Vol. 3, No. 1
LaLond, Jr., The Lying
(Fox Lake, Ill.: DTG Books, 2005).
Reviewed by Roger
professor of Old Testament,
Assemblies of God Theological Seminary.
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book may not catch many people’s
attention, but the subject is important.
I share the concerns it expresses and have
discussed them at length with another concerned
brother in the Lord. The book is well done
and contains a bibliography and Scripture
and subject indices. The back cover gives
a good background and summary of the book,
though its manner is more confrontational
than LaLond is in the book.
lying promise to which LaLond refers is
Satan’s words to Eve: “You
will not surely die” (Gen 3:4, NIV).
LaLond’s point is that many of the
popular preachers/writers in the United
States today, especially those of the Reformed
theological background, tell people they
will not be lost for eternity if they simply “believe” in
Christ, even if they may still be practicing
various sins. He says it is a confounding
of the nature of grace. I agree, but would
add it is the age-old struggle to understand
God’s sovereignty and human responsibility
in salvation. From our limited human understanding,
many have viewed James (and Jesus too)
as teaching the opposite of Paul on this.
However, God does not contradict himself.
LaLond reminds the church of all the major
biblical passages that refer to the importance
of human actions flowing out of faith,
such as James 2:14-26. I believe both James’ and
Paul’s teachings are true. Each emphasizes
different concerns to deal with different
singles out three contemporary leaders
whose teachings he believes supports the
lie—Erwin Lutzer, Charles Swindoll,
and Anthony Evans—for consideration.
LaLond carefully, kindly and firmly, goes
through their teachings and shows how they
support this error. He presents his personal
interactions with these men with his arguments.
In my opinion, LaLond is not too critical
of their writings but has accurately shown
their inconsistency in this crucial understanding
of grace and salvation. I believe these
leaders are not crass about believers sinning,
but they are so focused on one side of
the truth they set people up for the wrong
conclusions. Christians in the United States
need to realize the Reformers generally
were more biblically balanced than their
followers. The leaders LaLond cites don’t
believe they have taught that Christians
can go on willfully sinning. However, they
need to change some of their wording because
this has led to a major problem of Christians
excusing their sins.
is thorough and well read on this issue.
He keeps a gracious spirit throughout.
The book is well organized and written.
I did not find anything significant with
which I disagreed. On the contrary, this
is a timely and effective treatment of
an issue vital to the gospel. I wish every
Christian would come to a healthy, biblical
perspective on this issue. LaLond has made
a very good contribution to this concern, and
I recommend this book to all who want to
avoid the devil’s lies and are willing
to think deeply about the Christian life.
Friday, July 14, 2006 3:29 PM