[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Question and Answer with Lordship Salvation Proponent Jonathan Moorhead

by Antonio da Rosa

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.


Antonio said...
Jonathan,

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!

Antonio


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"?


Antonio said...
Jonathan,

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.

Antonio


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

5 Comments:

  • Hi Antonio:

    I see that, technically speaking, you are only "fielding questions" so you can delete/ignore/answer only once this observation if you want.

    I have a correction to make:

    You write:

    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.


    Correction: Evangelicals who disagree with the last statement are dissenting against sin. Not grace as you erroneously word it, but the grace of our God into lasciviousness, to quote the inspired writer (Jude v4)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Tuesday, December 09, 2008 8:51:00 AM  

  • Thanks for the concise view of FG Antonio. I must agree that understanding grace as a free gift is indeed a hard thing for many people. It goes completely against our nature.

    God bless,
    Jim

    By Blogger Jim, at Tuesday, December 09, 2008 9:17:00 AM  

  • Thank you so much Antonio for that excellent explanation. I believe that you are 100% correct (biblical). You worded it in such a way that helped me see it even clearer than before. That's exciting for me!!! This is going in my "SPECIAL" files.

    Oh friends, Jesus paid it all. Sin is not the issue that keeps us out of heaven. Sin has been paid for by Christ for every person... believer and unbeliever. The issue is LIFE. God offers us LIFE. He can do that because the sin issue has been dealt with by Jesus. If a person believes in Christ, they have LIFE (His LIFE), and nothing they do here on earth will change the fact that they are forever His child. They will be in the Kingdom of God. But (like you said) if they live like the devil (a rebellious child), then they will feel the pain of their rebellion at the Judgment Seat of Christ. There will be great regret and loss of reward, but they will forever be with Christ who loves them with an everlasting love.

    I long for people to grasp that truth. Antonio, you said it so well. Thank you.

    Rejoicing because of Jesus,
    Diane
    :-)

    By Blogger Diane, at Tuesday, December 09, 2008 7:51:00 PM  

  • Very good article Antonio, you always explain things so they are easy to understand. That's what I need.

    Amen Diane, you always let your light shine real good, which helps me to see!

    I think I remember Zane saying that when he is witnessing to someone and then they make the statement “so that means I could just go out and live like the devil?” Zane said he was pleased when he got that reply because that was telling him they were REALLY getting it, that eternal life was a gift!

    The Lordship Calvinist doesn’t really believe that, with him it has to be all or nothing. I would call it the package plan. And sin has really ONLY been paid for the elect, so IF you’re REALLY the elect you will work your way to the end to get to heaven! So in the final analyzes nothing was REALLY free, but cost everything! But I’m sure they would say Jesus does it all so He gets all the glory. That sounds real good, but that is still UNBELIEF because they never believed Jesus in the first place that eternal life is a gift that can be taken freely.
    And that is where you MUST start with childlike faith, not five-point Calvinist theological faith.

    If you knew the gift of God and who it is that says to 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water. John 4:10

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Wednesday, December 10, 2008 4:39:00 PM  

  • my typing is getting worse by the day!!

    Antonio,
    I read this last week and meant to comment. I must have gotten too busy.
    I want to say that I appreciate reading it because I do believe I missed it when this conversation originally occurred. I am afriad to say that, though, because now that I am up over 40, I seem to have a shoddy memeory and I fear that you will retort, "Rose look at this link and see that you *did* read it, my dear sister." hahaha
    Well, whether I did or did not read it before, your explanations to Jonathan were great and very beneficial to clarify your views.

    I epecially like this part:

    And of course, at the ushering in of the eternal state, God wipes away every tear.

    That will be wonderful!

    Well, Antonio, one thing about having a bad memory is that I get to enjoy things over and over again just as if for the first time. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, December 15, 2008 10:23:00 AM  

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