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Romans 10:9-10 and Martuneac's Defense of the Gospel

Posted by Matt Postiff March 16, 2011 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Interpretation 

I haven't read on the Lordship salvation controversy in a while, but I recently picked up Lou Martuneac's In Defense of the Gospel and have read through most of it.


I'm not planning to do a full review of it here, but I have to ask at least one question about the interpretation of Romans 10:9-10 he offers on page 203. There, Martuneac writes, “From the above quotations and the biblical evidence the consensus is confession with the mouth of Christ's position as Lord is required for salvation, not a promise of future obedience to Him as Lord.”

This portion struck me as odd. It seems he is not dealing very carefully with the text, in that his statement could easily be construed as an addition to receiving the gospel by faith. Is he teaching a way of salvation that requires a work—public verbal confession—in order to procure salvation?

Don't get me wrong: I am convinced that the Bible demonstrates that faith without some kind of fruit is dead. But given that Martuneac is trying to press the case that Lordship salvation is a faith plus works message (p. 229), he should give a more clear explanation as to what he is saying about this verbal confession. What Martuneac has written reminds me of gospel invitations given with a call to step forward and confess Christ publicly, seeming to make it sound like such an act is a requirement in order to be saved. We need to be very clear to our listeners as to what is required and what is not required. We should not leave them wondering if they need to stand up and give a public word on the Lordship of Christ, or not. Martuneac's statement is clear enough, but it seems to contradict the overall thesis of his book.

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