Samstag, 20. Oktober 2012

Weitere Stellungnahmen zu »Lampen ohne Öl«

Neben kurzen Rezensionen (z.B. Pickering, Wilkin) und ganzen Büchern (z.B. Ryrie, Hodges) gibt es zu MacArthurs Lampen ohne Öl auch einige Stellungnahmen mittlerer Länge, allerdings bisher nur in englischer Sprache.

Die wohl gründlichste Untersuchung dieser Art stammt von G. Michael Cocoris (34 Seiten, PDF). Cocoris betrachtet der Reihe nach alle Bibelstellen, auf die MacArthur seine Argumentation aufbaut, und fasst seine Ergebnisse in einem sechseinhalbseitigen Fazit zusammen. Sein Urteil ist eindeutig:
“MacArthur’s system of salvation misinterprets what the New Testament says about the requirement for salvation and the result of salvation. The New Testament does not teach lordship salvation. It teaches that God graciously saves sinners who are constitutionally changed at conversion and should manifest the lordship of Christ in their lives. Unfortunately not all immediately do and some fall into sin never to return. God then chastens them even to premature, physical death” (S. 32).
MacArthurs subjektivistische Sicht der Heilsgewissheit (auf der Grundlage des Lebenswandels) stürze perfektionistisch veranlagte Menschen in tiefe Verwirrung und führe allgemein zu einer richterlichen, verurteilenden Haltung gegenüber anderen Christen. Das bedeute allerdings nicht, dass man Oberflächlichkeit und Sünde entschuldigen solle:
“Easy believism and carnality are legitimate problems that need to be addressed, but the solution is not lordship salvation. It is the clear preaching of the gospel of the grace of God to sinners and the proper teaching of the Word of God to believers” (S. 34).
Einen etwas anderen Ansatz wählt J. Kevin Butcher (ca. 11 Seiten). Er analysiert systematisch die argumentativen, exegetischen, theologischen, praktischen und logischen Schwachstellen von MacArthurs Buch und formuliert sein Fazit in einer Reihe von rhetorischen Fragen:
“does MacArthur understand the view he seeks to disprove? Does he seek to validate his own view on the basis of sound exegetical and theological argumentation? Does he adequately deal with the practical and logical difficulties presented by his position? Does the reader walk away from The Gospel According to Jesus convinced by scholarly interpretive methodology that the NT teaches the gospel of Lordship Salvation? […] If Lordship Salvation theology is to continue to gain a hearing in the evangelical world it must be supported by an adequate defense of its views. Among the undecided are those who have long waited for such a work. They are still waiting.”
Um Ausgewogenheit bemüht ist die Stellungnahme von Steven Tracy (16 Seiten, PDF). Er schildert zunächst den Kontext der »Lordship«-Debatte, weist auf Schwächen und Missverständnisse beider Seiten hin und würdigt die Stärken von MacArthurs Buch. Sein Fazit ist dennoch kritisch:
MacArthur’s “polemic tone and preoccupation with demonstrating the errors of the Chaferian school will not contribute to healthy dialogue or increased understanding of the issues. The failure to address adequately the possibility of sin and failure in the Christian life, the oversimplification of discipleship, and the confusing use of qualifiers to describe the relationship between submission and saving faith, […] will lead some to conclude that faith alone does not save. MacArthur has made several contributions to the lordship debate, though The Gospel According to Jesus must be read with great care” (S. 16).
Radikal dispensationalistisch argumentiert Miles J. Stanford (9 Seiten, PDF). Aus seiner Sicht hat MacArthur das Evangelium Jesu nicht falsch dargestellt – Jesus habe tatsächlich »Lordship Salvation« verkündigt –, sondern er hat sich schlicht in der Dispensation geirrt:
“The Lordship Salvation error is a natural product of Reformed/Covenant theology. Since it is anti-dispensational, hence fails to ‘rightly divide the Word of truth,’ its advocates attempt to get the right results from the wrong realm of the Word, i.e., the law realm. This is Dr. MacArthur’s position” (S. 3). “Dr. MacArthur is in no sense of the word a valid dispensationalist. […] Today we are to minister Paul’s ‘by grace are ye saved through faith’ Gospel, by which we are recreated in the Body of Christ; not the Lord Jesus’ Gospel relating to the law-oriented theocratic kingdom” (S. 4). “Dr. MacArthur would take us back to the blessed Lord Jesus in His humiliation, prior to His wondrous Cross, preaching His kingdom Gospel to covenant Israel. […] Paul takes us forward, up to the ascended Lord Jesus Christ in His glory, preaching His Person – ‘Christ, who is our Life’ (Col. 3:4)” (S. 9).
Dass »Lordship Salvation« auch im calvinistischen Lager nicht unumstritten ist, zeigt schließlich die Kritik von John W. Robbins (15 Seiten, PDF). Für ihn ist MacArthurs Betonung der Werke eine Leugnung der reformatorischen Lehre von der Zurechnung der Gerechtigkeit Christi:
“The Biblical teaching and the Protestant position is that neither pre- nor post-regeneration works are either meritorious or necessary for justification. It is the only imputation of Christ’s righteousness by faith that makes a sinner acceptable to God. MacArthur rejects the Biblical view of justification and adopts the Roman Catholic view” (S. 3).
Die biblischen Beispiele, die MacArthur zur Stützung seiner Position anführt, seien dafür völlig ungeeignet – so etwa Judas Iskariot:
“MacArthur has completely defeated his own argument by citing Judas’ discipleship. He does not seem to understand that the example of Judas teaches that one may be discipled – a church-goer, a miracle worker, an evangelist, doer of good deeds – and yet be an unbeliever and go to Hell. What was missing in Judas’ life was saving faith. […] Judas was not a victim of ‘easy believism’ or ‘cheap grace’: MacArthur himself tells us that Judas had left all to follow Christ” (S. 6).
Ebenso die Bekenner aus Mt 7,21–23, die Jesus »Herr, Herr« nennen und trotzdem verloren gehen:
“These people were in fact doing things – performing miracles, prophesying, casting out demons – and doing all these things in the name of the Lord Jesus. If he had known these people, MacArthur would have found it impossible to criticize them for not believing in lordship salvation. […] These men will be condemned at the Last Judgment because of their unbelief, because of their lack of orthodoxy, contrary to what MacArthur writes. Their defense on the Day of Judgment will not be the facts of 1 Corinthians 15 – the Gospel of Jesus Christ” (S. 7f.).
Entscheidend sei also der richtige Glaube, und den verleihe Gott selbst – so der Calvinist Robbins. Daher könne es auch keine nichtwiedergeborenen Glaubenden geben:
“MacArthur apparently believes that the natural man can accept the Gospel facts as true. That is precisely what the Bible denies. MacArthur tells us that there can be heathen believers. The Bible tells us that he who believes has passed already from death to life” (S. 8f.).
Robbins’ Fazit kann man auch als nichtcalvinistischer »Free-Grace«-Vertreter zustimmen:
“MacArthur’s book is very confused and dangerous. It does not present the Gospel according to Jesus, but another gospel, which is not a gospel at all, similar to that of the Roman Church. The problem with today’s evangelism, which is the problem that MacArthur set out to solve but exacerbated instead, is that the Gospel is not being preached in the churches, and few people, including John MacArthur, seem to know what it is” (S. 9).

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