Zane Hodges: Free Grace Fracture

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Lou Martuneac, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. Lou Martuneac

    Lou Martuneac
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    Greetings to All:

    For the last 30+ days I have been focused almost solely on what I have come to conclude are the doctrinal errors of Zane Hodges. Earlier here at FFF I opened a thread on The Teaching of Zane Hodges.

    I do, however, want to reiterate that where Lordship Salvation is concerned I am convinced that it is a false, works based, man-centered interpretation of the Gospel. John MacArthur is as far off-center on the Gospel at his extreme end of the theological pendulum swing as Zane Hodges is with his interpretation in the opposite direction.

    I have more details at my site on the following article, but felt some here might like to view the article from here.

    The article I have been and will direct you to is titled, THE TRAGEDY OF A CROSSLESS GOSPEL (Pt. 1) It is written by Pastor Tom Stegall from the Word of Grace Bible Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Pastor Tom Stegall would consider himself a member of what is known as the Free Grace movement.

    In the opening paragraph of his article he states,
    And a major problem it is! I had slowly been coming to the conclusions that Pastor Stegall articulates in his article. Stegall has done his homework and thoroughly documents the excesses, and extremes that have been adopted by key men in the Free Grace movement.

    Pastor Stegall’s new article The Tragedy of the Crossless Gospel is in my opinion, a must read for believers on both sides of the Lordship Salvation/Free Grace debate.

    Go to the Duluth Bible Church web site. Click on the article titled, The Tragedy of the Crossless Gospel.

    There is more on the article at my site if you choose to visit.


    LM
     
  2. Lacy Evans

    Lacy Evans
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    Thanks for posting this article my brother. I am generally somewhat of a "fan" of Hodges. This does indeed seem to be a problematic issue within the Free Grace movement.

    I'm trying to be objective here and I really need to see his original work so I guess I'll have to buy it.

    It would make a good discussion. What does Scripture teach is the minimum amount of "information" one must believe about Christ to be saved.

    In other words, what does "whosoever believeth in me" include?

    Lacy
     
  3. Lou Martuneac

    Lou Martuneac
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    Links to Hodge's Areticle

    Hi Lacy:

    Below I am going to link you to my site's article on this, and there you'll see the links to the two part article by Hodges which has caused the controversy.

    The article titles are:
    How to Lead People to Christ, Pt. 1
    How to Lead People to Christ, Pt. 2


    Go to Wrapping the Series on Zane Hodges. The links are at the bottom of the article.

    You wlli find that I open the article with this:

    I have no axe to grind with Hodges. He has made some significant shifts in doctrine that have begun to alarm quite a few, even in the Free Grace camp.

    Kind regards,


    LM
     
  4. Lacy Evans

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    This statement in Hodges' article seems to make his main point moot (in the strictest sense of the word, moot)

    He seems to be saying that we need only present Jesus as having completely paid for our sin, and our need to believe this, as how to be saved.

    Then he says that people (Americans specifically) won't believe this unless they understand it, so we have to explain the cross anyway.

    I am sure the disciples were saved before the cross and i am sure the woman at the well was too. (I don't know exactly how it worked, or what information they actually understood.) It seems to be a transitional time. It also seems like Christ generally concentrated on the sanctification aspect of Salvation when he taught.

    "The Kingdom is at hand" is a message for believers not unbelievers, for children not enemies. It is not the good news for a lost world. In fact, without the cross, Christ's Kingdom is a terrifying prospect.

    Lacy
     
  5. Lacy Evans

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    I'm not really sure What Hodges is gettin at. I'm all for throwing out tradition and for presenting the message of salvation in it's most simple and Biblical way. But I'm not sure how you could "believe" in the "sufficiency of Christ" without understanding why He is sufficient.

    Can we separate what we believe from how we came to believe it? I mean, we surely cant be saved by just cramming the phrase, "Christ is sufficient" into our brain. I didn't believe He was my sufficiency until I first knew who Jesus was, what he did on the cross, why he had to (my hopeless condition.)

    In fact, I find understanding of and acceptance of the hopelessness of the unsaved man's condition (Well . . .I aint never kilt nobody) to be the biggest hurdle for a man to overcome before he believes.

    Having said that. I absolutely agree with Hodges that the vital thing you must do to be saved is "believe Christ for eternal life". Perhaps all he is doing is trying to separate the moment of the new birth from it's conception, gestation, and birth-pains.

