August 6, 2007

An OPEN LETTER to the Free Grace Community from Pastor Tom Stegall

Sincerest greetings to all Free Grace readers in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ who, "loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood” (Rev. 1:5).

As many of you know by now, I have recently begun writing a series of articles for the Grace Family Journal from the Duluth Bible Church titled “The Tragedy of the Crossless Gospel.” The purpose of this series has been initially to alert believers to the problem of the “crossless” gospel being propagated today by a few key teachers and leaders in the Free Grace movement, principally through the Grace Evangelical Society . A second primary objective of this series (especially as it relates to future articles) is to provide believers with a Scriptural and exegetical basis to discern the true gospel of Christ from this recent false form of the gospel.

The response to the two articles thus far has been overwhelming. I have been encouraged that so many Free Grace brethren have come forward and personally expressed support for the doctrinal position that the Grace Family Journal and I have taken on this subject. While the majority of responses we've received thus far have been very much in favor of our doctrinal position and the objectives stated above, a few believers have questioned whether we adequately addressed this problem on a private, personal level with those who hold to the new “crossless” gospel before we went public with the articles. In one instance, on an Internet blogsite, one of the authors whom I cited in the first article even expresses doubt as to whether we actually did attempt to address this privately with those advocating the “crossless” gospel position, as we stated in the Summer 2007 edition of the Grace Family Journal. (See The Tragedy of the “Crossless” Gospel, Pt. 2 . [Note comment #28 in the thread posted by Jeremy Myers on July 11 @ 3:55PM.] Also see How I Evangelize at Till He Comes, which is Jeremy Myer's blogsite. [Note comment #7 in the thread posted by Jeremy on July 14 @ 3:12PM])

It is in response to these concerns, and particularly the doubts caused by posts on public Internet sites, that I am now constrained before the Lord to offer the following clarification of our actions.

Though many Free Grace believers will not need the following explanation, I trust the following account of the facts will be sufficient for those who now have doubts about the veracity of our published statements. It will be helpful to know first of all that attempts WERE made to initially address this on a personal level; and secondly, it will be helpful to know the chronology of how we proceeded before the articles were published.

In the fifteen years or so that I was a member of the Grace Evangelical Society, I and a number of other believers and fellow pastors (with whom I was in discussion) became increasingly concerned at the number and magnitude of doctrinal departures taking place within the organization. Increasingly, we felt uncomfortable aligning ourselves with G.E.S. We also began to see how these doctrines were increasingly stumbling believers and even causing divisions among Free Grace brethren. After observing these things and discussing them privately for several years, Pastor Dennis Rokser (the editor of the Grace Family Journal) and I began discussing the possibility of writing something publicly to address these doctrinal problems. We are convinced that this growing burden was, and still is, the leading of the Holy Spirit to publish these crucial articles on the gospel. These specific discussions with Dennis Rokser about addressing this publicly began in early June of 2005.

As we discussed the possibility of publishing some articles about these doctrinal problems in the Grace Family Journal, we agreed that the best course of action before the Lord would be to FIRST contact the Executive Director of the Grace Evangelical Society, Bob Wilkin, in order to express our concerns on an individual level and hopefully resolve them. What followed was then a three-month attempt, from July-September of 2005, to address my concerns. My personal interactions with Wilkin consisted of an initial phone call, one face-to-face meeting at a conference in Chicago at the end of July, and a three month email exchange, mostly on the subject of the “crossless” gospel. Dennis Rokser joined our email correspondence at Wilkin’s invitation in the months of August-September of 2005.

After determining that Wilkin was unwilling to change his mind about his “crossless” gospel but instead offered repeated correction of mine, my interactions with Wilkin reached an impasse and I decided to end my correspondence with him in early September of 05, though he and Rokser continued briefly thereafter to no avail. It was also at the end of our correspondence that I formally resigned as a member of G.E.S. and asked Wilkin to have our church removed from the G.E.S. church-tracker list to any further association with G.E.S., which he agreed to do. From our perspective, Wilkin was unreceptive to biblical correction from the start. After expressing to Wilkin in my initial email to him that G.E.S.’s doctrines had even caused some problems within the local church I shepherd, Wilkin in his first reply in early July offered to visit our church and have an “open forum” and even “debate” on the subject of the gospel. I assured him in my reply (only my second email to him) that I had no desire to do this.

