Talk:Lordship salvation controversy

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Kingship and Gods[edit]

Kinkship is based on God's choise. Secular monarchs, tend to prefer be elected presidents — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:17, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

Free grace[edit]

I'd like to get a better account of both sides here with sources and some quotes. MessyJ has experessed an interest in getting that done. Anyone else interested?

Some things to get us going:

  1. How do you think the page stands now?
  2. Is the Lordship Salvation view well represented?
  3. Is the Free grace view well represented?
  4. Is the page neutral in its approach (given that it is the page for "Lordship salvation")?
  5. Do all free gracers agree with Ryrie as the article describes his view?

--Flex 23:24, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

I'm also interested in getting "a better account of both sides here." I do not think the Lordship Salvation view of how to become a Christian is even mentioned, which is the far more serious matter in the debate.

Please explain. As I understand it, this controversy mainly revolves around a particular part of the doctrine of salvation, viz. sanctification. The implications of Lordship salvation certainly reach back to the initial stages of salvation (e.g., if a person doesn't persevere, did they truly repent and believe to begin with?), but those initial stages are not central to the debate AFAICT. Do you see it differently? --Flex (talk|contribs) 14:00, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Thank you, and of course I'll be happy to explain as thoroughly as you like. The initial stages are hugely central to the debate, as I see it, of course.
Sometimes a tract (or preacher, or book) will be very eloquent about the need for the work of Christ, its great provision for sin, the inability of man to save himself, etc., but when it gets down to the end, right at the discussion about how to actually receive salvation from God, without mentioning it at all until then, it throws in some phrase like "I totally give you my life" or "I give you control of everything" or something like that. This aspect of Lordship Salvation is actually where the name comes from, because the Lordship of Christ is invoked as the reason for requiring these promises. This aspect of Lordship Salvation distinguishes it from the condition that you may be referring to as "if a person doesn't persevere," which is another discussion.
Clnewman 14:53, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

I think we might be saying the same thing from different angles. Would you agree that the difference between non-Lordship salvation (aka, carnal Christianity) and Lordship salvation is that the former says works do not necessarily follow from a converted heart while the latter says they do? (As far as the name, I take it to be drawn from the notion of Christ being Lord of everything, including the believer's life. That doesn't directly and necessarily connect to any offer of salvation.) --Flex (talk|contribs) 20:21, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

The issue is "What must I do to be saved?, not what must inevitably follow salvation. Persons of either POV could have different answers to that one (to what extent do good works have to follow: to sinless perfection? to only trivial goofing up? to abstaining from biggies most of the time [murder, rape, lying!, etc.???) The works that follow salvation are not the cause of salvation, which is what this dispute is about. "Lordship" suggests that one gets saved by promising to obey & do works. Wrapped up in this issue is the definition of the Savior. An adequate definition of the object of trust is required (Jesus the Mexican Auto Mechanic saves no one). Rom 10:13 indicates that the object of trust is Jesus defined as YHWH, as it is quote from Joel where "LORD" is YHWH, not adonai or master or boss. Thus the question arises, "If I don't have to promise to obey to be saved, do I have to have Jesus in my mind defined as the boss, as the Lord"? Thus IMHO, there are at least 2 versions of "Lordship" salvation: 1) the idea that one promises to obey the boss to be saved or 2) one merely has to have him defined as the Boss to be saved. Now is it reasonable that anyone who regards Christ as YHWH and trusts Him as savior somehow excludes adonai-master-boss of the universe from his thinking as he regards Christ? (EnochBethany (talk) 17:17, 25 July 2014 (UTC))

Merge from Free Grace theology[edit]

I have suggested we merge that article here, but I don't think the merged article should necessarily bear only the name of lordship salvation. I just think there's a lot of duplicated material that should probably appear in a single article. --Flex (talk/contribs) 01:57, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't think they should be merged, as they are two distinct schools of soteriological thought. Lordship emphasizes that in order to be sure of salvation, fruit will be seen, whereas Free Grace says that fruit will be seen but is essentially irrelevant to justification. Lordship says proof of justification will be works, while Free Grace says no external proof of justification will necessarily be seen (although Free Gracers do not deny that good works will be done, which I believe is distinct from anti-nomianism). Lordship implies life change is necessary, whereas Free Grace says that you can be still be stuck in sin and be saved.
That is my understanding of both sides. But I don't feel they should be merged. --Doctorcherokee (talk) 00:42, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
That article has also been significantly expanded. It seems fine to leave it as-is. I'll remove the tags. --Flex (talk/contribs) 00:59, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
I do not agree with defining "Lordship" salvation by the alleged consequences of salvation. The basic issue is not consequence but what must I do to be saved? Do I have to promise to obey & do good works? Do I have to have Jesus in my mind defined as the master of the universe who must be obeyed? The issue of how well one must have the Savior defined is significant. I really don't know which way MacArthur goes on this: Is he saying one must promise to obey to be saved? Or is he saying the Jesus must be defined in the mind of the one who trusts Him as the master of the universe? (EnochBethany (talk) 17:24, 25 July 2014 (UTC))

