Review of “Converting the Heart: The Five Verbs of Saving Faith”
by Dr. Lance Ketchum
Review by Dr. John Terpstra
I have a number of books on Soteriology in my possession. I found Lance’s book a fresh and original approach to this needful subject. He especially aimed his approach to believers in an effort to get them to perform “heart preparation” to the unbeliever by arousing his/her consciousness of sin. One cannot be saved without repentance and one will not repent unless that individual understands the nature of his/her sin as an affront to a Holy God, and thus, liability to punishment. Without this knowledge of sin true conversion will not occur because the absence of genuine heartfelt repentance.
I also appreciated his differentiation between calling upon the Lord and confessing Him. Brother Ketchum noted, especially the importance of “understanding.” I lost count of the number of times he used the term with agreement. It was especially important in the section describing “belief.” Quoting Ketchum on page 69 we read, “Understanding the purpose of Christ (Jehovah’s incarnation in Jesus) is the ground for understanding the Gospel and a person’s complete dependence upon the redemptive work of Christ. Show me a man who is not serious about living for Christ and I will show you a man who does not understand his redemption or the price paid to give it to him.” Throughout the book there are gems like this.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to be effective in presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ.
A Review of “Learning to Lead: Converting the Heart”
H. D. Williams, M.D., Ph.D.
President, The Old Paths Publications, Inc 2018
Dr. Lance Ketchum, Pastor of Shepherd’s Fold Baptist Church, founder of Disciple Maker Ministries, founder of the Midwestern Independent Baptist Pastor’s Fellowship, a preacher and teacher at conferences, an internationally known author, a father, a husband, and a grandfather has written one of the most important and insightful works for the last of the “latter times.” He addresses the proper Biblical understanding of repentance and faith, which has been corrupted by over-zealous, number-oriented door knockers.
The tragedy and plague of false professions over the last half a century will be addressed by his exposition of critical terms. Dr. Ketchum explains that beginning in the middle of the 20th century, but particularly after 1970, the understanding of repentance was sullied by neo-evangelicals and the emerging church “leaders” and has led to great confusion.
Dr. Ketchum calls for all evangelists, pastors, missionaries and teachers to drop the “soteriological reductionism” characterized by “Easy Believism,” “Only Believism,” and “Easy Prayerism” and return to Scriptural guidelines. His masterful presentation of 5 critical verbs for preparing the heart to receive the Gospel and to be “born again” will encourage soul-winners to avoid the pitfalls of false conversions so alarmingly present in the last days and avoid so many unredeemed sitting in church pews who are showing no fruit or evidence of a changed heart.
Our churches are filled with individuals who think they are saved, but rather, they are on their way to hell, because so-called soul-winners have falsely encouraged lost people to believe by simply repeating the “sinner’s prayer,” that “if he or she died today, they would be going to heaven”
Why not learn where you, reader, may have gone astray in soul-winning. May God bless any diligent disciple of God’s Words to read, understand, and teach this work. “Study to show thyself approve unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15). The judgment seat of Christ is coming!
A Review of “Learning to Lead: Converting the Heart”
Dr. Lawrence D. Hufhand
The Hufhand Report
Friday, April 20th, 2018
As I began to read this book, I thought it was just another book on soul-winning. It is that, but it is so much more. It takes the art of soul winning to a level, heretofore, never seen or written about. Would to God this book had been written back in the early 1950’s; it would have saved us young pastors a lot of grief in our soul-winning efforts.
The preface of the book flies in the face of how we began our soul winning efforts in the 1950’s and pastoring in the 1960’s. Most of us were taught how to win souls using the Roman’s Road, getting the sinner on his knees and praying the sinner’s prayer. For the most part we by-passed the most important part of giving the sinner a full and complete understanding of why this was necessary. The preface of this book goes into detail as to folly of having done what we did.
I like the fact that there are 13 chapters, which includes the preface. It makes it good for a quarterly study, whether for Sunday School or a Wed. night Bible Study. It is both informative and challenging. Fortunately, the author defines the big 75 cent words he uses.
The first chapter, along with the preface, is really a synopsis of the rest of the book and is done very well, explaining in details all Five 5 words that are to be used and under-stood in the salvation experience. In Chapters 2 and 3, Dr. Ketchum alludes to the Parable of the Seed and the Sower, particularly the preparation of the soil. The soil is the unregenerate heart that needs to be prepared to receive the seed. The preparation process is what leads to genuine repentance, without which no one can be genuinely converted. The explanation is a bit tedious but clearly lays out how important it is to prepare the heart for salvation. His emphasis of two truths is paramount to this process. One must clearly understand: 1. The corrupt sinfulness of man’s heart; and 2. The perfect holiness and sanctity of God.
Chapter 4 is a clear presentation of God’s wrath upon sin, being satisfied by the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ’s death on the Cross. This truth is called propitiation. To be genuinely converted, one must believe and understand the truth of this word. Before man can be justified, his sins must be propitiated, which was accomplished by Christ, as He died on the cross, shedding His blood, and being buried, and resurrected back to life. According to Dr. Ketchum, the act of believing involves a lot more than believing the historical fact of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. It must be an internal belief or faith in the finished word of Christ on the cross, with a clear understanding that he could never be saved apart from this understanding of why it was necessary for God to do what He did, as well as understanding what Christ’s death accomplished.
In chapter 6 Dr. Ketchum presents, what I consider one of the most essential elements in the experience of salvation and that is the public confession of one’s faith in Jesus Christ. Confessing Christ before men is an essential element, which is a seal of full and complete salvation by the repentant sinner. You won’t find this in any other book on the art of soul-winning.
Lest this Review gets too long, let it be said, that this book is one that needs to be in the hands of every young pastor who desires to win souls and teach his congregation to do the same. Saying chapters 7-8 deals with the necessity of “calling on Jesus” to save us from our sins, is like saying the “Ten Amendments to the US Constitution, is our complete Constitution. Dr. Ketchum clarifies what this calling entails in all of its fullness through out these two chapters. The only thing left to accomplish is to, “receive Christ into one’s life by faith,” and acknowledge this reception, by giving God the glory through prayer, which is discussed in chapter 9. According to Dr. Ketchum, there is no such thing as a sinner’s prayer, receiving Christ as Savior. This is a good point. Dr. Ketchum has one whole section on how to deal with false professions or counterfeit conversions.