For well over a year Rose of Rose’s Reasonings has been suggesting the Zane Hodges Crossless gospel is a mere “theory, doctrinal nuance,” and a “difference of opinion that is acceptable.” Those of us who know and understand the reductionist assaults on the Person and work of Christ have a much different view of the Grace Evangelical Society’s (GES) “Crossless & Deityless” interpretation of the content of saving faith.
This week KnetKnight (Stephen), one of my blog partner’s in defense of the Gospel, has posted a series of comments on various issues and personalities in the debate over the GES’s Crossless gospel. His comments appear in the Clinching the Deal on the “Crossless” Gospel thread.
Just below I have reproduced a revised version of one of *Stephen’s thread comments. IMO, Stephen is making a genuine attempt to understand and articulate why Rose is either unwilling or unable to state any clear, unvarnished opinion of the teaching of the Crossless gospel. IMO, this is an open and honest attempt to help Rose either see what she has become and/or help recover her from what she is becoming.
Hey Lou. I am starting to think that Rose is in a whole new category. I am not saying this to pick on Rose, you have rightly pointed out my intent is to simply understand her. It seems she adheres to what might be better termed a “we can’t know” gospel, or “who cares” position ala Tim Nichols -- an inclusive view that is sympathetic to a broad range of Free Grace gospels on the premise that we can’t really know for sure so we lay the message out there then “leave it up to God.” As I pointed out in earlier comments, that position undermines the concepts of biblical inspiration and objective truth.
Rose is essentially taking a stand on uncertainty, along the lines of “I’m not certain of the content of saving faith so the rest of you shouldn’t be so certain either.” To be clear, Rose’s stand against Lordship Salvation makes it clear she has strength of conviction regarding what the Gospel is NOT, but that she is not sure with it IS.
If I am assessing her view correctly, and I did say “if,” then that explains a lot. She is then technically correct to state she is not specifically sympathetic to the crossless gospel, but her own uncertainty won’t allow her to reject them either. Neither does she reject us. It was her Hydra’s Head article that sparked me to realize she is not really “in” either FG camp. I don’t say this to her credit, nor do I state it meanly; it is simply evidence of her unwillingness to commit to an objective truth on the all important matter of salvation.
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 troubling. For all my disagreement with the crossless folks, at least they are committed to a stand on what they think is objective “truth,” albeit a painfully reduced truth regarding the content of saving faith. 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 is couched in comfy post-modern terms -- ala “we just can’t know.” Rose may think she is a harbinger of peace and reason with such a position, but she is, probably unwittingly, chipping away at the idea of objective knowable truth. No wonder she is on the fence so often in this regard; she seems to think “the fence” is a reasonable position, at least in regard to this topic. This kind of lukewarm view of objective truth is central to what I have read in J. B. Hixson’s Getting the Gospel Wrong. My heart breaks with compassion for Rose and those like her who have bitten the apple of post-modernism’s uncertainty.
One more thing. Rose also said “Both sides have the same content in their presentation to the lost.” But why? I pointed out in the Really Consistent? article on our blog that their practice is logically inconsistent with their view that such info is optional. If it is their view that this info truly is optional to the content of saving faith then it is legalistic and inconsistent of REDEFINED Free Grace advocates to insist that such optional info always be presented.
The Redefined Free Grace crowd has attempted to saddle us with “legalist,” but the term is demonstrably more applicable to the unresolved conflict between their own view and practice. I love irony, too bad in this case that the implications of their confused/confusing/inconsistent gospel are so sad in terms of the souls they risk confusing with their muddled theology.I encourage Rose to consider what has been shared by Stephen. I encourage Rose to consider and express whether or not she feels Stephen has accurately assessed her position. She is welcome to submit a reply in this thread.** Or she may prefer to respond either at her own blog or the Crossless gospel blog she partners at. She may, however, choose to ignore and/or disregard Stephen’s evaluation.
In my Clinching the Deal thread I linked to above, Stephen and I continued our discussion of his comments. All (who have not forfeited their privilege to post here) may comment freely.
Please proceed to the companion article, primarily composed by Rachel, ReDux on Rose’s, “We Just Can’t Know?”
*Changes to his original thread comment have been made by Stephen to better reflect the sum of our extended discussion in the Clinging the Deal thread.
**I retain the right to edit any content of Rose’s potential reply that I believe endorses or legitimizes any of the egregious errors of the Crossless gospel.