Sin, the Savior, and Salvation. By Robert P. Lightner. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991. 318 pp. Cloth, $16.95.
Considering the modern confusion over the doctrines concerning salvation, a book which speaks clearly on the subject is very welcome. Dr. Robert Lightner, Professor of Systematic Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary, has written a book that will help many sort through the issues and dispel pockets of confusion.
The book is well organized, as indicated in its title. One’s doctrine of sin determines one’s doctrine of the Savior and His work, which in turn determines one’s doctrine of salvation. Lightner moves the reader in a logical progression through these doctrines ending with a practical discussion of evangelism.
Lightner does not dodge the tough theological questions about salvation. He discusses the sovereignty of God in relation to man’s responsibility, the extent of the atonement, the question of those who cannot believe, and the issues of security and assurance. In all these discussions, I found him to be balanced, fair, and biblically accurate.
Commendably, a separate chapter is devoted to the Lordship Salvation controversy. Lightner firmly rejects it as an addition to the Gospel of grace. He addresses the main theological arguments and three main passages (Acts 16:30–31; Rom 10:9–10; Jas 2:14–26). Though his discussion is brief, the reader will find enough exposition and logic to roundly reject Lordship Salvation.
Sometimes the reader may find other discussions too brief to satisfy deeper inquiry. However, this book will serve as an excellent introduction to the doctrines surrounding salvation. It will be an excellent textbook for college courses and a resource for serious laymen. Discussion questions after each chapter and an annotated bibliography at the end enhance the book’s value.
Though the reader will not have every question answered, nor every theological or interpretive option presented, he will gain a cohesive overview of soteriology. I heartily recommend this book for any library.
Charles C. Bing
Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Burleson Bible Church