    I don't see this as a "crossless gospel." I agree with all of this. The cross is in the "understand" part, but the "believe" part is the instant where a new baby Christian is born.

    Lacy
     
  6. Hope of Glory

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    Lacy, I think Hodges is trying to say that you can believe without knowing all the details, but you cannot know the details, deny them, and still believe.

    Sort of like, you can not know about his virgin birth and believe, but you cannot know about his virgin birth, deny it, and believe.

    So, perhaps is "American" reference has to do with the idea that as a nation, we know the truth, so have to accept or deny. But, an Inuit (who is still an American, but a completely different culture) can believe without knowing.

    Responsibility for what you know and all that.
     
  7. Lou Martuneac

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    Lacy:

    I did not notice from what book/source your Hodges' quotes come from. Please let me know, with page numbers.

    In any event, I really encourage you to visit the Duluth Bible Church web site. Click on the article titled, The Tragedy of the Crossless Gospel.

    You will read for yourself from Hodges that he insists that while the death and resurrection of Christ can and should be presented it is totally unnecessary for a lost man to know, understand or believe any of it to be saved.

    This is a gross departure from orthodoxy and the plain teaching of Scripture, such as:

    “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures,” (1 Cor. 15: 1, 3-4).

    Paul preached the death, burial and resurrection (vv. 3-4) to the Corinthians when they were yet unsaved. They received it, were saved and stand in it.

    “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation,” (Romans 10:9-10).


    LM
     
  8. Lou Martuneac

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  9. Lacy Evans

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    #9 Lacy Evans, Jul 3, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2007
  10. Lacy Evans

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    I think what he is saying is that knowing, understanding and believing Christ died and was resurrected is not what saves us. It is believing that his death was substitutionary, and paid our sin debt that saves us.

    I think that is what he is saying.

    My question for Mr. Hodges is how do you believe the latter without believing the former. I agree with him in principal.

    Our birthday is on the anniversary of the day we were born. but there is some other essential stuff that goes on in the 9 months or so that lead up to the day we are born.

    Lacy
     
  11. Lou Martuneac

    Lou Martuneac
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    Checked Out on Scripture!

    Lacy:

    Actually Hodges totally eliminates anything to do with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ from what must be believed by a lost man to be born again/saved.

    Hodges makes it clear that the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ is the normal context of his gospel presentation, but it is not a necessary part of the content of saving faith today. Following are a few excerpts from Hodges in the JOTGES 14:1, Spring 01.

    These statements are clear in that Hodges says: Believing, knowing or understading the death, burial and resurrection of Christ plays NO ROLE in the salvation of a sinner.

    Hodges has checked out on Scripture.

    1 Cor. 15:3-4 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.

    Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.​

    Brother George Zeller wrote,
    Visit The Teachings of Zane Hodges. Here you will find some teachings by Hodges that have a number of pastors/teachers concerned.


    LM
     
    #11 Lou Martuneac, Jul 4, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 4, 2007
  12. Free Gracer

    Free Gracer
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    Lou and I have had a discussion on the nuances in the developement and clarity of the Free Grace theology position.

    Lou, by his own admission, has not read a single book by Hodges from the front to the back (this admission was a few weeks ago, so if he has since then I do not know).

    You all have experienced it: the mischaracterization of a position you hold. You feel the frustration as you seek to clarify so that others can understand and consider. For until they finally comprehend what you seek to declare, a critique of your position by them will be based upon misconceptions.

    I invite you all to view some of the posts I have done in response to Lou Martuneac's misguided critique of current Free Grace thought.

    Submitted for your consideration:

    Must one understand Christ's death for sin to be born again?:
    http://unashamedofgrace.blogspot.com/2007/06/must-one-understand-christs-death-for.html

    Does Romans 10:9, 10 teach that one must understand Christ's resurrection in ADDITION to believing in Him for eternal life?:
    http://unashamedofgrace.blogspot.com/2007/06/does-romans-109-10-teach-that-one-must.html

    The Difference between the Gospel Message and the Offer of (Promise, invitation to receive) Eternal life:
    http://free-grace.blogspot.com/2007/06/difference-between-gospel-message-and.html

    The Correct Use of the Gospel Message (and its Abuse):
    http://free-grace.blogspot.com/2007/06/use-and-abuse-of-gospel-message.html

    A Look at the Pauline Gospel Message: 1 Cor 15:3ff
    http://unashamedofgrace.blogspot.com/2007/06/another-look-at-1-corinthians-153ff.html

    Reasons For the Clarification and Distinctions in the Couching of our Evangelism and the Content of Saving Faith:
    http://unashamedofgrace.blogspot.com/2007/07/reasons-for-my-latest-series-of-posts.html

    You may respond in any of these threads (anonymously if you do not have a blogger account) or you may respond here. I am happy to field any questions.