Piper's contribution[edit]

In the bit about how John Piper moved the discussion forward, User:ByGraceAlone added this commentary (I'm moving it from the article to here):

Upon reading the reference to the above statement regarding Piper, the only work that Piper talked about was to listen to and focus on Jesus so that one would not "neglect such a great salvation" and drift away (Heb 2:1-4). Piper did make it clear that the drifting away in Hebrews 2 will lead to eternal destruction. However, to say that John Piper argues that "works" is necessary for salvation from hell from this sermon alone is a twisting of his words. Of course paying attention to Christ is most definitely necessary for salvation, for who can have faith in him whom he has not known? And how can one know someone whom he has not paid any attention to? Whoever wrote the last sentence of the above paragraph need to either offer better support or delete it from this article!

--Flex (talk/contribs) 00:34, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

External Sites and Quoting Scriptures[edit]

I think it wise that the NIV is not used to defend this doctrine. I know this is not the place to get into this discussion, but I can at least say that the NIV is arguably the worst modern translation ever made and has no place on wikipedia articles. I do not believe there are many people that think the KJV is a perversion, therefore it can be assumed a safe translation to represent all Bible Believing Christians who hold to the doctrine documented on this page. Also I'd like to know what this doctrine has to do with the calvinists since nearly every calvinist I've ever spoken with is very much so against this one. Any thoughts?

Also, could you (Flex) not remove the link I've placed to This article does a better job of defending LS than the poor 2 you left on this page the other day (granted I understand why you took down the others).

for Jesus' sake, Stephen the_masters_servant (talk) 05:15, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Re translation: The NIV is widely used and accepted within Evangelicalism, so your personal distaste for it and preference for the KJV (indubitably shared by others, but far from universal or even majoritarian) does not grant license to change the translation without substantive grounds directly related to this article's contents. Moreover, modern translations have been made for a number of reasons, e.g., the KJV is hard to read for most modern people because English has changed since 1611, and more (and arguably better) manuscripts of the Bible have been found since then, too. The goal here is to best serve the Wikipublic with a readable article. Hence, I wouldn't have a problem with a different, more modern translation such as the NAS, ESV, NRSV, etc. (but not the NAB et al., since this is a Protestant dispute), but likewise there is no substantive to make such a change. As with other matters on the Wikipedia (e.g., American vs. British spelling), inertia rules unless there is a substantive reason. For this reason, I will revert this change.
Re its connection with Calvinism: I don't think there's a necessary connection with Calvinism, though the main players in the public debate have been in the Calvinist and non-Calvinist dispensational camps. John MacArthur, one of the key figures in the debate, is Calvinist in his soteriology, as are the authors of most of the articles linked at such as J. I. Packer, Tom Ascol, John Piper, etc. Feel free to expand the coverage to other theological systems that have dealt with the issue, also.
Re the link to I have fixed the out-dated link to, which has a directory of articles on this topic, many of them by notable figures and published in various reliable sources. The article you have added lacks author and publication information (if applicable), and its (ab)use of bold and underlining do not commend it as tasteful (cf. any style manual and WP:EL#What_to_link). Other articles approach the subject with the same vigor but with better form and with greater weight because they come from a well-known figure and have been published. Hence I favor deleting this article, but I have left it in place until we reach a consensus. --Flex (talk/contribs) 15:19, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
This is not a Prot dispute. It is a dispute among theologians and preachers in the non-RCC movements; some consider selves prots, & others would vociferously object to such a characterization, not viewing themselves a part of the movements that came out from the papacy at all. I don't know that MacA, for one, considers himself a prot. As to the NIV, I doubt that many scholars would rely on it for doctrine. It is a mediating translation (between formal equivalency & dynamic). It is popular for easy-reading among Evangelicals. The NIV is highly interpretive, for example translating sarx (flesh) as "human nature" a number of times -- generally correct IMHO, but that is also IMHO too interpretive for Bible version. For doctrinal proof, you really need the original language texts. And failing that, at least see if the major translations are in accord. As a starting point, I don't know anything better than the old 1901 ASV. (EnochBethany (talk) 17:58, 25 July 2014 (UTC))


What should be done with this? The article is clearly broken, perhaps beyond repair? The problem seems to be that this isn't a real theological dispute, just a popular euphemism for certain views that came up in the 1980s. The actual soteriological questions are discussed in much better quality elsewhere. Perhaps this article should mainly focus in the dispute during the 1980s and the processes that resulted in a term as oblique as "Lordship salvation".

It appears that "lordship salvation" means that those who lead sinless lives are saved, and those who do not are not. What this has to do with "lordship" and how exactly it is to be placed relative to the Calvinist views on predetermination is completely unclear, at least it isn't made clear in any way in the article. --dab (𒁳) 13:22, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

I think I have figured out the gist of it and tried putting the article on its feet. It turns out that this is essentially the dispute over Christian perfection as it looks once you add lots of bigotry and terminological confusion.