In addition to all of this, I disclosed to Wilkin in the summer of 2005 that there was the distinct possibility of me writing some articles on this subject to appear in future editions of the Grace Family Journal. He was also informed that I was planning to go forward with plans to teach two workshop sessions on the subject of the “crossless” gospel at the 2005 Fall Bible Conference at Duluth Bible Church, barring any repentance on his part. I share all of this at this point lest some in the Free Grace community be led to believe that somehow the Grace Evangelical Society was unfairly caught off guard by the recent articles in the Grace Family Journal. Here at Brother Martuneac's site readers were given a misleading impression by a comment stating that Bob Wilkin and Zane Hodges "have had no contact with either of these men [Tom Stegall and Dennis Rokser] within the last two years." (See The Tragedy of the “Crossless” Gospel, Pt. 2 . [Note comment #28 in the thread posted by Jeremy Myers on July 11 @ 3:55PM.])

In addition to my correspondence with Wilkin, my efforts to address the “crossless” gospel on a private level included writing an email to Dr. John Niemela, expressing my concerns over the content of his theological journal articles. Initially, Niemela responded back by saying that my concerns seemed genuine to him and worthy of a reply with more Scriptural substance, which he would provide within a couple of weeks when he had more time. However, I received no further emails from him. After two follow-up requests to him, I still received no further reply. I do not know what Dr. Niemela's reasons were for not responding. There may have been perfectly valid reasons for this that are unknown to me. I mention this only to show that genuine efforts were made to interact with prominent men who hold to the new, “crossless” gospel.

I did not try contacting any other representatives of the “crossless” gospel position to address this subject with them. In the meantime, as Dennis Rokser and I prayed and waited upon the Lord for His timing and leading, we intentionally decided to hold off and not go forward with the publication of any articles on the “crossless” gospel until just recently in the Spring 2007 edition of the Grace Family Journal. For various reasons, we did not believe it was the Lord's perfect timing to address this matter in written form. Now, in hindsight, we see that the timing of these articles being released in late May of 2007 was providential and that they are addressing a critical need that exists within the Body of Christ (as many emails and positive conversations have indicated).

Between the fall of 2005 and the release of the first article in late May of 2007, we observed that the problem of the “crossless” gospel was growing rather than waning. It was being taught at a variety of different conferences around the country and appearing in newsletters and theological journal articles. Still, we waited. We heard over time about others who tried interacting with Free Grace men who held the “crossless” position and how deeply rooted their convictions about the “crossless” gospel had become. In one instance, at a conference in the Fall of 2006, three men from Minnesota discussed the subject of the “crossless” gospel at length with a staff member of G.E.S., Jeremy Myers. (I and Dennis Rokser are very closely associated with these three men, one of which is the pastor of a sister church, and the other two men are part of Duluth Bible Church, with one of them being an elder at D.B.C.) Though this was not an "official" meeting with Myers and the conversation was cordial and pleasant, Myers nevertheless expressed that he and Bob Wilkin had both listened to my two workshop sessions on the “crossless” gospel from the previous Fall 2005 Conference in Duluth. They concluded that though I was wrong in my doctrinal conclusions about the gospel, they also expressed that they at G.E.S. needed to do a better job of clarifying their views. After Myers had listened to over two hours of my own teaching on the subject, as well as interacted with these three men for a couple more hours on the “crossless” gospel, Myers clearly was undeterred in his beliefs. This is just one example of other conversations with prominent “crossless” gospel teachers, which I was informed of.

What then followed was decisive in determining the timing of publishing the series on “The Tragedy of the Crossless Gospel” in the Grace Family Journal. In the Fall 2006 edition of the Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, which came out in the winter of 2007, Myers had an article titled, “The Gospel is More Than Faith Alone in Christ Alone.” In it, he stated that "the gospel" contains upwards of 50 different items found in the New Testament, including water baptism (#5) and the Lord Jesus baptizing the world with fire (#9)! What was most bothersome was his overall doctrinal conclusion that "You do not have to believe the gospel to receive everlasting life, you only have to believe in Jesus for everlasting life." With doctrines such as this being published in the Free Grace movement's oldest and most widely read theological journal, we perceived that things were further progressing from bad to worse with G.E.S.'s understanding of the gospel; and the time had arrived to finally go to print.