    Antonio da Rosa
    http://free-grace.blogspot.com
    http://unashamedofgrace.blogspot.com
     
  13. npetreley

    npetreley
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    You're right. Sometimes I feel like it isn't a discussion or debate at all. We have to spend most of our time playing James Randi and exposing the sleight of hand used by people who love to misrepresent our views. That's a real shame, considering we're all supposed to be on the same side.
     
  14. Lacy Evans

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    I know that I really don't like secondary sources without well documented sources. So many times the primary source is ignored, or misquoted. Also many times a person will fail to get the main purpose or main idea of someone else'd writings and just focus in on one small detail that might not sound right to them.

    When I was a kid, I was showing a Larry Norman song to a Christian friend from our local youth group. Larry sang, "I don't believe in miracles"

    All he heard was the first line. He still, to this day, refuses to listen to Norman because Larry "Doesn't believe in miracles.

    Lacy
     
  15. EdSutton

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    Try this song instead.


    I Believe in Miracles

    Creation shows the power of God
    There's glory all around and
    those who see must stand in awe,
    For miracles abound.

    I cannot doubt the work of God,
    It's plain for all to see:
    The miracles that he has wrought
    Should lead to Calvary.

    The love of God! O power divine!
    'Tis wonderful to see
    The miracle of grace performed
    With-in the heart of me.

    (Chorus)
    I believe in miracles
    I've seen a soul set free
    Miraculous the change in one
    redeemed through Calvary;
    I've seen the lily push its way
    up through the stubborn sod
    I believe in miracles for
    I believe in God!


    Great song! I loved hearing both Penny Knauss and Shirley (Wilhite) Work sing this when I was in college many years ago. I'd love to hear it sung by someone today.

    Ed
     
  16. Lou Martuneac

    Lou Martuneac
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    There is no...

    To All:

    [I don't normally go for a long post. Take a moment, read it all, and then see the links at the end]​

    Antonio de Rosa is mistaken on several levels in his previous post (See #12 above). He is badly mistaken, possibly confused, if he believes Hodges’ teaching on the “Crossless” gospel, for example, has been misrepresented or mischaracterized.

    At my site there are thoroughly documented excerpts from Zane Hodges that irrefutably identify him with what has come to be known as the “Crossless” gospel. Furthermore I link to several sources that further documents and substantiates more of the doctrinal errors I have been addressing in regard to Zane Hodges. I provide those links at my site and will do so here as well.

    Can lost men believe in Jesus ONLY for eternal life and be born again? Can a lost man be saved apart from any detailed knowledge of what Christ did on the cross to provide salvation for him? Can a lost man be saved if he has not come to an understanding of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ (1 Cor. 15:3-4; Rom. 10:9-10)?

    During my discussions with Antonio, he wrote:
    Is Antonio’s statement consistent with the Bible? Does it past the test of fidelity to the Scriptures? The Bible says,

    In light of 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 Antonio has a big problem with Romans 10:9-10. Hodges and Antonio are teaching a "Crossless" gospel message. They believe and will preach the cross, but they find it not at all necessary for a lost man to understand this in order to be saved. Based on 1 Cor. 15:3-4 and Romans 10:9 I have to conclude Antonio, just as Hodges whom Antonio follows theologically, has gone into deep error!

    I especially encourage readers to visit and read the two part series by Pastor Tom Stegall: The Tragedy of the Crossless Gospel. See Part 1 & Part 2. For Part 2 Go to: Duluth Bible Church. Click on the article titled, The Tragedy of the Crossless Gospel, Pt. 2. You will find this article under the SUMMER heading. Part 1 appears under the SPRING Heading.