"pro-lordship" claims Christian perfection as a sign of salvation, assumes that the "anti-lordship" camp denies the reality of regeneration. "anti-lordship" sticks to sola gratia and claims that the "pro-lordship" violates this principle by making the distinction between "Savior" (grace) and "Lord" (submission). "pro-lordship" then claims that this is nonsense, and that submission is the consequence, not the prerequisite of grace, and anyway "free Grace" is "cheap grace", meaning that you can act any way you like and still fancy yourself saved. "anti-lordship" then says that this is what they stated all along, and that if submission is really the automatic consequence of grace, why does the lordship camp make such a fuss over the two being distinct, and anyway the lordship camp simply wants to feel better about itself for acting holier-than-thou and sneering at sinners. And so on. I am sure that if you are a religious extremist you can spend 20 years earnestly arguing about this. What it boils down to in essentia is: "is regeneration eschatological"? "Free Grace" says yes, you're never done working on your spiritual progress during your lifetime, regeneration will only be complete when you enter heaven. "Lordship" says no, it is complete at some point during your biography, and after this you act at least as or more moral than Ned Flanders.

On a scale from Eastern Orthodoxy to Islam, all of Protestantism is somewhere in the middle range. Within Protestantism, "Lordship salvation" is slightly more on the "Islam" side of the scale than "Free Grace". --dab (𒁳) 16:29, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

Please consider the NPV of the article as edited 2012-05-15. Key elements I added and hopefully presented neutrally were ties to changes in Colossians 2:6 translations undergirding some of the popular terminology, that is, the "accept as" terminology, and "must Christ _be_ " language. These conversion-time aspects and these specific phrases of Lordship Salvation were neglected I think, and show how the debate crossed over from what the gospel is, to who is actually converted by looking at their lives. Clnewman (talk) 19:59, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

""pro-lordship" claims Christian perfection as a sign of salvation" -- total rubbish. And the real issue is not what must ensue from salvation, but what must I do to be saved? Persons continue not to understand that for many Christians, they are neither RCC nor Prot, but regard themselves as in the "Trail of Blood," the traditions of groups that never were under the papacy & did not come out of the papacy either. To speak of "all of Protestantism" is right off the bat to be wrong, for mainline Protestants have all kinds of doctrines and denials of doctrines, sodomist marriage even now. All doctrine is up for grabs. You can believe anything you want and join a protestant church. (EnochBethany (talk) 18:03, 25 July 2014 (UTC))

Original research in new material[edit]

It appears to me that the new material just added with this edit [1] is original research. Although there are some sources, these seem to be examples rather than sources for the statements. I note an older piece of OR remains about the first known use of the term. Dougweller (talk) 20:42, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Dougweller, please re-review following the further citations and removed OR that I've found so far. Thanks. Clnewman (talk) 23:53, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Not trying to be difficult, but what is the source for "Another idiom becoming pivotal"? Dougweller (talk) 07:39, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Thank you dw. Hopefully I fixed this by explicit references and added two more references, the Stanley and the Horton. Much is left to be done. Especially in the updating to today. Clnewman (talk) 15:42, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Thanks. Have you read WP:NOR by the way? Dougweller (talk) 13:33, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

Yes, and appreciate it and like it. I also appreciate the NPOV article, and am mercilessly looking in stuff that I added for violations of it. ;) It's not clear to me whether directly quoting from a source is a copyright violation, or not. Do you have an understanding of this? Thanks. Clnewman (talk) 13:44, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

What is this about?[edit]

I came to the article hoping to learn what the issue is, and found nothing. All about circumstances, and not a word on the essence of the debate. (talk) 01:08, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
The article as it stands is really opaque. It reads like it was written by a first-year theology student who wants to sound more sophisticated than he is. For example, the following sentences are virtually unreadable:

"While many Protestants affirm salvation by grace alone received by faith alone, some Protestants use 'accepting Christ as...' language, sometimes 'accepting Christ as Savior,' or 'accepting Christ as Lord', to describe a condition of initial conversion, taking a cue from Colossians 2:6 in the Good News Bible for the 'accept' and in the New International Version, for 'receive' as synonym."

"This idiom, what Christ must "be", was used to derive and discuss the implications for salvation associated with what Christ is."

"One author, Arthur W. Pink (1886–1952), had already associated Christ's Lordship with surrendering to it as a sine qua non at the initial point."

"Using surrender language in the gospel became not the only issue."

"...sometimes more opposed to it than that, for example, faulting it about not being specific about what degree, quality, and current visibility there must be to the obedience necessary."

It's not clear what the terms "accepting-as phraseology" and "receiving-as phraseology" mean, and phrases like "what manner of receiving this was" are archaic and unclear. The whole introduction reads like it was written by a toddler with a thesaurus in one hand. I don't have a good enough grasp of the facts of the debate to rewrite this, but I hope someone will. The problem is not that it's too complex, but that it's badly written. It must at least conform to the standards of readability on Wikipedia, and should ideally give a clear introduction to the topic for both secular and religious readers. Is anyone up to the task? Sadiemonster (talk) 08:39, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

An attempt to simplify these sentences is hereby started, and the point well taken. Clnewman (talk) 07:14, 29 January 2014 (UTC)