September 26, 2008

Clinching the Deal on the “Crossless” Gospel

Dear Guests:

I want to share some of the thread exchanges that recently took place at the *
Free Grace Believer blog over the Grace Evangelical Society’s Crossless gospel. Many of the comments I am going to reproduce in this series IMO clinch the deal on the teaching of the Crossless gospel advocates.

In my previous article I drew your attention to a new discussion and debate over the
Crossless Gospel. There were several comments from my blog partners in the thread that I want to highlight and share here for their obvious value.

A guest named Kolton asked,

Lou, are you assuming these men hold to a crossless gospel? Can you provide actual quotes to back up what you are saying? Others here see you as misrepresenting this issue so what is the most damning evidence you have to prove that such men hold to a crossless gospel?

Thank you,


I was able to link Kolton to several articles that thoroughly document the
Crossless/Deityless teaching of Zane Hodges and Bob Wilkin. At the same time, however, my blog partner KnetKnight (Stephen) posted a very helpful reply to Kolton that irrefutably demonstrates that Bob Wilkin does believe and teach a Crossless interpretation of the Gospel.

Furthermore and equally important, KnetKnight’s reply removes any questions about whether or not those of us who reject the
Crossless gospel are accurately representing the reductionist position on the Gospel these GES men teach. The on-going mantra of the GES advocates has been that their views are being “misrepresented.” This is, of course, untrue and is a blatant falsehood being perpetuated by the followers of Zane Hodges. We quote liberally from the GES gospel advocate’s published material and the egregious reductionist errors there are plain to see by any objective reader. Following is Stephen’s reply to Kolton.
Kolton, I’m not Lou but I’ll take a stab at that. When we say “Crossless” we do not mean that the cross is not presented, but that sin and cross (the substitutionary atonement) is seen as optional for the lost man to believe.

If I understand Dave correctly he doesn’t want GES links posted here so I’ll summarize that one of the most “damning” things I read that convinced me we are not misrepresenting their position is Zane Hodges’s
The Deserted Island Scenario, from Part 1 of his How to Lead People to Christ articles. Hodges makes it absolutely clear that in his example that the example person is completely lacking in any Christian knowledge whatsoever save that a smudged piece of paper says, “Jesus therefore answered and said to them” -- 3 1/2 versus of unreadable text -- then “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.”

He sums up the scenario thusly -- “[T]here are some grace people who would say that this man is not saved because he doesn’t know enough. For example, he doesn’t know that Jesus died for his sins on the cross and rose again.”

Whether you agree or disagree,
this removes any doubt about whether the GES gospel is crossless in terms of it’s content of saving faith.

Dr. Bob
Wilkin affirms this interpretation and attempted to introduce it to our church through sessions on evangelism that I personally attended. Wilkin’s view is that, “as long as one believes that Jesus guarantees him eternal life, he can be saved, even if he does not know that Jesus is the Son of God and even if he knows nothing about Jesus’ work on the cross.”

Whether you agree or not is the only question -- That this is GES’ view of the gospel of salvation is crystal clear and is only defended, never contested, by even Wilkin himself. And I have e-mailed him personally on the matter until he bowed out of the conversation. He was cordial but realized that we simply didn’t agree.
Not once in those e-mails did Wilkin himself ever claim that I was misrepresenting or even misunderstood his view, in fact he complimented me on being well-read and thorough in my presentation of it.

Regards, Stephen

Kolton had this reaction to what Stephen shared above,

Many thanks. What you said is hard to accept. I really liked BW where at times his writings spoke blessings to my heart. This breaks my heart to hear.

Rachel, followed her husband Stephen’s statement with a collaborating statement of her own.
With Stephen, I can attest to specific words coming from Bob Wilkin’s mouth and computer as to what he believes about this issue. We have the emails archived, plus the articles are online at Wilkin’s website.
I also think it is extremely clear that we (Stephen and I, at least) have it right because even Wilkin himself did NOT correct us, in fact (as Stephen said) Wilkin affirmed through personal email that we in fact know and understand his view on this subject very well. There is also the empirical evidence of the changes made to the’s statement of belief, changes which, when compared to the previous version, made quite clear what they believe on this issue. (See- GES’s Reductionist Affirmation of Belief)

There is no doubt whatsoever that Hodges and Wilkin and their “
followers” believe and teach that a lost person can be born again without knowing or believing that Jesus is God, died on the cross, rose again, OR that the person is a sinner.

