By Jack Weaver
Dr. Tom Cucuzza tipped me off to the following interesting link from John MacArthur’s (JMac) Grace To You web site.
I’ll quote a couple of passages in which someone in JMac’s camp tries to “correct” JMac’s Lordship error.
One paragraph in the first edition of Hard to Believe contained a glaring error that has the potential to mislead readers about the book’s whole intent.
As one reads the original and the “correction” one sees very little difference in doctrine. Both ooze Lordship Salvation, just slightly different.
The Grace To You writer seems to try to blame everyone for the error.
The error was inadvertently introduced into the [original] manuscript in the late stages of the editorial process, when (in order to simplify the book) four chapters were deleted from the original manuscript and one of the remaining chapters was severely abridged. John MacArthur approved the abridgments.
…..Unfortunately, that [later] change was not submitted to John for approval. We believe the error was an oversight, and not anyone’s deliberate attempt to tamper with the book’s theology. The result, however, severely muddled the message of the book.
A revision was sent to the publisher for future editions of the book. In all subsequent printings, here is how the opening paragraph of chapter six reads (revisions are in bold):
“Don’t believe anyone who says it’s easy to become a Christian. Salvation for sinners cost God His own Son; it cost God’s Son His life, and it’ll cost you the same thing. Salvation isn’t the result of an intellectual exercise. It comes from a life lived in obedience and service to Christ as revealed in the Scripture; it’s the fruit of actions, not intentions. There’s no room for passive spectators: words without actions are empty and futile…The life we live, not the words we speak, determines our eternal destiny“ (John MacArthur, Hard to Believe, p. 93).
Here is the so-called “corrected” revision of the error in his original passage — from the opening paragraph of chapter 6 (page 93), The changed portions are in bold, according to JMac’s web site.
Don’t believe anyone who says it’s easy to become a Christian. Salvation for sinners cost God His own Son; it cost God’s Son His life, and it’ll cost you the same thing. Salvation isn’t gained by reciting mere words. Saving faith transforms the heart, and that in turn transforms behavior. Faith’s fruit is seen in actions, not intentions. There’s no room for passive spectators: words without actions are empty and futile. Remember that what John saw in his vision of judgment was a Book of Life, not a book of Words or Book of Intellectual Musings. The life we live, not the words we speak, reveals whether our faith is authentic. Chapter 6 (page 93)
Not surprisingly, I see no substantial difference — Both preach a works based “salvation, probation” message. JMac has managed to survive an apparent internal controversy and continues preaching the same old Lordship probation message he has preached for years.
What say you?