    You will find plenty of documentation from Brother Stegall in the two articles to conclude that Hodges has gone into gross error on the Gospel. Frankly, I would defer to Brother Stegall who is a member of the Free Grace camp and he has, by citing Hodges and Bob Wilkin (leadership of the Grace Evangelical Society), demonstrated the egregious errors that Hodges has slipped into with his “Crossless” interpretation of the Gospel. As subsequent articles in the series from Pastor Stegall appear I will provide links to them from my site.

    From my site in the article titled, Wrapping the Series on Zane Hodges. At the end of that article I provide a link to the Hodges' article, which caused much of the current the controversy: How to Lead People to Christ, Parts 1 & 2. From these articles you can read for yourself how Hodges has gutted the Gospel of vital biblical truth for his new version of what he believes is the plan of salvation. One response to Hodges was written by Pastor Gregory P. Sapaugh and appears in the Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society. See link to this article below.

    Has there been a “misrepresentation,” on the “Crossless” gospel as Antonio insists? Clearly, there has not! There is, however, more well-documented doctrinal error in the peculiar version of Hodges’ Free Grace theology.

    Read the well-documented articles at my site under this heading: The Teaching of Zane Hodges. Be sure to note my comments on how Hodges views the doctrine of repentance. As it turned out, upon further study, my comment,
    grossly understated the truth of how far Hodges had gone awry.

    From George Zeller’s study:

    These are shocking, irresponsible statements by Hodges that are antithetical to the Bible. There are many more examples like these from the writing of Hodges at Brother Zeller’s site. (See link to Zeller below)

    Antonio means well, but he is speaking for and defending a man’s doctrine that at best he (Antonio) does not understand or never read himself. Or at worst, Antonio is defending the doctrinal errors that Hodges is stating. One might ask Antonio if he agrees with these shocking statements from Hodges.

    This appears in my article Wrapping the Series on Zane Hodges.
    I have no axe to grind, this is not a personality clash. Vital biblical truth has been compromised by Zane Hodges, and he appears to be spiraling into deeper errors as the years go by. In post #11 above, which I directed to Lacy, I provided several samples from Hodges to verify some of the doctrinal extremes he has gone to in his version of Free Grace theology.

    I encourage every reader to visit Antonio’s site and read his articles, which he listed above. Decide for yourself: Has Hodges, and Antonio, who parrots Hodges almost verbatim, gone off to an extreme on the gospel.

    There is no mischaracterization or misrepresentation when the doctrinal errors of Zane Hodges are documented from the source of the error, which happens to be Zane Hodges.

    Incidentally, Antonio speaks of, “…the Free Grace theology…Free Grace thought” almost as though the “Crossless” gospel espoused by Hodges is widely accepted as representative of all those who would identify themselves in the Free Grace camp. Antonio is mistaken if he actually believes there is unanimous (or near unanimous) support for the “Crossless” gospel of Zane Hodges in the Free Grace movement. Antonio is mistaken if he believes Hodges is speaking for the Free Grace movement. This teaching by Hodges of a “Crossless” gospel has made a number of men in the Free Grace movement very uncomfortable.


    LM

    LINKS:

    For a wide cross-section of errors with Zane Hodges visit, The Teachings of Zane Hodges by Pastor George Zeller.

    To read how Zane Hodges has shifted on repentance to a new position that is antithetical to Scripture visit Wrapping the Series on Zane Hodges scroll to the bottom and read Harmony With God by Hodges. I provide links at the bottom of my article to the three part series by Hodges. I provide a synopsis of Hodges on repentance in my article titled, The Teaching of Zane Hodges.

    For example, Hodges, which Antonio parrots, takes the position that the process of repentance may be a preparatory step in coming to salvation, and should be evident in the life of a believer, but a lost man can be born again without repentance. Hodges also said he no longer holds to the “change of mind” view of repentance.

    Another penetrating article, not to be overlooked, is one I recently discovered titled, Sanctification Confused: Understanding the Controversy Being Created by the Free Grace Movement by Mr. Lenny Demers. The article cites Hodges from numerous sources that substantiate much of what I have been sharing of late in regard to the teaching of Zane Hodges.

    And there is more documented evidence for the “Crossless” gospel of Zane Hodges. A response was written by Pastor Gregory P. Sapaugh and appears in the Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, A Response to Hodges: How To Lead A Person To Christ, Parts 1 and 2.
     
