LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Friday, June 27, 2008

Lou Martuneac and Mark Pierson Speak

The discussion took place here... https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=4325570063154994968&postID=4018681151046232299

Lou M. says - I am all for expecting the genuinely born again Christian to live (at varying degrees) in obedience to the Lord’s commands. However, I also understand from the Scriptures the inevitable existence of “carnal” believers/Christians that we will always have in the church....

I will, however, say this much: I reject any theology that suggests “commitment, surrender or submission” to the “good works” (Eph. 2:10) and/or obedience expected of a born again disciple of Christ is necessary from a lost man for justification (the reception of eternal life).

This week I posted a review of John MacArthur’s newest and third edition of The Gospel According to Jesus. There is the link for your consideration. In my brief review I expand on some of the notes I shared in this comment.

It might interest you to know that after the initial storm my book raised among men who were sympathetic to MacArthur’s LS interpretation of the Gospel I have received a number of calls and e-mails from men in the Reformed camp. Many of these conceded they had initially misjudged my arguments and have come to find that I was much more right on LS then they had at first given me credit for. They took the time to read my book, mediate on my arguments from the standpoint of Scripture.My revised and expanded edition will build upon the good foundation the original established.

Kind regards,LM

Lou M. says - /Mark/All:

I have done a great deal in recent months at various sites to show that there is a clear division in the FG community.I wrote a special article Is “REDEFINED” Free Grace Theology- Free Grace Theology?

I encourage all of you men who oppose the unusual GES brand of theology to read it.

The GES faction is a shrinking cell of extremists that will no doubt continue to slide into new and even more absurd ideas. The GES Crossless gospel advocates do NOT speak for or represent the FG camp in general.

When you read the kind of absurdity coming from those who follow the teaching of Hodges and Wilkin, just remember that these strange views are almost totally exclusive to GES followers.


Lou M. says - [Jazzy Cat asked] You asked, “Do you consider 100% of regular church goers to be true Christians?”I suspect we can find “church-goers” in most every evangelical church who were never born again. As far as I am concerned the more unsaved “church-goers” attending Bible-believing churches the better. This way they will be under the preaching of God’s Word.

That will most certainly result in some of them being saved, unless of course they are subjected to the Lordship or Crossless gospel.


Lou M. says - Jazzy:You wrote, “I agree. Justification is by faith alone.”

I’m glad to read that because then there is no way you can agree with the error of John MacArthur’s LS gospel.

For example he wrote, “Forsaking oneself for Christ’s sake is not an optional step of discipleship subsequent to conversion; it is the sine qua non of saving faith.” (TGATJ)

Sine qua non defined means: an indispensable condition. Dr. MacArthur says “forsaking oneself for Christ’s sake” is not subsequent to, does not follow conversion. Therefore, the “sine qua non” (indispensable condition) of saving faith is “forsaking.” Dr. MacArthur requires an upfront commitment to this for salvation.

He also wrote, “That is the kind of response the Lord Jesus called for: wholehearted commitment. A desire for him at any cost. Unconditional surrender. A full exchange of self for the Savior. It is the only response that will open the gates of the kingdom.” (TGATJ)

Lordship Salvation frontloads faith with conditions for salvation that the Bible does not force on the lost.

MacArthur’s LS is a non-saving, works based message that calls on man to offer “commitment,” “surrender” and “forsaking” in “exchange” for salvation.

Again, I am very pleased to read that you have not bought into this erroneous teaching.


Mark P. says - mark pierson said...

Question #1- Did Mark 8:34-38 happen in an evangelistic setting or no?

#2 - On a timeline stretching from the Reformation; where on that timeline did your views originate?

#3 - Could a holder of Covenant Theology or New Covenant Theology, using their hermeneutic, arrive at your conclussions, conclussions wherein MacArthur's TGATJ is a works salvation, or "front-loaded" as you say?

Please answer my questions carefully. I believe that you are holding MacArthur's work up to a standard that was born in and of a certain strand of dispensational thought - Chafer, Ryrie - and hope you'll understand that if that is the case, you views would be regarded as irrelevant to those of us outside of Dispensationalism.

Lou M. says - Mark:I may come back later with more, but I am at work and very busy at this time. You might find me more receptive to addressing your questions if you asked in a less militant tone. Furthermore, why not interact with the statements I posted from JM?I bring no presuppositions of any kind into my reading of MacArthur’s Lordship Salvation. I am holding MacArthur’s soteriology up and comparing it to the eternal Word of God. His LS view simply fails the test of Scripture.His call for the lost man to make a “commitment” to the “good works” expected of a mature Christian is a false, works based, non-saving message.