The only issue to discuss is whether or not they are correct. But what they teach is plain for all to see.
There may be more to follow in this series.


*The Free Grace Believer blog administrator (Dave) will be posting his analysis of the Grace Evangelical Society's “Crossless” gospel within a few days.

Rachel from the Pursuit of Truth blog will be posting her review of the polarizing Hydra's Other Head article by Zane Hodges. I will be directing you to those reviews as they become available for viewing.


  1. Hey Lou,

    I don't know if you have's original and updated statements of faith but that would surely make an interesting article. Show what was changed and how it indicates a reductionist affect on their stance.


  2. Hi Kev:

    I do have both versions and it is VERY obvious that Wilkin revised the GES statement to accommodate the reductionist teaching of Zane Hodges.

    I do have that article in que, just have not scheduled it yet. I am holding off so that I can highlight and support the article Dave from the Free Grace Believer blog is posting on Monday where he deals with the GES’s Crossless gospel.

    Rachel of Pursuit of Truth is posting a review of the Hydra Head article by Hodges.

    Thanks for asking.


  3. To All:

    As for the subject matter here, which Stephen and Rachel have addressed, I want to be very clear on this...

    If any advocate of or sympathizer with the GES Crossless interpretation of the Gospel suggest that the controversy is over anyone claiming Hodges/Wilkin do not believe in and/or do not preach the deity and finished work of Christ that person lies and is a deceiver.

    The crux of the doctrinal controversy has always *primarily been over the GES teaching that the lost do NOT have to know, understand or believe in the deity, death and resurrection of Christ, but can still be born again.

    To reiterate, if any man/woman says the controversy is over the personal beliefs or preaching of the Crossless advocates that man/woman who says this is a bold-faced liar.


    *Hodges and Wilkin have also gone into error on the doctrine of repentance. Actually Hodges lead Wilkin to abandon the theme of his (Wilkin’s) doctrinal dissertation for the view that repentance is not a condition FOR salvation.

  4. Dear Guests:

    I would like to direct your attention to an article written by Stephen (KnetKnight) for The Land of Reason. It is titled, Paul and the Holy Spirit at Odds with REDEFINED Free Grace.

    It lends very nicely to his and Rachel's notes in this article.


  5. Thanks for the kind references Lou. Our exchanges with BW were always civil and I feel he was fundamentally honest. In contrast, Antonio was syrupy sweet at first and agreed to discuss the matter with us at our old blog. He asked a question, which I honestly answered, and he ditched his integrity and fled back to his own blog while quoting only half of my answer. I was peaceful but wary of Antonio before that but he scorched and burned his own integrity with that stunt, and he never showed even a hint of remorse for it -- seemed to somehow think me terrible for answering his question honestly. Silly me I guess, thinking honesty was integral to a meaningful discussion. (sic)

    What tugs my heart in this matter is that family friends of mine like Diane think so much of Antonio when any objective review of his ethics reveals the most blatantly unethical person (christian or otherwise) whom I have ever had the displeasure to experience. My heart goes out to those like Diane who are swept in by his sweet words and never realize, since they have not been on the receiving end of his schemes, that they have made their bed with a viper.

    I'm a loving guy, was famous growing up for making friends with people that others just couldn't get along with, but Antonio takes the cake. I mention this because he is the first to point fingers at others for alleged fouls / misrepresentation yet he is blatantly guilty of exactly that same behavior. You know the old saying -- "When you point a finger at someone else you've got three pointed back at yourself." Well, that's Antonio. He blatantly misrepresents those who oppose him by repeating loudly and often the lie that it's us who is doing so. Seems that when Antonio and co. say we've "misrepresented" their position that what they really mean is "you've revealed my true position and I don't like it" Seems he and much of Redefined Free Grace can't deal with honest disagreement so he demonizes the opposition. I've seen you make mistakes and apologize for them; Antonio seems to cover his lapses... with more lapses. Either that or he runs and hides altogether like he did with his sock puppet stunt.

