April 17, 2008

In The “Trick Bag”

UPDATE (4/18 @ 6:30pm) Tonight Antonio da Rosa deleted his Discussion with a Free Grace Leader article. He did this without fanfare or explanation.

Based on da Rosa’s past performance, it is my opinion that those quotations from the un-named FG leader were from private correspondence and Antonio published them without having asked for or received prior permission do so.

Furthermore, da Rosa’s pattern is to revise and reinterpret quotes to gain an advantage or create a ripe target for attack, such as he did to Stephen (KnetKnight). I am quite sure that the FG leader heard of this, felt betrayed and probably contacted Antonio to insist he delete the quotations if not the entire article. This is the only explanation that makes sense to me.

Stunts like this latest one are why Antonio’s reputation precedes him.

Dear Guests:

I simply must weigh in. Stephen (KnetKnight) and others have attempted to engage ReDefined Free Grace advocate Antonio da Rosa at a pro-Crossless gospel blog.

One may not know whether to be ashamed of or feel sorry for Antonio having posted his most recent article at *Unashamed of Grace. This is the article where he quotes an unnamed FGA Leader, and very likely, as he has done in the past, without that man’s prior consent or permission. Furthermore, the likelihood Antonio has fairly and accurately portrayed this unnamed FGA leader’s personal position is highly suspect. He has a habit of posting private communication with a political spin to give himself an advantage.

He improperly suggests those of us who reject the Crossless gospel of Zane Hodges’ ReDefined Free Grace theology have been unwilling to pursue meaningful dialogue.

Now that Stephen has taken Antonio to task, shown that he is disingenuous in his remarks, and offered to engage him in “meaningful dialogue,” Antonio is ignoring these men. Antonio is doing the very thing he falsely accused us of.

He has put himself in what we call, **the trick bag.” Antonio can’t delete Stephen or the others comments because he (da Rosa) would once again be discredited and condemned by his own words. He can’t honestly engage these men in the thread through “meaningful dialogue” because his doctrine and character will be once again devastated.

What are his options?
1) Pull down the article entirely.
2) Close the comment thread of his article.
3) Follow his pattern of disappearing for days on end.
4) Post new articles to push this one down the home page as quickly as possible.
5) Live up to the high standard he claimed for himself by engaging Stephen and Jon in “meaningful dialogue.”

I don’t normally link to sites that propagate the Crossless gospel. Tonight, however, I invite my guests to read Recent Discussion With Leader in FGA (Free Grace Alliance) by Antonio da Rosa (aka- Sock Puppet: fg me)


*Unashamed of Grace is a blog that is moderated by advocates and supporters of the Crossless gospel. They are Antonio da Rosa; H. K. Flynn; Matthew (Dyspraxic Fundamentalist) and Rose of Rose’s Reasonings.

**Getting yourself in a situation that is not good, complex, or can lead to bad things. Getting in a heap of trouble.


  1. Thanks for this. I hope he will take the high road and choose to engage us. All I've ever wanted is to conclude what the Bible teaches about these matters. Antonio says he wants meaningful dialog but I'm getting the impression that we're facing yet another redefinition in the making -- that is that "meaningful dialog" to Antonio is "dialog that is, or results in, tolerance of his view".

    I'd rather take it at face value - that is, that all the relevant controversies are put on the table and all sides agree to seek the biblical center of the issue without bias. At the very least, leadership needs to be crystal clear on what they believe the truth is. Only then can members/would-be members meaningfully choose to align or not align with the organization's mission. I understand that the FGA is not looking for a doctrinal statement, but it seems they must stand on at least a minimal set of core values that are not mutually exclusive. Having one part of the FGA that thinks the finished work of Jesus is necessary content of contemporary saving faith, and another group that doesn't, seems mutually exclusive. Resolving that kind of tension is what I see as the "meaningful dialog" that needs to take place. Even if the final FGA stance sides against my view, at least it would be settled and known instead of being this cloud of uncertainty. An evangelistic organization that isn't clear and consistent in what it thinks the evangelistic message even is seems a house divided.

