Lord and Christ: The Implications of Lordship for Faith and Life. By Ernest C. Reisinger. Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishing, 1994. 178 pp. Paper $8.99.
Reisinger makes no effort to hide the fact that his theology comes from the doctrinal constructs of men. Some of the sources he cites to define terms and explain theology are: the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Baptist confession of 1689, the Heidelberg Catechism, The Psalter of the Christian Reformed Church, Pilgrim’s Progress, Puritan Samuel Bolton, Puritan John Owen, David Brainerd, Robert L. Dabney, A. A. Hodge, John Gerstner, R. C. Sproul, and J. I. Packer. Many of the quotations of these sources are lengthy.
This book is not exegetical in nature. While Reisinger does attempt to use the Bible to support his arguments, he does so without careful, detailed explanations of the text.
Reisinger repeats the offensive pejorative label for the Free Grace view, the nonLordship position, used by MacArthur in Faith Works. This was a poor choice. It causes gracious Lordship Salvationists (I have met some) embarrassment and it offends many Reformed people. The continued use of this label says a great deal about the theology which would use it. We will continue to avoid returning evil for evil. (For example, we won’t call their position the nonGrace position.)
JOTGES readers will find several sections of the book particularly interesting. Reisinger makes a number of unguarded statements. For instance, he suggests that spurious faith, faith that won’t save, “has Christ as its object,” “receives the Word of God,” and “cause[s] people to prepare for the coming of the Lord” (pp. 43-44). The texts he uses to support these points are John 2:23-24, Matt 13:20-21, and Matt 25:1-13. In this section he comes close to convincing the reader that what he calls spuriousfaith is actually saving faith. The chapters on assurance of salvation and self examination (pp. 109-45) are well worth reading in this regard. Of special interest is the section called “Six Directives for Proper Self-Examination” (pp. 141-43). These include: “You must know what the marks of a true Christian are,” “Do not trust your heart’s first reaction…Your feelings may deceive you,” “Do not rest on the marks of grace for salvation,” and “Don’t come to conclusions about your relationship to Christ when it is wintertime in your soul.”
I recommend this book for well-grounded believers since it gives additional insights into the thinking of Lordship Salvation partisans.
Robert N. Wilkin
Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society