    It's late and I'm rambling, but this article touched a nerve and reminded me how sincere I was in giving Antonio the benefit of the doubt at first. I made the mistake of thinking he was capable of honest and open dialog on the issues and he blew it. He was more interested in getting a shock-value quote from me than he was in resolving the issue, despite his initially alluring words to the contrary. He himself avoids unambiguous answers, such as what Dave Osas asked, yet he somehow retains the nerve to simultaneously claim it's us who have lapsed. Seems that with Antonio, and some other Redefined Free Grace advocates, that clear speech and forthrightness are seen as liabilities. Ask them a meaningful yet simple yes/no question and you'll get a fence-straddler reply every time. It's so frustrating, yet very revealing at the same time to those with eyes to see.

    Gack, it's late. Good night!

  6. Stephen:

    Virtually all of us who have had the misfortune to come into contact with Antonio da Rosa have broken contact with him and will not publicly acknowledge or interact with him. Your acknowledgement of who he is and what he does I appreciate your having posted.

    This note you posted serves as an important reminder and fair warning to any who have not yet come to realize he/she could become the next target for Antonio’s subterfuge, schemes and personal attacks.

    I may have more to contribute later today.


  7. Good mornin' Lou. It reminds me of what happened at head of the moor a few months ago. Antonio (and I think Rose too) repeatedly cried "misreperesentation" yet Jonathan found no such thing... and he doesn't have a dog in this fight so I'd say that's pretty objective.

    Or take Dave Osas' simple yes/no question about whether someone can be saved without believing in Jesus' death/burial/resurrection. (I don't remember the exact wording and the thread is gone now). Rose answered something like "No, not likely" She just can't bring herself to answer the question without a qualifier, a qualifier which shows that her bottom-line answer to the question Dave asked is actually "yes". She blatantly straddled the fence on what is the single most important doctrine in evangelical Christianity. We can be wrong on a lot of doctrine, and agree to disgree, but if we get the doctrine of salvation wrong then what's the point? This is something BW himself has hammered home and is one of the things I CREDIT him for making clear to me... that we have GOT to be certain of the content of salvation in order to have assurance of salvation. If we aren't certain of the content, we can never be certain. Uncertainty is a recipe for doubt, so we can't afford to be ambiguous in our language regarding this most important thing.

    Rose's recent statement to WJC at UoG mocks such certainty -- "we should leave the results to God." Does Rose have such a dim view of inspiration that she thinks it's reasonable to suggest that God was unclear in proclaiming the content of salvation such that all we can do is preach the message and then hope for the best??? Further, she suggests (yet again) that it's just theory... but assurance of salvation for my sons is most certainly NOT a theory. And how is assurance for the guy in "Bora Bora" a theory? It's certainly not theoretical to him!! :-) The assurance of my OWN salvation is not theory either. So, uhm, what exactly is "theory" about this to her? Jeremy Myers understood this, yet in Rose's view the best I can do is tell my son what I think is necessary and then hope for the best. Uhm, what? I don't think God is so cruel as to dangle everlasting life in front of our eyes, even sacrificing his own son to provide it, and then leave us uncertain of how to claim that gift with certainty. One thing I thank BW for is pointing out that that kind of reasoning doesn't make any sense.

    BTW, looking forward to your article detailing the changes in the GES SoF over the years. I recall that Greg made some excellent observations about this when we pointed out the differences quite some time ago. I think it was in the comments thread and don't recall which article it was under, perhaps you do?

  8. It's really easy to get into the grain of defending a person or a position beyond reason... and as we've seen with several people in their camp their study habbits and discussion practices feed on each other.

    One error leads to another. It's a self-destructive community. The popularity of some key figures keep it together for this season. However, like everything built on shifting sand even now we can hear the creaks as it prepares to tumble.

    these poor people are being tossed to and fro by the doctrines of men. I sometimes feel anger about some of them but mostly I'm just terribly sad for those who continue to protect friendships at the expense of being able to stand firmly on the Word of God.


