interest. I used to listen to him years ago, and was even attracted by his arrogant tone at times. He seemed to have a confidence that I lacked. But I will say that after listening to him, I often felt like a spiritual midget without hope of ever growing up. I was also just a babe in Christ (and to my shame, remained that way far too long).

    I’ve heard one message by Washer. At face value, he sounded good, in that he convicted me (reminiscent of those McArthur days). But there’s just something beneath the surface that puts me ill at ease. I can’t put my finger on it. Is he Calvinist? I’m not…maybe that’s why. He’s got a rockstar reputatation with most of the blogs with which I come into contact. Sometimes I wonder if it’s a bad case of people going along with the popular crowd. Many precious friends think very highly of him…and yet, I just can’t get myself to get excited about him.

    I tend to go with voices from the past (Donald Barnhouse, Vance Havner, Ian Thomas, Alan Redpath, etc..). I credit BBN radio with introducing me to many of my current favorites (namely their excellent program “Conference Pulpit”). Could you tell me who some of the previous generation teachers would be that the likes of McArthur & Washer might emulate?

    Looking forward to your response…and thank you for all your research.

  149. Kev,

    The “repentance” error is one of my pet peeves — how folks try to justify a works salvation by interpreting it incorrectly. I have preached and written on it many times. A great friend, Dr. Richard Seymour published one of the greatest books on repentance, “All About Repentance.” He also has available a free PDF file with a short but clear explanation at:

    Click to access understanding_repentanance.pdf

    Seymour’s web page is a treasury of PDFs discussing very clearly many doctrinal positions:

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  150. Bruce, yes Romans 4 is a treasure.

    Jack, I recently took the Doctrine of Repentance course at BBNBI (You link to BBN Radio who are the same folks). In this course I learned something that has been staring me in the face but I never really noticed. Romans is the fullest explanation of the Gospel that we have, and never once does the idea of “turning from your sins” occure in it.

    In fact even the word repentance (which the LS crew will often define as turning from sin) only occures once. Romans 2:4 and is used in a rebuke of those who judge others by their sins because we have all been guilty of sin – and sins. Whatever we judge others for we condemn ourselves for.

    Yes, read Romans! It’s a wonderful book!


  151. Kev and Bruce,

    And I have had LS and Calvinist argue with me til they are blue — and finally state, “Jack, just read Romans.”

    Well I have read and studied the book and find nothing to confirm their erroneous teaching.
    The verses you have quoted dispel all vestiges of LS and Calvinist theology. (but that won;’t deter them).

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  152. Hi Kev and Jack:
    Both Romans 11:6 and Romans 4:16 are terrific verses! Thanks, and might I add Romans 4:5 as well?

    It never ceases to amaze me how LS advocates often try to use Paul’s writings to support their erroneous teachings!

  153. Hi Jack,
    You quoted Rom 11:6 which is a powerful rebuttal of LS theology. So is Romans 4:16 . Particularly Rom 4:16a “Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace”


  154. JanH,

    Thanks for visiting and tying those points (people) together. There are indeed lots of disturbing connections there.. So few know about it and we see the lies spreading faster than the Gospel. What a tragedy.
    So happy to see so many discerning Bible believing Christians visiting our site.. Come back.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  155. Hi Pastor Jack-

    A word about Piper and Rick Warren: Piper had Warren at his Desiring God conference this past fall. In 2009 he had the heretic Douglas Wilson of Federal Vision fame. The year before that he had Mark Driscoll, who needs no comment.

    And, incidentally, Francis Chan graduated from the Master’s Seminary and is buddies with Driscoll and Josh Harris of CJ Mahaney’s Sovereign Grace Ministries church system.

    A lot of disturbing connections going on there.

    Thank you for your blog.


  156. Sorry Kev that I attributed Chris’ comment about Washer to you. Please excuse my occasional inadvertent senility. 😉
    You are right about those who “call it Grace” but preach works. A favorite verse is:
    “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” Romans 11:6
    If at any time or any way you try to mix works with grace it comes out works. Grace stands alone.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  157. Hi Jack,

    It wasn’t me who mentioned Paul Washer – while there are some things he says which are true your point about leaven holds true with this man as well. I can not fellowship or encourage fellowship with any who preach a works based salvation – even if they CALL it grace.