    If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. -- Mark 3:25

    Up way past my bed time,

  2. Is it just me being overly hopeful but is that whole group imploding?

    While I don't for a second want any of them to suffer harm, I have been praying for their efforts to be frustrated.

    Oh joy if they would come to see the restraint of the Holy Spirit in their lives and doctrine. What a blessing that would be to those who read these blogs unwittingly.


  3. Men:

    Antonio da Rosa has for months engaged in unethical political gamesmanship. He has now invoked Dr. Bing’s name to bolster his views.

    Late last year da Rosa posted details (without permission) from private conversations he had with Dr. Bing. I know for a fact that Dr. Bing was not pleased with that, and furthermore Antonio put a spin on the notes he posted to give himself political advantage.

    I have notified Dr. Bing that da Rosa is using his name once again in an attempt to score political points. FWIW, I did not appreciate Charlie attending the GES conference, told him why, and we spoke about that. The way Antonio describes the lunch meeting appears to be recharacterized to inflate his ego and position.

    The poor character and lack of ethics are epidemic in the life of da Rosa and Jim Johnson. This is, however, all they have left. The egregious errors of the ReDefined FG theology has been devastated, therefore, bankrupt moral character is all they have left to depend on.


  4. Stephen,

    Wow...Well said! That was powerful. I agree with everything you said!

    Very true: "I understand that the FGA is not looking for a doctrinal statement, but it seems they must stand on at least a minimal set of core values that are not mutually exclusive. Having one part of the FGA that thinks the finished work of Jesus is necessary content of contemporary saving faith, and another group that doesn't, seems mutually exclusive."

    I'm not in the loop on all the interworkings of the FGA, but if at all true, I agree that these issues need to be addressed.


  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Thanks for the encouragement JP.

    As I just commented over at the UoG thread, "there is much we can agree to disagree about". It seems self-explanatory however that an evangelistic org, by definition, must be precise and unwavering on at least one thing: the evangelistic message! I mean, if they can't even agree on that, their bottom-line mission to exist, then what's the point?

    From the FGA welcome sidebar: "The mission of the Free Grace Alliance is to connect, encourage and equip the body of Christ to advance the grace message throughout the world." (emphasis added)

    1. I'll venture to assume that the intent is for "the grace message" to be synonymous with "the saving message"
    2. It says THE grace message, not A grace message.

    from the FAQ: "The FGA is seeking to unite leaders, churches, and organizations which affirm the gospel of grace."

    THE gospel of grace, not A gospel of grace.

    "Meaningful dialog" would be to settle what the Bible says THE gospel of grace is. Allowing multiple gospels is contradictory to the stated mission of the FGA.

    THE Stephen

  7. "THE Stephen"

    Now that's funny!

    What does it really mean to be "THE" Stephen. I think it means that you have the character of Stephen... no that's too strong... maybe it means that you are a image of a pattern of Stephen....

    lol I'm sorry..


  8. Stephen,

    You just hit another grand slam!

    I was thinking about these very same issues today. I remember asking a certain "FGA leader" if I was qualified to join the FGA. He informed me that membership is now open "to anyone who wants to advance the gospel of grace." He and I know what the gospel of grace is, but Antonio doesn't! And Antonio is a member of the FGA. I have to admit, I have a real problem with that. And if it's true that Stephen Lewis is on the executive board, has a position of leadership in the FGA, or is even just a member of the FGA, I have a real problem with that too. IMO the FGA needs to bring these issues to the discussion table and settle them.


  9. Jon:

    Lord willing, this is going to be settled at the FGA's National Conference later this year.


  10. Men:

    See my update at the head of this article.

    Antonio deleted his FG Leader article.


  11. He made at least two more comments after my last one at 15:31 Central today. If you are interested in his two final posts let me know and I'll make them available online or in e-mail.


  12. Stephen:

    Yes, I'm curious. E-mail please.