  9. Oh, and I meant to point out that they did the same thing over at Dave Osas'... cried "misrepresentation". The only "misrepresentation" I saw over there was THEM misrepresenting our criticism of their view. I wish Dave hadn't deleted that article as there were some good statements in the comments which revealed their glaring inability/unwillingness to represent the criticisms squarely. Rose dodged a straight answer, so did Michelle, and Antonio's public silence screams. I'm looking forward to Dave's final word on the matter though, maybe he'll bring some of this out -- I think he got a clear picture of the issues and showed the integrity and clearness of mind to demonstrate that he can weed the personal attacks out of the arguments themselves.

    Kevl: I sometimes feel anger about some of them but mostly I'm just terribly sad for those who continue to protect friendships at the expense of being able to stand firmly on the Word of God.

    Well said Kevl, amen and amen.

  10. Kev:

    Thanks for the input. It is sad that the few who do defend the Crossless gospel are practicing unity at the expense of fidelity doctrinal truth.

    Rose is the most stark example of being tossed to and fro and ultimately falling into compromise with gross doctrinal error I have seen in years from some one who claims to be a Fundamentalist. She knows the GES teaches that the lost can be saved apart from knowing, understanding or believing in the deity or finished work of Christ and says these things are mere “theory,” a “doctrinal nuance,” and a “difference of opinion that is acceptable.”

    Now we have a new incredible statement Rose just posted at her pro- Crossless gospel group blog Unashamed that Stephen just noted.

    That statement removes any lingering doubt that Rose is more than sympathetic toward the Crossless gospel, she has been deceived and is now offering tacit support for the Crossless gospel. This is a tragic result of what comes from working in cooperation with the teachers of this reductionist assault on the Person and work of Jesus Christ.

    The only remaining question is when she will, Lord willing, be recovered from their errors, or finally come out openly for the GES’s aberration of the content of saving faith.

    As for the GES, the Hodges article truly signals the death knell for the GES. It is a shrinking cell of theological extremists and as long as they will openly express their reductionist views their numbers will continue to shrink and they will be less able to deceive any more unsuspecting believers who stumble across the Crossless gospel.


  11. When I said "Jeremy Myers understood this" I meant to flesh out that he posted at a free grace forum quite some time ago explaining exactly why the content of saving faith is not theory. He referenced his own daughter's salvation and what he believes was a meaningful statement of faith by her. How is that theoretical? When I can share the message of salvation to my child is forefront on the mind of Christian parents. If my child only needs to believe that somebody named Jesus out of some book I claim is important will give them everlasting life if they just believe he'll do it, then that has immense PRACTICAL application in how/when I present that to them. If that's all they need to know then, yeah, I can probably get'em to profess that soon after they begin to speak... 2 - 3 maybe. if I think they need to also believe he's the son of God who died for their sins and rose again then that pushes that conversation back a bit, potentially years. Knowing how much comprehension is necessary directly affects when we deliver the gospel of salvation to our kids. Tell a Christian parent that when they can meaningfully present salvation to their child is a matter of "theory" and you're likely to get slapped in the face for mocking their genuine concern over their child's everlasting well-being. That ain't theory.

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  14. Friends:

    In recent days I have been visiting the Heavenly Heartburn blog administered by Brother Gordon Cloud.

    I want everyone to read Brother Gordon Cloud’s outstanding article titled, The Heart of the Gospel, which is IMO a compelling, biblical refutation of the GES’s Crossless interpretation of the content of saving faith.

    You will find a brief interaction I had with Rose, including a harmless question I posted to Rose in the thread.


  15. Stephen:

    Here is the Q/A you referred to between Dave and Rose.

    Dave’s question was “Can one be saved that does not know who Jesus really was and even without knowing that He died for them?”

    Dave asked all to answer with “yes or no to that simple question... .”

    This was her reply- “My (Rose’s) answer: very very doubtful. A probable no. Virtually impossible.


    As you noted, Rose straddles the fence on a question like that. She just cannot bring herself to give a clear, unvarnished answer to any question that gets the root of the doctrinal controversy.

    She has a consistent track record of dodging any question that may put her at open and public odds with her friends in GES’s Crossless gospel camp or possibly reveal that she has totally embraced the teaching of the Crossless gospel.


  16. Hi Lou, I posted this over at Gordon's blog but I think it's relevant here too.

    There is no hypothetical question to be answered.