Mark P. says -
mark pierson said...
No sir, he merely considers ALL of the information from all 4 gospels when he considers what a gospel presentation should include. Even Ryrie lightly hints at the idea that the Gospel of John is THE book to look at for evangelistic purposes - a "Dallas Doctrine" distinctive???I shall awaite your responses to ALL of my questions from the previous comment I left to you. I'm off to my second shift job shortly.

Lou M. says -
Lou Martuneac said...
Mark:It does not matter how MacArthur arrives at his LS interpretation of the Gospel. His statements articulate very clearly what is a false, works based message.


Lou Martuneac said...
Like Jazzy wrote to me earlier in the thread, "I agree with you if, by the term lordship salvation, you mean anything to do with justification. This is a blog dedicated to the true free grace of eternal life by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone."

MacArthur teaches (which I have documented) faith, plus "commitment" of life in "exchange" for the reception of eternal life.

mark pierson said...
I am sure your book does/will resonate with those who hold to "Ryrian Theology". But those of us who hold to the Biblical view of regeneration - that being that the regeneration experience ALWAYS results in conversion, a new creation with a new nature, with new desires - will see your book as simply one side firing on another side within Dispensationalism. Unfortunate for you that your system does not let you interpret passages like Mark 8:34-38 properly, that is that that passage is indeed taking place in an evagelistic setting. Many people in that passage were hearing Christ for the very first time.

Question: Why didn't Christ run after the departing rich young ruler?

mark pierson said...
Besides all of this B.B. Warfield took apart Chafer's "Ye which Are Spiritual" within two years of its publication. That whole idea of a state of carnal Christianity was popularized in that work by Chafer and was soundly refuted by Warfield and many others since then. Even other dispy's would not agree with Chafer's views there.
7:19 AM

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Blogger Matt Waymeyer said...

Mark wrote: "Question #1- Did Mark 8:34-38 happen in an evangelistic setting or no?"

That indeed is the question. Way to get right to the heart of the matter.

June 27, 2008 3:19 PM

Blogger donsands said...

"And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.
"For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it.
"For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?
"For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
"For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels." Mark 8:34-38

This is the narrow gate, which brings us into the narrow way.

Seems very clear that a sinner must undertsand he's a sinner, that Christ calls for us to trust, commit, and repent.

How the repenting, faith, and committing work there way into, and out of a human's dead heart is obvious. God quickens the dead. God takes a heart of granite, and makes it a tender heart, that confesses, turns from sin, and to the Savior, and trusts in Christ for forgiveness, and mercy.

I don't really understand where Free gracers are coming from. It's dangerous to not teach Jesus' salvation as one where He is Lord, and we are His servants. he is the Craetor, and we the creatures. He's the King of kings, and we the subjects.
He is our Father, and we are His children as well. "Abba, Father!" cries out the heart of the genuinly regenerated human heart.

Jesus is either Lord and Savior, or He's nothing.

June 27, 2008 3:41 PM

Blogger mark pierson said...

Matt, Don -

I guess that I was TOO militant for him, eh? As if his remarks about MacArthur and the so-called L/S position were of a discussion type quality. When I was growing up I was taught that you had better be able to take-it if indeed you can dish it out.

June 28, 2008 10:40 AM

Blogger Lou Martuneac said...


Charlie Bing’s dissertation, which MacArthur is familiar with, thoroughly refutes Lordship Salvation at every level.

Lordship Salvation: A Biblical Evaluation & Response contains a discussion of Mark 8, which you questioned. The section on Mark 8 and its parallels in Matt. 16 and Luke 9 is on pp. 131-140.

Here are a few thoughts on Bing’s discussion of Mark 8 (provided by a close associate of Dr. Bing) for your consideration.

1) The cross that is mentioned in the passage is clearly not Christ’s cross, but our own. So what they’re really saying is that the work done by Christ on His cross PLUS our cross = salvation. That screams WORKS!

2) The parallel in Matt. 16:27 makes it very clear that the issue in the saving of one’s life is receiving a “reward” based on one’s “works.”

3) Thus in this context, the saving of the “life” is referring to one’s post-regeneration life not being wasted but having eternal significance in terms of eschatological reward and position of service for Christ in eternity.

4) One point that is often missed with this passage is that, not only in Mark 8, but also in Matt. 16 and Luke 9, the Lord’s instruction on carrying our cross is and not denying Him is immediately preceded in context by Peter’s confession of faith and subsequent denial that Jesus should go to Jerusalem and die, followed by Christ’s famous “Get thee behind Me Satan” statement. This means that the Lord was looking prospectively to the disciples’ future denial of Him when the Shepherd was struck and the 11 were scattered at Calvary. In other words, they DID deny Him and were ashamed of Him . . . for a while. It is possible for genuine believers to deny Him and not take up their crosses.