I have shared all of this in order that people would understand that we did not approach the publication of these articles lightly, hastily, or ungraciously.

In addition, I must make one final point in order to give biblical balance to what I've written above. It is my understanding from Scripture that when people have publicly taught error, then they must be publicly held accountable. In the case of those teaching the “crossless” gospel, they have been teaching their views in their books, theological journals, and at conferences around the country for several years now—virtually unabated! The example of Paul publicly confronting Peter, Barnabas, and the men from James (Gal. 2:11-14), which I referenced in my second article, is certainly appropriate for the situation we currently find ourselves in today.

Though I agree that it is preferential as a courtesy to address matters privately first, this is not what Paul did with Peter in Antioch of Syria according to Galatians 2:11-14. Nor is this required anywhere by Scripture. In the case of private sins committed against an individual, I believe that Scripturally the offended party (the "victim") should go to that person who sinned and privately address the problem (Matt. 18:15). But that is a separate matter entirely from the problem of the public teaching of the “crossless” gospel occurring with G.E.S. today.

No doubt some in the Free Grace movement will still believe that I do not have the right to publicly critique in my articles the doctrines of fellow Free Grace men until I have gone to each of them individually and attempted to resolve our differences privately. This expectation is neither Scriptural nor practical. Furthermore, this is not the approach that Free Grace men themselves have taken with proponents of Lordship Salvation over the years. I am not aware of any Free Grace author, who has been expected by his fellow Free Grace brethren, to first go to MacArthur, Reisinger, Sproul, Stott, Piper, Belcher, Gentry, Horton, Boice, Crenshaw, et al, before they can critique their doctrines!

I wish to conclude this clarification with just a few more essential points. First, I want to reiterate the same point that I already stated in my past two Grace Family Journal articles. I truly do desire unity within the Free Grace camp. I had hoped that my articles critiquing the “crossless” gospel would not even be necessary. Now, for true unity's sake, I am convinced that they are necessary. Genuine spiritual unity must be based upon the truth of God's Word; otherwise we will have a false, pretentious unity that is displeasing to the Lord. The unity that God desires is the kind in which we are all preaching the same gospel (Gal. 1:6-10).

Secondly, I wish to say in closing that I did not want to write this clarification anymore than I wanted to go ahead with publishing my articles in the Grace Family Journal; and yet I felt constrained to do so in order to clarify the truth. It would be tragic if our disagreements over the “crossless” gospel degenerated into personal attacks against each others’ motives and characters, instead of objectively (though still passionately) interacting on a doctrinal and Scriptural level. I do not question the motives of those men who hold to, and teach, what others and I have come to identify as a “crossless” gospel. For that matter, I believe their motives are sincere, as they are sincerely seeking to clarify and defend the gospel of grace. However, someone can still be sincerely wrong.

Finally, it is not my desire or intention to address the subject of our pre-publication actions any further. To continue doing so only unnecessarily distracts us from the serious issue at hand of defining, defending, and preaching the one true gospel of Christ to a lost and dying world.

Sincerely in the Lord Jesus,

Tom Stegall

Pastor Tom Stegall Word of Grace Bible Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is originally from Minneapolis, MN. He was raised as a Roman Catholic and following high school attended seminary with a desire to become a priest. However, upon reading the Bible and through the testimony of a few saved friends, he came to place his faith in Christ alone for his eternal salvation and was born again by God's grace in 1987. He was actively involved in the Duluth Bible Church. from 1988 until 1998, where he became equipped through the accurate teaching of God's Word and the faithful shepherding of his pastor, Dennis Rokser. At D.B.C. he met his wife Debbie, a native of Duluth, and they were married in 1997. The Lord has blessed them with three children. Pastor Stegall attributes his primary preparation for pastoral ministry in Milwaukee to his decade of personal involvement in his local church in Duluth. He was further prepared for ministry by completing a five-year course of study through the Grace Institute of Biblical Studies, a ministry of the Duluth Bible Church; and he is also a graduate of the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and the University of Minnesota.

For more complete information on the position that has come to be known as the “Crossless” gospel read from the series, The Teaching of Zane Hodges.