    Of the idea that someone on an island would only have access to something less than the Gospel that Christ Himself instructed the Apostle Paul to preach and that which was witnessed and preached by every Apostle (1 Cor 15:11) and so a person in that position would have to be able to be saved by “receiving” some lesser amount of information is a contrary-to-the-premise fallacy.

    The premise of the question is that God will not give more information than seems available.

    God Himself has something all-together different to say on the subject. Speaking of the publicity of the Cross - the Lampstand - He Himself has this to say.

    Mark 4:21-25
    21 Also He said to them, “Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand? 22 For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”
    24 Then He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. 25 For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”

    Like the Eunuch.

    If any responds to any revelation of God, even general revelation of Creation ala Rom 1 God will respond and get that info to them. Even if He has to translate someone from one part of the world to another.

    The Gospel IS the power of God to Salvation. He doesn’t circumvent it so neither should we.

    I think when our zeal to make God accessible to people turns Him into a god (not God but an idol) we expose our how much in the world we still are.

    I might build this up into an article, but I hope it’s helpful here.

    Thanks for your article Gordon.


  17. Kev:

    I'm glad you shared this with us here. IMO, it would make a good article.



  18. I posted a more complete argument at my blog just now.


  19. Lou and Kevl, thanks for the kind words. Kevl, your comment is accurate and appreciated.

  20. Gordon:

    It is a blessing to have friend who understands the Gospel, and can with eloquence articulate it in such a way that aberrant interpretations of it, whether by addition to or subtraction from the content of saving faith, can be recognized by the unsuspecting.


  21. Mornin' everyone. I don't mean to belabor the point but another thought came to mind about the suggestion that the content of saving faith (cosf) is nuance/theory.

    What about missionaries translating the gospel into a new language? If all the missionary has to do is translate enough to tell'em that somebody named Jesus will give'em everlasting life then they can start missionary-ing much sooner. If, on the other hand, they feel they must also translate such concepts as sin, substitutionary atonement, and resurrection into the language then that obviously delays their efforts a bit. Meanwhile, real people are really dying and heading off to a real eternity without Jesus while the missionary works on translating these "optional" items. If these items truly are optional, then why on earth would I as a missionary risk muddying my message with translationally complex terms that aren't even necessary. It is obvious then that foreign missionaries are poignant examples of ministries in which determining the specific cosf is most certainly not theory or nuance.

    Look, I don't have a personal vendetta with Rose, but I do believe she's very confused and not being very "reasonable". At this point, frankly, she seems to be a bit of an enigma to both sides of the cosf (content of saving faith) argument. On the GES end of the spectrum you have BW saying it's not nuance, ZH says it not nuance, and AdR (not officially GES) says it not nuance. On our end of the spectrum... well... it's obvious we don't think it's nuance either.

    Fundamentally I think Rose is a very nice person, nothing wrong with that. But I do believe she has allowed 'nice' to cloud here 'reason'. It simply isn't reasonable to claim the cosf is for "debating theology with other believers". Tell that to the real people with real souls who are going to a real and Christless eternity while missionaries work on meaningful translations of the gospel into their language.

    Rose has never wronged me personally, far as I know we're on reasonable terms and I hope this is taken in that light. Rose said this at Gordon's -- "If I don’t get it, I never will, cause I have read and talked about this more than I care to." I hope for her sake, and those like her, that that's not true and that she'll consider being more reasonable.

  22. Lou, thanks for the kind words. I'm glad God has allowed our blogging paths to cross. My awareness of this issue has greatly increased because of it.

    God bless.

  23. Stephen:

    You noted this from Rose at Gordon's bog, "If I don’t get it, I never will, cause I have read and talked about this more than I care to."

    Rose knows and understands that the GES men are teaching- that the lost can be saved apart from knowing, understanding or believing in the deity, death and/or resurrection of Christ.

    Rose is determined to run interference for the Crossless gospel. She not only visits various blogs and often invites the unsuspecting to her pro-Crossless Unashamed of Grace blog, which exposes people to the Crossless gospel, but at the same time she is trying to stifle any negative discussion of that error. She wants to legitimize the Crossless heresy and maintain friendship with the teachers of this error because either:

    1) She has come to embrace the Crossless but will not admit it openly.

