Please consider giving through APOLOGIA!

Thank you for visiting our site! Please come back often and pray for our ministry. May the Lord bless you!

Please consider partnering with APOLOGIA as we bring the Gospel of salvation through God's grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone!

What is the Gospel Mr. Tallman?

>> Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I have listened to the "Bible Answer Man" (Hank Hanegraaff) for about as long as I have been a Christian. I love CRI! Walter Martin (founder of CRI)is one of my heroes. So for the last couple of years I have also listened to a show that is lined-up after Hank by a gentleman by the name of Andrew Tallman. I can't say that I LOVE his show but I have listened to some fun programs he has done and enjoyed them. And after you read this post, I think you would agree that it is ironic that Mr. Tallman's show follows Hank's, considering Hank's view on justification by faith alone.

A couple of weeks ago, Mr. Tallman had a gentleman on his program whose wife had passed away. It was very moving. But, the guest made a comment near the end of his conversation with Mr. Tallman that disturbed me. He said something to the effect that he wanted to live a "good" life so that he could get to heaven and be with his wife. Basically, he communicated the fact that he wanted to be a good person so he could get to heaven. Imagine my surprise when Mr. Tallman did nothing to correct his statement. I felt compelled to call in and ask that Mr. Tallman make a gentle correction just in case any unbeliever was listening and got the impression (from a "Christian" station)that salvation was dependent upon us being "good" people or that righteousness was something that we "attain" through good-works or obedience to the law. So I called in. The gentleman screening the calls asked me why I was calling in. I asked him if Mr. Tallman would be making a gentle correction to the man's statement. He put me on hold to ask Mr. Tallman. About a minute later the gentleman came on and told me "no, we're not going to do that". He asked me if I understood why. I told him no. I told him that they had a responsibility as a CHRISTIAN radio program to make a correction when someone promotes a false-Gospel on their program. He told me they were not going to do it. I was severely disappointed, went home told my wife and committed (so I thought) not to listen or support Mr. Tallman's show again.

Well, I wish the story stopped there. Today I left the rehab center I also pastor at, hopped in my Mustang and caught the end of Hank's program. I had all but forgotten my commitment to not listen to Mr. Tallman's show when I heard the subject that would be under discussion-- Baptism. Mr. Tallman wanted to discuss whether or not water baptism was essential for salvation. At first, he didn't seem to be taking a position necessarily (which bothered me). And, I wouldn't have had any desire to call-in until Mr. Tallman stated that the problem with this issue is that the Bible is not clear on this issue. Not clear?! He stressed the fact that God had not really spelled out clearly enough whether baptism is something someone must do to be saved. Mr. Tallman seemed to be stating that God's revelation just was incomplete on this issue or wasn't adequate to answer our questions with regard to baptism. I felt the need (considering Mr. Tallman's history) to call-in and at least defend the fact that God was clear about how someone is justified, credited righteousness, forgiven or saved. Mr. Tallman immediately got aggressive--more aggressive than I have ever heard him in all my time listening. He stated that he "used" to believe that salvation was simply by faith and was applied to you when you believe but that now he leans towards water baptism as an essential element of what must take place in-order to be right with God. He said that he wasn't sure whether or not justification took place when you "believe" or when you are baptized. At one point, he even brought in the issue of tithing and whether I believed a person was right with God or going to heaven if they didn't tithe properly.

So my questions... What is the Gospel Mr. Tallman? How and when is someone justified and credited righteousness in God's sight? Is righteousness credited when I believe? Or is it after I "do" something (baptism)? Do I enter the water justified or do I leave the water justified? When I stand before God, is it Christ's righteousness that has been applied to my account that gives me peace with Him; or do I stand with my personal righteousness that comes from obedience to some law? When do I receive eternal life? Is it when I hear and believe or after I hear, believe and am baptized? What do you say about Jesus' parable about the Pharisee and the publican? What took place before he "went home justified"? Did the thief on the cross go to heaven Mr. Tallman? What must I do to be saved?!

Sadly, when Mr. Tallman returned from his break (and I was unable to respond) he felt the need to rattle off a couple of proof-texts for his position: that we are saved by faith and baptism. I would be more than happy to discuss this issue and those texts in detail on his show live--So as to not give his listeners the impression that he has done the proper work and exegesis in interpreting those texts. Also, I was told by a friend who was listening that Mr. Tallman did a little backtracking as time went on and later was communicating that we are saved by faith alone. I can't seem to find any audio archives for his show online. But, if it is true, it certainly makes sense. Here you have a man who professes to be a Christian and operate a Christian radio show who simply doesn't want to disenfranchise his Christian audience. Here is an excellent question:

Mr. Tallman, if you get the Gospel wrong, does your show qualify as a Christian radio program?

So yes, this is a request for Mr. Tallman to allow me back on his radio program to discuss with him the issue of justification/salvation. What do you say Andrew? Apologia Christian Ministries would be more than happy to discuss this issue with you publicly. Will you defend your view on the Gospel publicly?

Andrew, we must not divide on non-essentials. Unity is key (John 17). The Gospel is an essential. If someones disagrees with Scripture on the Gospel and how someone is justified in God's sight-- they are not classified as a Christian (Galatians 1:6-9, 2 John 9)nor should they claim to be running a Christian radio program. This issue (justification by faith alone)is what differentiates the Gospel from all other man-made religion. It is what separates Christ's Kingdom from the Kingdom of the cults. I wholeheartedly disagree with you Andrew. God is clear in His revelation about HOW I am made right with Him and WHEN it takes place. God says:

and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:15-17

Contrary to your claim that God's Word is not clear to answer our questions about baptism, Scripture teaches that it is able to give us the wisdom that leads to salvation (that seems clear to me), and is profitable for teaching (baptism included), correction (certainly on issues related to baptism) & training in righteousness (even about baptism).

Andrew, I worry about you. If you were unwilling to correct a man, who on your program just a few weeks ago said that we get to heaven by being good people and today you argued that we are not saved by faith alone (that is what you said to me)--what is a Christian supposed to think about what you believe about the Gospel? What kind of confusion does your show create when your show follows a man (Hank Hanegraaff)who believes, teaches and defends a different Gospel than you? Andrew, the most unloving thing to do would be to leave someone in error. Please take my rebuke to you as a gentle but very serious one.

"Controversy for the sake of controversy is sin. Controversy for the sake of the truth, is a divine command." Dr. Walter Martin

Jeff Durbin

Post a Comment