Question and Answer with Lordship Salvation Proponent Jonathan Moorhead
I haven't updated my 'Main Menu' option over at Free Grace Theology Blog in about a year and a half. Needless to say the Menu is lacking in a substantial amount of articles that I have written. Until I get such a time to update the Main Menu, please peruse the archives.
You will find in the archives a piece that I did entitled The Free Grace Rendering and Interpretation of James 1:21 is the Most Probable which discusses the logion "save [your] soul" [Greek = 'sozo' with 'psyche' as its object] in James 1:21, which is an important consideration in our interpretation of James 2:14ff. In the comments section of this particular post (the comments sections of my posts are often rich resources) I had a brief question and answer time with Jonathan Moorhead of TheoCentriBlog, who is an avid proponent of MacArthur's brand of Lordship Salvation.
You may find the dialogue instructive.
Jonathan Moorhead said...
Antonio, if your position is the most probably, why do you personally think it has been rejected for the majority of church history? Just looking for your opinion - no setup.
I have spent some time thinking about Lordship salvation (as you can probably tell).
One of the bottom lines is this:
People just cannot get themselves to agree with the premise that full pardon from God, entrance into heaven, and eternal life have absolutely nothing to do with their behavior whatsoever; that nothing they have done or can or will do in the future has any bearing on whether or not they end up in the kingdom of God (barring of course simple faith into Christ).
They cannot get themselves to understand that even a sinful, debased individual, nevertheless justified and covered by the blood of Jesus, can be in God's kingdom.
Deep down inside they believe, in a very real way, that behavior is intrinsically correllated with one's hope of heaven.
How did this happen?
Grace is a naughty word.
If it is true that your eternity can be absolutely secure no matter what your behavior is (past, present, or future), then you can get fire-insurance and live like the devil.
I happen to agree with the last statement. The RCC and Lordship Salvation, and Arminianism would all be on the same page and dissent against grace.
The person who lives like the devil, in RCC, Lordship Calvinism, and Lordship Arminianism, does not go to heaven. Works all have an integral part, one way or another, in one's final entrance into heaven.
The person who lives like the devil (who never the less has eternal life) in FG theology will lose his soul, both in time and for eternity, yet he will be in the kingdom.
Thanks for dropping by!
Jonathan Moorhead said...
Thanks Antonio. Could you please clarify your statement:
"The person who lives like the devil (who never the less has eternal life) in FG theology will lose his soul, both in time and for eternity, yet he will be in the kingdom."
Can you really "lose" your soul in heaven? Is this the weeping and gnashing of teeth part of "heaven"?
I appreciate the questions. Let me tell you why:
As long as you are asking questions, you are trying to get clarified for you the Free Grace position, not disseminating mischaracterizations.
There is no "weeping and gnashing of teeth" part of heaven, as if it is an actual geographical place.
'weeping and gnashing of teeth' is a figurative expression denoting remorse, sorrow, and anguish over one's wasted life that has now resulted in serious loss in the kingdom of God.
The non-overcoming Christian will be judged by God's word. This word will figuratively cut him in two. Have you ever been confronted with a sin by someone you have hurt and it felt like you were cut in two? It is the same thing.
Your sin nature will be gone, and there will be nothing (no rationalization, no justifications) to hinder the full weight of your shortcomings as a servant/steward. Shame, sorrow, remorse are all appropriate.
But like with any tragedy, one, in the course of time, gets over, and deals with sorrow. And of course, at the ushering in of the eternal state, God wipes away every tear.
Jonathan, one way I have seen the LS distort FG theology is by presenting FG interpretations of parabolic passages as literal, when indeed, the FG interpret them figuratively, corresponding the elements of the parable to truth.
There is no 'outer darkness' geographical area in heaven. Sub-comers are not literally cut in two, or bound hand and foot.
the term 'outer darkness' is better translated 'the darkness outside', IOW, outside the parabolic banquet hall where the overcomers are celebrating.
I do believe that I have even seen you make this mistake in misrepresenting FG. We understand the parabolic passages parabolically and do wooden-literally equate them. The figures in the parable correspond to spiritual truth.
Now to answer your question.
From the time forward at regeneration, the Christian constructs a life. If he constructs it by taking heed to the words of Jesus, he will be saving his life (soul). When we create our life in time, we can construct it in such a way where its meaning and significance transects INTO eternity.
Receving with meekness the implanted word, and being a doer of that word, will result in the abundant life, the saving of the life (soul) in time. It saves one from the temporal effects of spiritual impoverishment and consequences of sin.
To lose one's soul (life) in eternity, is to forfeit the abundant life (vis-a-vis: the intimacy of being one of Christ's metachoi, co-ruling/reigning with Christ, attendant priviliges and honors).
The salvation of the soul, in its eternal ramifications, refers to the abundant life which shall be the eternal experience of the believer whose faith stands the fiery tests.
In other words, if believers are faithful in their earthly trials, not only will they experience the temporal satisfactions: joy, peace, significance, and meaning, they will obtain the abundant life forever!
I appreciate this opportunity, Jonathan, to clarify my statements.
Our behavior certainly has significant eternal repercussions. Just not in the realm of whether one enters the kingdom or not.
I hope that this short discussion has been helpful to you. If you have any questions, I would be happy to field them.
in grace and truth,
Antonio da Rosa