    2) She knows it is wrong, but is totally ecumenical in her approach to this heresy. She wants unity at the expense of doctrine with the reductionist teachers.

    The ironic part is that she is openly against the obvious errors of Lordship Salvation. On the GES reductionist assaults of the Gospel she is sympathetic toward and supportive of the teaching and the teachers of it.

    Rose is not just a tragic example, of what an ecumenical approach to the GES reductionist heresy can turn you into, but she also represents a danger to the unsuspecting who may be deceived by the Crossless advocates because Rose told the unsuspecting that these men are only talking about a mere “theory, doctrinal nuance, and it is only a difference of opinion that is acceptable.”


    PS: Rose can’t even bring herself to give a sharp rebuke to another one of her Crossless blog partners, Matthew, who is posting the unbelievable heresies of Joey Faust's Millennial Exclusion teaching.

  24. Dear Guests:

    I did not want to post the following reply to Rose at Heavenly Heartburn (HH) under the article, The Heart of the Gospel, because Gordon asked that no more be posted in that thread.

    However, since Rose’s note to me, which I reproduce below, is in a public forum, IMO it necessitates a public reply. Rose has received an e-mail from me with my reply and notified that it also appears here.

    Here is what Rose left for me at HH. My reply follows in the next comment.

    ”Lou, I hope that the Lord blesses you this year and that you have great peace and prosperity in your soul. I wish you no ill, but I find it difficult to interact with you on the internet around this issue. Since this issue seems to be all you want to talk about, I have to respectfully ask you to talk with someone else about it.

    You are welcome to comment on my blog as long as you do not bring this up. I never meant to ‘ban’ you. I just didn’t want your comments about this subject anymore. God bless

  25. Rose:

    At Gordon’s Heavenly Heartburn (HH) blog you left this for me,

    I do, appreciate your extending a blessing to me and I hope for the best for you.

    As for your invitation that I participate at your blog, I respectfully decline.

    1) I am not going to participate at your blog that has been sympathetic toward and supportive of the reductionist heresy of the Crossless gospel.

    2) I am not going to participate at a blog when my views are censored upfront to help you legitimize their reductionist heresies. You host and support the views of Crossless advocates. I have no desire to interact with them as though they are orthodox in their doctrine. It would be tragic to give any sense of credibility to them and their reductionist heresies by interacting with them as if their egregious errors do not exist or as you say are a minor, “difference of opinion that is acceptable.”

    3) Why would I want to participate at a blog (yours and/or Unashamed) that has with either your initiation, tolerance of and/or participation calls into question my motives, character and reputation?

    You are much more than a friend to the teachers of the Crossless gospel, you are sympathetic toward, defensive and supportive of their teaching. If you do believe the “Crossless/Deityless” gospel is error you prefer the ecumenical approach with them. What many are coming to believe, but I am not yet sure of it, you have embraced the GES’s “Crossless” gospel, but are unwilling to come out openly for it.

    At HH you invite me to participate at your blog. And this right on the heels of your posting yet another string of your on-going pattern of dodging the crux of the Crossless gospel controversy, falsely claiming (the GES mantra) that their Crossless gospel has been misrepresented, you are running interference for that egregious error and the advocates of it with the absurd claims that it is a mere “theory, doctrinal nuance and a difference of opinion that is acceptable.”

    Again, as for your invitation: Thanks, but NO THANKS! I am a little dubious about the merits and conditions of your invitation.

    I will not join the discussions at any of your pro-Crossless gospel blogs. I will do nothing that may give the false and dangerous impression that the Crossless gospel is a, “difference of opinion that is acceptable.”