    #16 Lou Martuneac, Jul 6, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2007
  17. Lou Martuneac

    Lou Martuneac
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    Have You Read…?

    To All:

    Would we all agree that Charles Darwin rejects the Bible’s account of Creation? Would we all agree that Darwin’s theory of evolution is antithetical to the Bible’s account of Creation?

    I assume we are very likely unanimous in the position that Darwin teaches evolution, which is a repudiation of and contrary to what the Bible says on Creation.

    Has anyone here read Darwin’s Origin of the Species, "from the front to the back?" Probably none of us. How then can any of us be certain Darwin is an Evolutionist and writing what is at odds with the Bible? Because:

    1) It is widely reported and documented by many sources who cite and review Darwin’s work on the subject, and…
    2) We have read portions of the reviews and/or Darwin himself.

    Antonio made this statement in his post #12,
    I have in my possession most of the books by Hodges from which his doctrine can be carefully examined. Since the late 80’s I have read on and perused the writings of Zane Hodges. I have read articles and critiques by other men of Hodges’ books and articles. Since 1989 to date, have I read any of his books/articles on the Lordship/Free Grace controversy “front to back?” We’ll see.

    When you read Hodges you will find, (just as you will with John MacArthur on Lordship Salvation), that there is much truth in what they write, from their perspective, in their various books on the Lordship/Free Grace controversy. While some from both men on the Gospel is sound, they both contain gross doctrinal errors, which I have documented from my reading. They both make polarizing statements that are on the extremes in their respective spheres.

    Here is he ironic part of Antonio’s problem with reading “from the front to the back.” The most outspoken defender of John MacArthur and LS my missionary co-worker and I had to contend with in South Africa raised the very same complaint about having to read MacArthur’s The Gospel According to Jesus cover-to-cover. We had probably read 70% just through study and examination of that book. The LS advocate was adamant that, in spite of the clear and careful documentation of MacArthur’s Lordship theology we must read the book cover-to-cover, as if this was going to somehow reveal that MacArthur is sound after all. Frankly, reading through The Gospel According to Jesus (cover-to-cover) only galvanized what we had already come to conclude about what we had concluded what Lordship’s false teaching on the Gospel.

    The same is true with Hodges. Will reading him cover-to-cover reveal that he really doesn’t teach the “Crossless” gospel after all? The documented evidence of his departure from orthodoxy on the Gospel is widely reported and thoroughly documented from various sources.

    That said I have read Harmony With God and How to Lead People to Christ Parts 1 & 2, “from the front to the back.”

    Whether or not this satisfies Antonio I can’t say and I don’t especially care. Have I read Hodges “from the front to the back,” is as relevant as whether or not I have read Darwin’s Origin of the Species, “from the front to the back.” There is ample evidence from the writing of Hodges and the reviews of what he has written to conclude with confidence that he has adopted and advocates a strange and unorthodox position on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What Hodges has written is plain, and it is wrong.

    There are men in the Free Grace camp that are now speaking up and out against what Hodges is teaching by way of his “Crossless” gospel. I encourage Antonio to examine their documents, which I have linked to. I encourage Antonio to look at and read the men who are in the Free Grace movement, and writing to warn others about the doctrinal errors of Zane Hodges. I encourage Antonio to take these men on as well, claim they are misrepresting Hodges, and demonstrate just exactly how it is they are misrepresenting him.

    Antonio is in doctrinal lock-step with Zane Hodges on the “Crossless” gospel. With the response to that position coming from a wide spectrum of evangelical Christianity, including from within the Free Grace movement, Antonio may want to re-examine his position in light of the whole counsel of God. He needs to reflect and ask if he has not been misguided and adopted the error of Hodges. I am hopeful that through, prayer, study and counsel from balanced Bible teachers Antonio can be recovered from the error of a "Crossless" gospel.

    [Please refer back to the post above where I address the main subject of Antonio's concern.]



    LM

    PS: I various places Antonio has commented on my book, In Defense of the Gospel. He has made some positive and negative statements.

    At this point I am asking Antonio a question: Have you (Antonio) read my book, “from the front to the back?”

    If not, the link takes you to Amazon where you can secure a copy.
     
    #17 Lou Martuneac, Jul 6, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2007
  18. Free Gracer

    Free Gracer
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    To all:

    It is apparent that Lou is getting a little flustered. The arguments that he links to are full of misconceptions.