5) Luke 9:23 adds in some texts the word “daily” to the admonition to carry our cross. Does this mean that in order to get to heaven we must do something every day? Even many perseverance advocates wouldn’t go that far.

6) The Luke 14 parallel talks about “counting the cost” --the exact opposite of “free” salvation (Rom. 3:24; Rev. 22:17).

7) In Matt. 16:24, Mark 8:34 and Luke 9:23, Christ prefaces His comments by saying “if anyone desires to come AFTER (opiso) Me. . .

Eternal life, justification, forgiveness, salvation, etc. is never predicated in any other passage of Scripture in “coming after” Christ but in “coming to” Christ, ie, by faith (Matt. 11:28; John 6:35, 37). In Luke 14:26, there are two conditions/descriptions stated, “coming to” Christ (all who are born again) and following “after” Christ (for obedient discipleship).

8) Mark 8 and the other parallel passages all talk about the possibility of being ashamed before Christ at His coming. This is a distinct possibility for genuine but carnal and sleeping believers! (1 John 2:28; 1 Thess. 5:4-10; Rom 13:11-14).

If you have any reaction- focus on the theological views of Lordship Salvation advocates such as John MacArthur that are under scrutiny.


June 28, 2008 5:09 PM

Blogger donsands said...

2) The parallel in Matt. 16:27 makes it very clear that the issue in the saving of one’s life is receiving a “reward” based on one’s “works.”

3) Thus in this context, the saving of the “life” is referring to one’s post-regeneration life not being wasted but having eternal significance in terms of eschatological reward and position of service for Christ in eternity.

I guess this is where you and I disagree.
I don't believe our Lord's words had this hidden meaning for this grand crowd of sinners.

Jesus says if you eye causes you to sin, then pluck it out, for it's better to go to heaven with one eye, then to burn in hell with both eyes.
Now, I realize Jesus is jsut making a very, very strong point here about saving grace, but say it was true, then one should really pluck it out, don't you think. Would that be a work? Sure.

But like Paul says, he worked harder than all the apostles put together, but not him; not him, but the grace of God in him.

"Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved".

June 28, 2008 8:56 PM

Blogger Lou Martuneac said...

To read Dr. Charlie Bing's major review and response to Lordship Salvation, click on..

Lordship Salvation: A Biblical Evaluation & Response

June 29, 2008 8:59 AM

Blogger mark pierson said...

Later today I shal print out here Ryrie's comments on Mark 8:34-38 from his study bible. Then we'll see just how far off Bing is in his theology when compared to Ryrie.

June 29, 2008 9:05 AM

Blogger mark pierson said...

From the RYRIE STUDY BIBLE, page 1499, notes on Mark 8:35 -

The verse means this: Whoever would save his life (by renouncing the gospel and thus avoiding the risk of martyrdom) will lose it (eternally, because he has not believed the gospel);but whoever is willing to lose his life (as a martyr for Christ) will save it (i.e., will prove that he is a follower of Christ and an heir ofm eternal life).

June 29, 2008 11:36 AM

Blogger mark pierson said...

There, now the readership can determine which interpretation is more in following with the historic expositors.

June 29, 2008 11:39 AM

Blogger mark pierson said...

"1) The cross that is mentioned in the passage is clearly not Christ’s cross, but our own. So what they’re really saying is that the work done by Christ on His cross PLUS our cross = salvation. That screams WORKS!"

Please let us go on to remember the fact that MacArthur is examining what is authentic faith in TGATJ. What does authentic faith look like? If I am working out in the yard, and become hungry, and I hear my wife call out that dinner is on the table, how will the fact that I believe her statement manifest itself - here knowing that what she has prepared will fill my hungary stomach? It will manifest itself in my running to get to the table. So it is when a person believes Christ to be his only hope of salvation. That faith will manifest itself in becoming a follower. Christ is calling for THAT kind of faith in Him.

June 29, 2008 1:11 PM

Blogger jazzycat said...

Great analogy. James also talks about the importance of authentic faith in James 2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? This rhetorical question makes it clear that a claimed faith does not save.

The point is that justification is by faith alone and a truly authentic born again believer is led by the Spirit to willingly follow Jesus Christ as a disciple. True free grace not only saves, but it also sanctifies. Jesus did not say, “most of my sheep follow me.” No, he said, “My sheep know my voice and follow me.” This is certainly not perfect as even Peter denied Jesus for a short very short period and immediately was convicted, repented, and again became a devoted disciple.