  1. To All Visitors:

    I am pleased to be hosting Pastor Tom Stegall and providing space for his important contribution to the debate and controversy surrounding the "Crossless" gospel.

    Kinds regards,



  2. To simplify your search for the comments by men in or from the Grace Evangelical Society that Pastor Stegall cites I am posting those quotes here in this thread.

    This first one is by Brother Jeremy Myers and appears in the thread under my article titled, The Tragedy of the “Crossless” Gospel, Pt. 2 .

    Jeremy Myers said...

    Hi all,

    I just read through the ongoing debate, and wanted to weigh in. I have read all the articles listed above (by Zane, Bob, Tom, and Dennis), and believe that Tom and Dennis have severely misrepresented Bob and Zane.

    Even the two “clarifications” by Dennis only further muddle the issue. For example, it would be nice to know which of these men he is attacking has stonewalled him, since both Bob and Zane have said say that they have had no contact with either of these men within the last two years. Maybe Dennis has a different definition of "stonewall" than I do...

    Anyway, there are rumors of a response from Bob and Zane, which I will let people know about in my own blog at when I learn more.

    7/11/2007 3:55 PM

  3. "and believe that Tom and Dennis have severely misrepresented Bob and Zane."

    Mr. Myers,

    May I ask just where? The issue is not: do these men present the death and resurrection, but these men saying it isn't necessery to be believed in for one to be saved at this period after the cross. I personally do not see any misrepresentation. What I do find, sadly, are those of the extreme position clouding the issue and sidestepping the issue.

    I myself have even noted Mr. Wilkin's gross misunderstanding of one Biblical text here:

  4. Tom,

    Very able defense of the correct Biblical position.

    I pray for those in the GES, that they will see the error and correct it.

    In Christ eternally by God's Grace and my decision,


  5. Gojira:

    Thanks for stopping in. I have been to your blog, this evening, read the article and left two comments.

    You have touched on a related and very disturbing parallel that comes from the "Crossless" gospel advocates. Wilkin, Jeremy Myers (who is on the GES staff) and Antonio da Rosa are on record saying that a lost man does not even need to know he is a sinner and still can be born again.

    I am never going to embrace the Lordship Salvation interpretation of the Gospel.

    As for the "Crossless" gospel of Zane Hodges and Bob Wilkin, however, it is, IMO, the most extreme form of what has come to be known as "Easy-Believism" I have encountered to date.

    Thanks again for visiting and come again.


  6. Hi ExP:

    Good to see you again.

    I am hopeful that some who have already adopted the "Crossless" doctrine can one day be recovered.

    My main desire, however, is to alert Bible-believing Christians across a broad spectrum of evangelical Christianity about this disturbing twist on the Gospel of Grace.


  7. Bro. Lou,

    Forgive this totally unrelated post, but how do you pronounce your last name? I appreciate your stand, but this has just had me curious! Thanks & God Bless.

  8. Hi David:

    Well, yours is both the easiest and most difficult question I have fielded to date.

    Easy question, but how to answer phonetically to give you my last name pronunciation is going to be tough.

    If this does not work, send me an e-mail, I will reply with my cell phone number and give the pronunciation in my own voice.

    Here goes:




  9. LOL Lou, you're so gracious! Offering to pronounce your name for someone.

    There is a nice big smile on my face and that's a good thing cause it does disturb me to see such error preached in the name of the Gospel.

    I REALLY hope Antonio get involved in this on going conversation. I have not had time to keep up with him over the last few weeks.


  10. Lou,

    It troubles me when I see the phrase "Easy Believism" used as a pejorative.

    What exactly do you mean by "Easy Believism?"

    When one knows the Who, What and Why of the Object of one's belief, the Lord Jesus Christ, believing is easy. Some choose to believe, some choose not to.

    On the contrary, "Hard Believism" would be when one adds works to gain or maintain salvation, then salvation becomes impossible. "Lordship salvation," "Commitment salvation," a "turn from sin" interpretation of repentance, etc all have an element of works added to God's Grace and thereby "Grace is no more Grace" and "the cross of Christ should be made of none effect."