    Has anyone ever drawn improper conclusions from statements you have made? Because someone is quoted does not mean that the quoter is giving the intended sense of the author. This is amply illustrated in the myriad interpretations of the bible.

    This is the reason that I have constructed those posts which have been linked to in comment #12 above.

    Lou:

    It is disingenuous to refer to my position as one where a "crossless" gospel is preached, or to refer to it as the "crossless gospel" position. An impartial observer who reads my material linked to above in #12 could not honestly describe my position that way. The deity of Christ, the cross of Christ, the resurrection of Christ are among other things that are the centerpiece of me and Zane Hodges' evangelistic presentations. We preach the good news that Jesus Christ died a substitionary death for the sins of the whole world, and each individual in it, from the day of his birth to the day of his death, that Jesus rose bodily from the dead, that Jesus is the God-Man, that Jesus was born of a virgin, and that Jesus performed many miracles that substantiated His claims to being the Christ. Not only do we preach them, we herald them, proclaiming their truth to any and all who will listen.

    Your pejorative and innacurate label of my theology is indicative of purposeful mischaracterization.

    Furthermore, you state that I respond to things from your book, yet it is true that I haven't read it. Lou, I did not consciously respond to your blog posts knowing they were from your book. Yet you even state that Zane Hodges does not even have but a small cameo in the footnotes of your book.

    Lou, I applaud your stand against Lordship salvation. But I am saddened by your mischaraterizations.

    My theology is based upon an exegesis of the texts and argumentation that you have not yet even begun to truly interact with or respond to. You have continually side-stepped my arguments in favor of your non-substantive condemnations of my theology.

    Antonio da Rosa
    http://free-grace.blogspot.com
    http://unashamedofgrace.blogspot.com
     
    #18 Free Gracer, Jul 6, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2007
  19. Lou Martuneac

    Lou Martuneac
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    1) "Flustered?" I don't understand that comment, or why you would suggest that.
    2) The various men who are writing about the "Crossless" gospel of Zane Hodges are filling their articles with "misconceptions?"

    No it is not disingenuous. The label "Crossless gospel" was attached to the interpretation Hodges and you espouse before I ever got to it. I don't know who coined the label. You may not like the label, but it accurately defines what you men have done to the Gospel by gutting what must be believed for the reception of salvation.

    I agree with what you say here and acknowledged it elsewhere. You are, however, not giving a full disclosure, which would reveal why your position has come to be known as the “Crossless” gospel. So, if there is any mischaracterization of your position, you are the doing the mischaracterizing by with holding vital information. So, I’ll include what you decided should be withheld. And let’s see what that is from the writing of Hodges and your own words.

    You will preach the cross, but find it absolutely unnecessary for a lost man to believe or even understand its meaning and significance. This is contrary to the teaching of 1 Cor. 15:3-4 and Romans 10:9. This is why your position has been appropriately labeled the “Crossless” gospel.

    Lurkers/Readers if you want to read through or even some of the 11 articles I have written to address this unorthodox teaching on the Gospel, please visit my site. You will find links to several other articles that document the doctrinal errors of the “Crossless” gospel. Visit The Teaching of Zane Hodges.

    IMO what I have done at my site, not to mention the numerous comments I have posted on the subject at many different sites, substantiates I have interacted with Antonio and several others.

    I appreciate Antonio’s desire to defend the “Crossless” gospel, but he has fallen into doctrinal error, and I do hope he can one day be recovered to a balanced position on the doctrine of salvation.


    LM
     
  20. Free Gracer

    Free Gracer
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    Lou,

    that the term was coined by someone else does not excuse you for its use. It is a pejorative, purposeful misrepresentation.

    If I:

    1) Preach the gospel
    2) Within that gospel message preach the significance of the deity of Christ, the cross and resurrection of Christ

    Then:

    It is disingenuous to perpetuate an innacurate and pejorative label of my position as a "cross-less gospel". My gospel is not crossless. The cross is the centerpiece in my gospel as it was in Paul's.

    Shall I call your position the "doctrinal check-list for salvation gospel"? Seems to me you will not consider someone saved unless they initial at each orthodox doctrine you deem necessary for one to assent to and understand its significance in order to be saved. I won't stoop to that level. I would rather just call your position "soft Free Grace". If there is another designation you would prefer to use let me know. I consider my position the Free Grace Theology position.