  26. Hey Lou. I'm startin' to think that Rose is in a whole new category. Seems she adheres to what might be better termed a 'we can't know' gospel, or the 'who cares' gospel ala Tim Nichols -- an inclusive view that is sympathetic to pretty much all Christian gospels based on the premise that we can't know for sure so we just do our best and then "leave it up to God". As I pointed out earlier, that indicates a pretty low view of inspiration. She's essentially taking a stand on uncertainty. i.e. "I'm not certain of the cosf so the rest of you shouldn't be so certain either." If I'm assessing her view correctly, and I did say "if", then that explains a lot. If true then she's technically correct to state she's not sympathetic to the crossless gospel, but her own uncertainty won't allow her to reject'em either. Neither does she reject us. She's inclusive and isn't "on" either side. None of this is new information really, I'm just seeing it more clearly now. It makes her inclusive position more "understandable" but also more saddening. For all my disagreement with the crossless folks, at least they are committed to a specific if painfully reduced cosf. Rose isn't committed to anything except the middle -- and this is one of those cases where being in the "middle" reveals a compromised stance rather than balance.

    Like I said, none of this is strictly new info but putting it together casts a whole new light on it for me. IMO, saying Rose is crossless is truly not a correct label to saddle her with... her actual position is, IMO, worse than crossless in that it's couched in comfy post-modern terms -- ala "we just can't know". Rose may think she's a harbinger of peace and reason with such a position but she's, wittingly or not, chipping away at the idea of objective knowable truth. No wonder she's on the fence so often, she seems to think "the fence" is a reasonable position. This kind of lukewarm view of objective truth is central to what I've read in JB's Getting the Gospel Wrong. My heart breaks with compassion for Rose and those like her more than ever.

    One more thing. Rose also said "Both sides have the same content in their presentation to the lost." But why? I pointed out in Really Consistent? on our blog that their practice is logically inconsistent with their view that such info is truly optional. If it's their view that this info is optional then it's legalistic and inconsistent of THEM to insist it always be presented anyway. Seems to me that whenever the RedefinedFG crowd tries to saddle us with a negative label it logically applies to them more than to us anyway. I love irony, too bad the implications are so sad in this case.

  27. Stephen:

    I think you are on to something and I am in substantive agreement with you.

    IMO, however, she is very sympathetic toward the Crossless gospel (CG) and its advocates. She does run interference for the CG and its advocates. She does encourage everyone to be receptive to and accepting of the reductionist teaching of the Crossless gospel. The other factor is that she is passionate in her rejection of Lordship Salvation. Rose is no “fence sitter on Lordship’s false additions to the content of saving faith (cosf).

    In any event, I would be very curious to know if Rose would agree with how you have assessed her position. I will see to it this comes to her attention? Maybe she will reply to your thoughts at her blog.


  28. lou: "She does run interference for the CG and its advocates"

    I agree, but I think that's just because we're being exclusive. She also "ran interference" for us to a degree when ZH wrote the Hydra's Other Head that excluded us. I don't say this to her credit, nor do I state it meanly; But it was her Hydra's head article that sparked me to realize that she's not really "in" either FG camp. Her other recent statements, seen in this light, have revealed what I believe is the post-modern core of Rose's reasonings.

    lou: "Rose is no “fence sitter on Lordship’s false additions to the cosf"

    That's a good clarification Lou. It proves she does have some strength of conviction regarding what the Gospel ISN'T but isn't so sure about what it IS. Lordship is obviously too far askew, but when it comes to HistoricFG and RedefinedFG she's not so sure anymore, hence her hedge on issues she believes are "within" the walls of FG as a greater whole. It's like Christians who know that baptism isn't required for salvation but can't exactly define what IS required either.

  29. Stephen:

    By way of follow-up...

    I wrote, "Rose is no “fence sitter on Lordship’s false additions to the cosf."

    You replied, "That's a good clarification Lou. It proves she does have some strength of conviction regarding what the Gospel ISN'T but isn't so sure about what it IS."

    The Crossless gospel is such an extreme polar opposite of Lordship Salvation that even for Rose there must be some sense that there is balanced position at near center between the two extremes, somewhere in the middle anyway.

    She shows almost no evidence that she has found that middle ground. She swings her sympathy and allegiances far to the side of the CG and its advocates, a position that IMO is way off a biblically balanced center.

    Nevertheless, I think you have made an astute assessment


  30. The more I think about this the more I see JB's book leaping of the pages and into real life. Rose is "exclusive" in the sense that she's stalwartly Free Grace, yet within that realm she yields to the wishy-washy-ness of post-modernism's uncertainty as-if it's diplomatic, noble, and praiseworthy. I think you gotta admit that the pieces fit together pretty well.