    I have been accused of "Easy Believism" since the late 60s. I'll claim THIS "Easy Believism" any day -- Jesus died for me, He was buried, and rose again the third day. He is the full payment for my sin debt. I believe He did that for me -- that's pretty easy! I'll wear that description as a badge of honor.

    The Lord never made believing "hard."


  11. Hi ExP":

    Thanks for the fine post above on the Easy/Hard Believism. Terms can and do get thrown around, and often a definition is not attached.

    In my book you will find this in A Note From The Author. I trust this will give you some sense of how I use the term EB and what I mean by it.

    This is not a question of a weak gospel verses a strong gospel, but of the one true gospel standing apart from all other false gospels. If the weak gospel erred by omission, the strong gospel equally errs by addition. All witnesses for Christ desire true conversions. In my zeal to secure more genuine conversions, however, I do not have the liberty to alter the gospel. Any alteration of the gospel either by omission or addition must be rejected.

    In the evangelical community there are two extremes in the debate over what constitutes the gospel that leads to eternal salvation. The extremes are commonly known by or referred to as either “Easy-Believism” or “Lordship Salvation.” There are inherent dangers in each and ought to be rejected. There is a biblical balance at the center.

    Many have been alarmed at the increasingly meaningless presentation of a gospel that seems to ignore the person of Christ, the sinfulness of man and the pending judgment of God. This gospel calls men to salvation when they have been given only a vague idea of just what they need to be saved from. This is the so-called Easy-Believism gospel. While I do not hold to an Easy-Believism approach and would admonish those who seek quick, easy decisions for Christ to rethink their position, this document has been produced to address the other extreme, namely, Lordship Salvation.

    I'd appreciate your feedback on those paragraphs.



  12. Thanks for the pronunciation guide bro. Lou. I thought that was the pronunciation.
    I am with bro. Jack. Easy-believism scares me as a pejorative also. Yet I know that some refer to the term as meaning simply raiaing a hand or saying a prayer without any knowledghe whatsoever of the Gospel & thinking that is salvation. If that is what is meant by EB, then I am definitely agin-it! But I am totally for EB if it means as bro. Jack said, that one only needs to believe or trust in Christ alone for his eternal salvation. Thanks again for the pronunciation.

  13. Hi Kevl:

    Thanks for the note.

    I hope my pronunciation guide was helpful.

    As for Antonio, He often posts a comment and then disappears or answers a question with a question and if you will not give him a satisfactory answer to his question he will not answer yours. I believe you had a similar experience with him; right?

    Plus Antonio often gets himself banned at other blogs for his harshness and attitude.

    Thanks again,


  14. Dear Jack:

    I have been away for much of the last two days. I just re-read your comment where you contrast “Easy & Hard Believism.” You did a nice job of drawing the distinction.

    The Lordship message is without any doubt a man-centered, works based message. “Whole-hearted commitment, turn from sin, full-surrender,” corrupts the simplicity that is in Christ (2. Cor. 11:3). LS frustrates grace (Gal. 2:21) and is, in my opinion, a message of bondage. I dealt with this very topic in the second workshop at the Grace Conference. That lesson was titled, “Does Lordship Salvation Frustrate Grace?” I may develop that into an article for my blog.

    You wrote, “I'll claim THIS ‘Easy Believism’ any day -- Jesus died for me, He was buried, and rose again the third day. He is the full payment for my sin debt. I believe He did that for me -- that's pretty easy!”

    That is great, and I whole-heartedly concur. You also point up one of the problems with the “Crossless” gospel coming from Hodges and the GES. They maintain that a lost man does need to know he is a sinner, and does not need to know or understand that Jesus died (for his sins), was buried and rose again and yet can still be saved by ONLY believing Jesus is the Giver of eternal life.

    One of the men who advocates the “Crossless” message looks at the death, burial and resurrection of Christ (1 Cor. 15:3-4) as “additions” to the Gospel. I queried him on that by asking if he believes the use of and call for belief in the death and resurrection of Christ are “additions” would this, in his mind, constitute a “false gospel.” To my recollection, he has not replied to that question.

    Thanks again for the fine comments.


  15. Hi Dave:

    Glad to hear my pronunciation guide was helpful.

