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, Kolton.
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.
Stephen, 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. KoltonRachel, 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 faithalone.org’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 may be more to follow in this series.
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.