Reformed Theology / Lordship Salvation on Trial!
John H. Gerstner:
Lordship teaching does not 'add works', as if faith were not sufficient. The 'works' are part of the definition of faith. [Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth: A Critique of Dispensationalism, p 257]
Let us say that we were in a court of law. Reformed Theology / Lordship Salvation was on trial for requiring works for salvation and Free Grace Theology was prosecuting. During opening statements, Reformed Theology states, "We are clearly within the pale of Reformation Theology. We believe that salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone apart from works."
The prosecution's first witness is John H. Gerstner, and when asked if works are required and necessary for salvation in addition to faith, he states the above quote in defense of the Lordship Salvation position.
In the closing statement by Free Grace theology, their advocate makes this case:
How can it be escaped that Reformed Theology and Lordship Salvation teaches that works are necessary requirements for salvation? If works are part of the definition of faith, and faith alone is required for salvation, then we have works + whatever else takes up the remainder of the definition of faith as required for salvation.
If faith -> salvation
and faith = works + (fill in the blank)
then works + (fill in the blank) -> salvation
Such speak is manifestly double talk and, in fact, disingenuous. Including works in the definition of faith does not make one's position immune from the charge of works salvation.
If someone said, "This is water, have some." And then I ask him, "That is not water plus any poison, is it?" And He said, "No. It is water alone!" So I drank the water. But after I finished, I began to get sick, and sensed that there was some kind of poison in it. I said, "I thought you said that wasn't water plus poison!" And he answered, "It is just water! The poison is just part of the definition of water!"
What should become of this person who spoke thus about the water? Should he not be found guilty? Of course! There is nothing different between the claim of the man with the water and Mr. Gerstner here!
What is to be the verdict on Reformed Theology / Lordship Salvation?
Nothing but guilty as charged...