    You wrote, “Yet I know that some refer to the term as meaning simply raising a hand or saying a prayer without any knowledge whatsoever of the Gospel & thinking that is salvation. If that is what is meant by EB, then I am definitely agin-it! But I am totally for EB if it means as Bro. Jack said, ‘that one only needs to believe or trust in Christ alone for his eternal salvation.’”

    I can’t speak for Jack, but I’m confident he’d agree “hand raising and praying without any knowledge…of the Gospel” would be representative of Easy-Believism. I'm "agin-it" too!

    I would, however, ask two questions about the latter half of your statements above.

    1) You put in quotes, “that one only needs to believe or trust in Christ alone for his eternal salvation.” I did not see who you were quoting, who would that be?

    2) More importantly, and I am asking to better understand the statement: Are you taking the position that, “one only needs to believe or trust in Christ alone (as the Giver of eternal life) for his eternal salvation?”

    Or would you agree with Brother Jack that, “Jesus died for me, He was buried, and rose again the third day. He is the full payment for my sin debt,” is an essential to be known and believed, “for (lost man's) his eternal salvation”?



  16. Bro. Lou,

    Actually, I didn't put the statement in question in quotes in the original post. I believe you did that. I was not quoting anyone. I was just making a statement.

    Secondly, I believe that it is the Christ of the Bible who died & rose again the 3rd day according to the Scriptures that we must trust in to be saved. Praise His Name!

  17. Dave:

    Sorry for the misunderstandng on the quotation marks. I guess those were your own words.


  18. Dave:

    In reply to my question, you wrote, “I believe that it is the Christ of the Bible who died & rose again the 3rd day according to the Scriptures that we must trust in to be saved.”

    That was your answer to my question above, which was,

    Are you taking the position that, “one only needs to believe or trust in Christ alone (as the Giver of eternal life) for his eternal salvation?”

    Or would you agree with Brother Jack that, “Jesus died for me, He was buried, and rose again the third day. He is the full payment for my sin debt,” is an essential to be known and believed, “for (lost man's) his eternal salvation

    I have to frank when I tell you that, in light of my question, your answer, while sincere, is just vague enough to appear evasive. I say that because over the past week I have noted that more than one man, who is sympathetic to the "Crossless" gospel, has become unwilling to participate in a balanced two-way exchange.

    Over the years I have encountered the same kind of evasion from several Lordship Salvation advocates. Those men do not want to be discovered or pinned down on exactly what they believe. I am beginning to see the same pattern in the current debate.

    I trust you are not taking this sort of evasive tact. So, I am going to ask again, but rephrase to accommodate your initial reply above.

    Do you take the position that, one only needs to believe or trust ‘Christ of the Bible who died & rose again the 3rd day according to the Scriptures’ alone (as the Giver of eternal life) for his eternal salvation?”

    That is a fair question, and I'd appreciate a candid reply.



  19. Bro. Lou,

    (If you don't mind, I'd appreciate being called "David" not "Dave". I know you were not aware of that, so just to let you know, thanks!)

    I certainly am not trying to be vague. Especially not about my wonderful Lord & Savior Jesus Christ who died for me. I hope this is clear enough for you, Lou. I take the position that The Lord Jesus Christ of the Bible, Who alone is both God & Man (Jn.1:1,14) who died & rose again bodily to fulfill the Scriptures, is the full payment for my awful sin-debt and because I believe in Him alone, I have eternal life. Once again, praise HIS Holy Name!

  20. David:

    Thanks again for the reply, and sorry about the name slippage.

    Everything you have said about the Lord is very good. Where I am trying to focus on, however, is what a lost man must know and believe to be born again.

    In your opinion, if a lost man believes in the name of Jesus as the Giver of eternal life (with no knowledge or belief in His death, Deity or resurrection) is his belief in the name of Jesus for eternal life alone sufficient to result in his being born again?

    Thanks in anticipation of your reply.


  21. Bro. Lou,

    I am sorry, but I thought I had made it as clear as I know how. I fully admit that I somtimes am not as clear as I'd like. So I will say it again, I believe I must know Who Jesus is & what He's done to save me, at least in that He has died & risen to pay my tremendous sin-debt. So, when I believe in Him to guarantee my eternal life, it is the biblical Jesus, the One who is God & fully satisfied the Father for me that I am trusting in. Is that clear enough? If not, I am sorry, that is the best I can do.