    I’m at work but will stop in again later with further comment.

  158. Correction, the link for Washer is invalid.
    Try this one — a Blog exposing Washer’s message.
    {link removed because of error}
    The link was exposing Washer and that part was correct — but other teachings were wrong

    In Christ, Jack

  159. Kev,

    You mentioned Paul Washer, Just off the top of my head it seems like last time I saw a video of him, he misrepresented the term “repent” for salvation, intimating that he believes it means to turn from sin. That is a common misunderstanding but when honest Christian scholars realize that Repent means “to change one’s mind” their message clears immediately, thus people are no longer put under the law of behavior.
    Invalid Link — see my comment below.

    Washer, Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron, John MacArthur all infer the same error. There is NO Grace in such a message.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  160. Kev,
    You are generous with MacArthur, calling him a Brother. If he sincerely believes some of the quotes he has made about works to gain or retain salvation I would question his eternity — however, The Lord is the final Judge and not me. But as a minister I have the responsibility to point out error and advise of truth. I try not to mince words because minced words is what, for 35 years, kept me from understanding the Gospel and the simplicity that is in Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3)

    About your comment on Piper. Though well respected in many theological circles, he is a doctrinaire Calvinist and that teaching permeates his works and that of most Lordship Salvation folks.

    It is a shame that folks attribute good teaching to Piper and MacArthur (which may be true) — but a little leaven leavens the whole lump. (Galatians 5:9)
    I could never recommend either man for that reason nor will I ever quote them in a positive manner because it might encourage some babes in Christ to examine and be influenced by their works.

    I will put both of your Blogs on my RSS feed so we can stay in touch.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  161. Kev,
    After reviewing the video I saw of Mr. MacArthur, I have an apology to make. I was watching it late at night, so maybe I was oversensitive.

    I apologize to Mr. MacArthur for the comments I made above and to those who were listening to him.

    After a second viewing, I found his statements on the discussed issue to be well-researched. My impressions of his tone were overstated and, upon a second hearing, the reactions of his hearers were quite natural.

    I also agree with everything stated by the two preachers that preceded Mr. MacArthur.

    The topic was the prosperity gospel and here is the link:

    It appears that I was the one having the off day.

    This, of course, doesn’t have anything to do with the doctrinal issues you and ExPreacherman are discussing. I am a bit curious about this and will check out the comments about your concerns.

    God’s blessings…

    By the way, I’m up in the air about one of the three preachers featured in the video: Mr. John Piper. He seems to have a certain respect for Rick Warren whom I think is dangerous. He also seems to think a two-state solution is possible in Israel.
    I know nothing about Paul Washer, but everything I’ve heard him say rings true.

  162. Hi Jack,
    I was linked to your blog by a dear friend of mine. Given the topics you write on the and the people you influence I’m surprised we haven’t crossed paths before. I too am appauled at MacArthur’s abuse of Scripture and rewriting the Gospel to his own liking.

    One thing I appreciate about your writing, given that I have only read two of your articles, is that you don’t mince words. You are willing to call MacArthur’s works what they are – works of apostacy.

    I do believe that MacArthur is a Brother but it is doubtless to me that he has forsaken sound doctrine.

  163. Kev, I note that you re-posted the review of MacArthur’s book, Thanks.
    I have posted many other articles on MacArthur, among them:
    And about Francis Chan, another MacArthur type Lordship advocate. Some interesting comments pro and con.
    Use my Search box — I have many references to MacArthur.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  164. Thanks Chris,

    Unfortunately I can say very little good about MacArthur. His “salvation” message especially is one from which I would recommend all should flee.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  165. I would like to see this video. Do you have a link to it?


  166. Thanks for sharing.

    I know Mr. MacArthur is highly esteemed among many Christians and that he is a prolific in authorship.
    I was watching a video of him the other day. He was criticizing a well-known preacher who deserves to be checked. The “checking” was not professionally handled, in my mind, and the listeners were allowed to giggle and smirk as Mr. MacArthur made his comments.
    Maybe Mr. MacArthur was having an off day, but the sense I got was that these listeners where used to this type of criticism and we’re also used to responding inappropriately to it.
    I was disappointed by what I saw.

    God’s blessings…