WORKS-BASED THEOLOGY May 25, 2009
The book does indeed promote a works-type salvation. This line of thinking appears to come out of a teaching called "Lordship Salvation," popularized by the release of the book, "The Gospel According to Jesus," by John MacArthur in the late 1980s. Basically, it posits that the simple gospel message of Acts 16:30-31, John 3:16-18, Romans 4:5, Titus 3:5, and Ephesians 2:8-9 is not good enough for salvation. A true believer must also make God "the Lord of his life." Anyone who doesn't, is lost! But where does that leave the Corinthian church who were backslidden believers, but believers indeed, according to Paul (Paul refers to them as "sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy," 1 Cor. 1:2; he also calls them "brothers" several times throughout 1 Corinthians, although worldly or carnal ones---1 Cor. 3:1-3). What about the prodigal son who was a son when he was living with his father; he remained a son throughout the lengthy time that he strayed away, and was still a son when he returned home to the father. Or how about Lot, who lived in a backslidden condition his entire adult life, yet Peter commends him as a righteous man in 2 Peter 2:7. Chapter 5 of "Crazy Love," in my opinion, was especially mean-spirited and judgmental; Chan sends a large portion of the evangelical church (perhaps even the majority), those whom he labels as "lukewarm" to hell. Chan sets up a false dichotomy between believers who are sold-out to God vs. the average churchgoer who doesn't appear to be very committed or on-fire for the Lord. Guess where the second group is going? To quote Chan, pp. 83-84, "As I see it, a lukewarm Christian is an oxymoron; there is no such thing. To put it plainly, churchgoers who are 'lukewarm' are not Christians. We will not see them in heaven."