  22. I also prefer the Biblical "David" over the less Biblical "Dave" - Kind of like the way I prefer the Biblical Gospel of Salvation including the 'Checklist' of basic, historicaly Grace-held truths that: According to the Scriptures He is the Savior of Sinners, Wholly Man and God, thus perfect, who Died in my place, Rose Again, thus showing the payment of sin was satisfactory, and offers to 'Exchange' His Righteousness for my Sin Debt - Grace - if I will simply believe (place my trust of my Eternal Destiny) in His Work on the Cross and that alone! over the less Biblical “Jesus Christ guarantees eternal life to believers.”

    Sorry for that run-on sentence. (Please don't dock me any points for punctuation or spelling either!)

    Did I strike the right balance? Is there anything I need to add or delete from the checklist?


  23. Dear David:

    You wrote, “I believe I must know Who Jesus is & what He's done to save me, at least in that He has died & risen to pay my tremendous sin-debt.”

    That appears sound, but IMO it is at odds with what I am reading from Zane Hodges, Jeremy Myers and Antonio da Rosa. Those men (Hodges, da Rosa, and Myers) state that a lost man can be born again apart from any knowledge and/or belief of his sinful condition, Christ’s death and resurrection.

    As for my question: It is probably me that is not being clear. Where I am focusing our discussion is on the soul-winning situation. The scene where you/I are speaking to a lost man about the Gospel. We are trying to win him to Christ.

    I believe if a lost man was lead to pray ONLY for the gift of eternal life, which is what I am reading from the GES camp, he does not know/believe:
    1) he is a sinner,
    2) that Christ died on his behalf 3) and rose again, he was not genuinely born again. The sinner was given an incomplete message, therefore, he was not born again.

    So, in the strict context of witnessing to a lost man, would you please share your thoughts on this question?

    In your opinion, if a lost man believes in the name of Jesus as the Giver of eternal life (with no knowledge or belief in His death, Deity or resurrection) is his belief in the name of Jesus for eternal life alone sufficient to result in his being born again?



  24. Dear ExP:

    Please e-mail me, I have a question for you.

    Seems I have misplaced your e-mail addrsss.



  25. David S:

    Thanks for checking in. I've been to your site, enjoyed perusing it.


  26. Bro. Lou,

    No, I personally don't see how a person can be saved apart from the knowledge he is a sinner therefore needing salvation. Also, I see the need for knowing that I am believing on the biblical Jesus which includes the fact of His deity & death/resurrection. I believe I've made that abundantly clear in our discussions, at least I was trying to!
    But let me also say that bro. Antonio knows that I believe this way, and we disagree on it. Yet I am thankful for his friendship in Christ & fully admit that he is likely far more Godly than I. may the Lord bless you bro. Lou.

  27. David:

    Thanks for your patience I appreciate your candor.


  28. No problem bro. Lou. God Bless.

  29. Mr. Stegall,

    You wrote, "...Wilkin in his first reply in early July offered to visit our church and have an 'open forum' and even 'debate' on the subject of the gospel. I assured him in my reply (only my second email to him) that I had no desire to do this."

    Why, may I ask, did you have no interest in a debate on the subject? Seems like it might go a long way in clarifying some of the issues.



  30. Andy,

    One of the reasons why I had no desire in having Bob come to our church for a debate was because I didn't want his erroneous teachings causing further problems at our local church. As a shepherd of God's flock, I did not think that would be a wise decision before the Lord.

    In addition, when Bob proposed a debate at our church in his very first email reply to me, a public debate was the furthest thing from my mind. My purpose in initially contacting him was twofold: to confirm that I was not misinterpreting his public teaching and statements as to the deity, substitutionary death, and resurrection of Christ NOT being essential to believe for eternal life; and secondly, if indeed that was what he believed, to ask him to consider some of the practical evangelistic implications of such beliefs.

    However, with that background and context aside, I do not believe that a public debate on this subject is the most spiritually profitable, constructive, or edifying approach to clarifying this subject for believers. For that reason, I will proceed with clarifying this subject in print.

    If you have further questions, I would be willing to continue corresponding with you, but I would prefer to do so privately rather than publicly.

    In Christ,
    Tom Stegall

  31. Mr. Stegall,

    Thank you for the reply.



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