The Gospel According to Charles Ryrie...
I attend a college where most of the people here love Charles Ryrie. He was the keynote speaker at our Bible Conference last year and his many books are required reading for many of our classes. Many of the students at my college are former students of Word of Life where Ryrie has taught for years. In light of these realities, I have to tread on eggshells when discussing my personal convictions about Ryrie and his theology. I do not wish to attack Charles Ryrie. I'm confident that he is a godly man and that his teachings on some topics are sound. Yet I will not hesitate in attacking Ryrie's teachings on salvation which I believe to be heretical, decieving, and un-orthodox. Let me start by analyzing some of Charles Ryrie's statments in light of the Bible.
Ryrie: "People who reform have repented; that is, they have changed their minds about their past lives, but that kind of repentance, albeit genuine, does not of itself save them. The only kind of repentance that saves is a change of mind about Jesus Christ. People can weep; people can resolve to turn from their past sins; but those things in themselves cannot save. The only kind of repentance that saves anyone, anywhere, anytime is a change of mind about Jesus Christ. The sense of sin and sorrow because of sin may stir up a person's mind or conscience so that he or she realizes the need for a Savior, but if there is not change of mind about Jesus Christ there will be no salvation" (So Great a Salvation)
Scripture: "If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin." (1 John 1:6-7).
Ryrie: A person does not have to submit to God in every area of his or her life in order to be saved. (So Great a Salvation)
Scripture: "Now great multitudes were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, 'If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. (Luke 14:25-27).
Ryrie: "The message of faith only and the message of faith plus commitment of life cannot both be the gospel; therefore, one of them is a false gospel and comes under the curse of perverting the gospel or preaching another gospel." (Balancing the Christian Life)
Scripture: "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them." (Matt. 7:16-20)
Ryrie: "If only committed people are saved people, then where is there room for carnal Christians?"
Scripture: "But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me." (Luke 19:27)
These are only a few statements of Charles Ryrie which startingly reveal his unorthodox and heretical views on salvation. His doctrine of "easy believism" is deceptive and dangerously harmful to the minds and hearts of Christians. I'm a sinner saved by grace, and I by no means claim to be a model of repentance and faith. Yet still, I am convinced that the easy believism of Charles Ryrie, Zane Hodges, and others is unbiblical. Jesus calls us to a life of repentance and commitment. Faith itself is much more than mere "intellectual assent", the kind of "faith" the demons and Satan himself possess. Charles Ryrie is advocating this "demonic faith", and in doing so, deceives many. I pray that our Sovereign Lord of grace would change this man's theology and correct the tragic consequences of the shallow nominalsim he advocates.