An Evaluation Of Some Evidences For “Lordship Salvation” -- By: Paul Holloway

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 02:2 (Autumn 1989)
Article: An Evaluation Of Some Evidences For “Lordship Salvation”
Author: Paul Holloway

An Evaluation Of Some
Evidences For
“Lordship Salvation” 1

Paul Holloway

Candlelight Bible Church Houston, Texas

I. Introduction

The observations in this article are primarily philosophical. The point is not to overturn the conclusions of those holding Lordship Salvation,2 but to examine certain of the more popular evidences offered in support of these conclusions. While it is true that the issue properly conceived comes down to biblical interpretation, it has been my experience that the following less substantial, primarily rhetorical strategies have a great deal of influence—at all levels of the discussion. Of course, if they are valid, those who use them should expand them into full-blown arguments. If, however, they are invalid, then they have no place in the literature at all, not even as popular asides.

II. Intellectual Assent and Personal Commitment

Saving faith is not mere intellectual assent; it is (therefore) personal commitment.

This abbreviated syllogism3 (enthymeme) is frequently employed in support of Lordship Salvation:

Faith is not the nod of a head to a series of facts. It is following Jesus.4

All offers of salvation in the NT are directed to the will to make the choice of surrendering to the Lordship of Jesus. One does

not become a Christian by intellectually comprehending the historical facts about Jesus… [or] by grasping the theological implications of his death and resurrection.5

Simple assent to the gospel, divorced from a transforming commitment to the living Christ, is by biblical standards less than faith, and less than saving….6

By separating faith from faithfulness, it leaves the impression that intellectual assent is as valid as wholehearted obedience to the truth.7

Merely knowing and affirming facts apart from obedience to the truth is not believing in the biblical sense.8

Examples could be multiplied. In each instance the suggestion is that all positions other than faith as personal commitment reduce to faith as intellectual assent, and that since faith is clearly not to be understood as intellect...

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