June 29, 2008 6:45 PM

Blogger Lou Martuneac said...


I seem to recall posting this in your thread previously, maybe I’m mistaken. In any event, here is how I wanted to reply to your comment above.

We are discussing the “Gospel.” MacArthur is writing LS books on what he believes is the saving message of the Gospel.

There certainly should be genuine results of genuine, authentic saving faith in Jesus Christ, but what is the faith that saves?

If MacArthur were ONLY teaching what should be the results of salvation, what should look like the new life in Christ following a genuine conversion, he would be much closer to a balanced biblical position.

What we must remember, however, and that which is obvious to any objective reader, is that MacArthur, especially in all three editions of TGATJ, is teaching that the lost must make an upfront commitment of submission to perform the “good works” (Eph. 2:10) expected of a genuinely born again Christian. That does indeed scream, “WORKS!”

This is what must be remembered, because LS is a non-saving message, being portrayed as though a lost man’s commitment to future performance is the way to receive the gift of eternal life.


July 01, 2008 1:06 AM

Blogger mark pierson said...

No, what screams "works" is yours and Bing's straw man and the amazing gymnastics display that you and he put on in your way of interpreting Mark 8:34-35. As I have provided even Ryrie is more "traditional" in his handling of that portion of scripture. That makes you and Bing to be in left field some place.

July 01, 2008 6:49 AM

Blogger mark pierson said...

These exchanges plus those that I remember that took place at Pulpit Magazine back in November, 2006, where the staff there did a very good job in trying to correct your mischaracterization of MacArthur's position, make me wonder if you are any more honorable than a certain other fg proponent.

July 01, 2008 7:07 AM

Blogger mark pierson said...


July 01, 2008 8:59 AM

Blogger Lou Martuneac said...


This is LS advocate mantra, “mischaracterization.” Instead of dealing squarely with what MacArthur has written in his LS books, claim, “mischaracterization.” or “misrepresentation.” when confronted with any of the many polarizing views of MacArthur that are documented from his own books.

Would you care you to focus a clear, unvarnished opinion on whether or not MacArthur’s view that James 4:7-10 is an "invitation to salvation" a condition for the reception of eternal life?

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up,” (James 4:7-10).

Does that passage teach the way the lost must be born agan? MacArthur says it does; what do you say? Is he correct or is he mistaken?

I have posted an article that deals with MacArthur’s view that James 4:7-10 is an invitation to salvation, his interpretation of the conditions that must be committed to in order to be born again.

Summary of Lordship Salvation on a Single Page

His view of James 4:7-10 is a message of commitment to the performance of works, a works based message that frustrates grace and saves no one.


July 01, 2008 9:08 AM

Blogger Lou Martuneac said...

I'm going fishing, I'll look in later.

If you do not deal squarely with MacArthur's notes on James 4:7-10, with the views he in on record with, we have almost nothing to interact around.

Deal with what MacArthur is writing, it is in print, it is his position.


July 01, 2008 9:12 AM

Blogger Lou Martuneac said...

One other note:

It is not my primary goal in the LS debate, discussions and my book to change the views of men who have already fallen into the trap of Lordship Salvation.

I do, however, hope and pray that they can and will one day be recovered to a proper biblical balance on the Gospel.

My primary goal and burden is to alert a broad cross section of evangelical Christianity of the dangerous teaching that is commonly known as Lordship Salvation.

I want to help unsuspecting believers to know what LS is, so they can recognize LS, biblically resist it and warn others also.


July 01, 2008 9:32 AM

Blogger mark pierson said...

From page 250 of the latest edition of TGATJ -

One of the most comprehensive invitations to salvation in all the Epistles comes in James 4:7-10. While James directs most of his epistle to genuine believers, it is also evident that he is concerned about those who are not genuine. He wants no one to be deceived regarding true salvation, so he calls for a real, living, saving faith that is distinct from the dead faith of chapter 2. He states his objective in 5:20. It is to see "the sinner converted from the error of his way and his soul saved from death.

July 01, 2008 11:17 AM

Blogger mark pierson said...

So, yes I believe MacArthur's view of James 4:7-10 is a very good snap shot of what repentance looks like and that it is perfectly in line with what the Bible as a whole teaches on "repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance".

July 01, 2008 11:30 AM

Blogger mark pierson said...

So how are you different than Hodges?

Ryrie wrote his response and Hodges wrote his... Does your book have any legitimate reason for existance?

(O, don't worry, the sitemeter here indicates that only about 5 or 6 different people read here daily - and of those only about 3 agree with me)

July 01, 2008 11:36 AM


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