    You write:

    ----------
    [You] find it absolutely unnecessary for a lost man to believe or even understand its meaning and significance.
    ----------
    My daughter is 7 years old. I consider her saved. She believes Jesus in His promise to guarantee for her eternal life (John 6:47). She knows that He died on the cross and rose again. But she doesn't have any form of a developed understanding of their "meaning and significance". In such a theology as yours, it would be the reductio ad absurdem to consign my child to hell for her lack of understanding the "meaning and significance" of the cross of Christ for sins.

    You also say I do not give a full disclosure. Sir, I have linked to several of my articles which do. I am not hiding anything. My position is faith alone in Christ alone. My position is that Jesus is the authoratative and sufficient Guarantor of eternal life to all who trust in Him for it.

    It has been my experience with detractors of many and varied positions I have or seen others have to post quotes for shock value as you do, Lou. George Zeller's hopeless mishmash of critiques of Zane Hodges operates in this way.

    It is by virtue of a "shocking" quote that scorn is heaped upon the position of the author of the quote, in the hope that others too will be sufficiently shocked unto repugnancy.

    May I remind you that Luther's statements to the effect of "justification by faith alone" were equally as shocking to his peers. That a statement has shock value neither denotes its falsity nor truthfulness.

    The proof is in the arguments based upon a thoughtful, prayerful, considerate, and well-reasoned exegesis of the texts.

    Up to this point, Lou, you have not interacted with my arguments or answered my questions. You dismiss them with the wave of your hand and push proof-texts that you neither exegete nor argue your position from. As if the mere referencing of a text proves you right and me wrong!

    I have discussed both 1 Cor 15:3ff and Romans 10:9,10 in the posts I link to in comment #12. I have made substantive arguments from the Gospel of John, which has the express, written purpose of its composition as being to bring men to faith in Christ for eternal life (John 20:31).

    Here is a small tidbit of the latest article on my blog:

    Has the Gospel of John Failed to Specifically and Precisely Express the Terms of Receiving Eternal Life? If so, John Failed in His Purpose (Jn 20:31)!
    http://free-grace.blogspot.com/2007/07/has-gospel-of-john-failed-to.html

    ---------
    The gospel of John was written 20-30 years after the death of Paul. It was written as one of the last two books in the canon. It was written with an express purpose of bringing people to faith in Christ for eternal life. The book does not mention the word "gospel" nor does it require that understanding the death and resurrection of Christ is necessary to be born again. It DOES NOT TEACH THIS.

    Is the gospel of John insufficient then in its explanation on how one is to receive eternal life? Are the exact and precise terms that it expresses lacking fundamental content to saving faith?

    The Gospel of John text over and over again states that believing Jesus in His promise to guarantee to the believer eternal life is what saving faith is (cf John 11:25-26). Never in this gospel is the cross or the resurrection given, presented or commanded to be the conscious and necessary content or object of saving faith.

    If it was an object or content to saving faith by then, as is argued by those who believe it is based upon a misguided appeal to "progressive revelation," it would have behooved John to include this information in ANY of the soteriological affirmations of Christ, OR added this information at the end of the gospel as a new requirement IN ADDITION to faith alone in Christ alone for eternal life.

    But of course he did not add this information. His gospel, in its soteriological affirmations, is adequate and sufficient to bring one to eternal life.

    We do not need to impose other material on the gospel of John. If more information was required for saving faith in addition to what John says is the content of saving faith, then the gospel of John has failed in its purpose. It would then be inadequate to instruct lost men PERFECTLY and SPECIFICALLY on what they must do to have eternal life.

    I sure hope, that after having read this, that you don't want to put yourself in the position of stating that the soteriological affirmations and assertions in the gospel of John are insufficient to receive eternal life.
    ----------

    There are only three options:

    1) John was unaware of the new condition, therefore his gospel is faulty and insufficient in its declarations of the terms for receiveing eternal life.

    2) John maliciously ommitted any reference to an understanding of the death and resurrection of Christ as the conscious and necessary content to saving faith.

    3) John did not consider an understanding of the death and resurrection of Christ to be the conscious and necessary content to saving faith.

    Number 3 is the most consistent, in my humble opinion.

    with regards,

    Antonio da Rosa
     
    #20 Free Gracer, Jul 7, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2007

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