December 30, 2008

The Best of 2008

Dear Guests:

Well, the year has wound down and I am going end with a listing of my favorite blog articles of 2008. The list will be compiled from my blog and select others. I will choose articles, with a brief excerpt from most, that I believe made a significant contribution to the defense of the Gospel. This is not an exhaustive list, just a few of many more that deserve inclusion.

Without further delay, apart from a drum roll and in no particular order, here are: The Best of 2008.

The Grace Evangelical Society’s Reductionist Affirmation of Belief

The revisions to the GES Affirmation were made with purpose. In the new version, the relative clause is parenthetical. When the GES says, ‘faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ who died...’ they do NOT mean that the lost person needs to understand and believe Jesus died and rose again. They simply mean a lost man must believe in the name ‘Jesus’ as the Giver of eternal life.

Summary of Lordship Salvation From a Single Page
What we have in this single page (250) of The Gospel According to Jesus is the Lordship’s classic error of failing to distinguish between the doctrines of salvation and discipleship. Lordship Salvation frontloads faith with commitment to the “good works” (Eph. 2:10) one would expect of a mature born again Christian

The Tragedy of the “Crossless” Gospel a multi-part and on-going series from the Grace Family Journal.

Clearing the Haze of “Always” at The Land of Reason by Stephen Stark (aka- KnetKnight)
GES/Crossless advocates have long fussed over how we should ease up on’ em because they ‘always’ present the same information in their evangelistic presentations that we do, namely Jesus’ deity, atoning sacrifice, and resurrection. Thus, we are told that our concerns are ‘theoretical.’ Well, a fellow blogger (Dave of Free Grace Believer) pointed out the following article on GES’ site which proves that crossless advocates, if they are logically consistent with their view, in fact do NOT always present those facts.”

Salve for Itching Ears: Rick Warren & Saddleback. This article contains links to several more thoroughly documented articles on the methods and philosophy of Warren’s Purpose Driven methodology.
Saddleback in NOT a New Testament church! Do not listen to the voices or printed words of compromise and betrayal. Reject and refute any attempts by the apologists for Rick Warren to legitimize the methods and ministry of his (Warren’s) Purpose Driven philosophy.”

Submit to the Lordship of Christ to be Saved? from Kev at his blog On My Walk.
John MacArthur has done some very good work over the years as a teacher of the Church. He has a sharp mind and is very well versed in Scripture. However, he teaches a false gospel. I wish it were not so. I share in his call to holiness, and submission to the Lordship of Christ. But these are not requirements for salvation at all. These are works of the Holy Spirit in the saved believer after they have been saved.”

Really Consistent? at The Land of Reason by Stephen Stark.
There is a relatively new movement in Free Grace that distinguishes itself from historical Free Grace. It’s become commonly known as; the Crossless gospel, the Promise-only gospel, or Redefined Free Grace. Understandably, not liking such labels, some in this movement have suggested that one of their preferred labels is ‘Consistent Free Grace’ (CFG). The goal of this article is to set forth just one of several reasons why I believe ‘consistent’ does not belong in a label for this movement at all by simple demonstration of a glaring inconsistency in the CFG view vs CFG practice.”

Heresy of the Crossless Gospel: Verified & Affirmed
Until now, I have been reluctant to claim that Antonio da Rosa and most (not all) Crossless gospel advocates insist the lost man can be saved even if he does not even ‘know’ or is not ‘aware of’ of the Lord’s deity. I feel no further restraint because Antonio clearly stated that he believes the unsaved do not even need to be ‘aware’ of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, but can still be born again.

Therefore, there is no room for any doubt about the heresy of the views expressed by da Rosa. He insists, just as he wrote in the statements at the beginning of the article, a lost man can be saved no matter what misconceptions or unbelief he has about the Lord, including being unaware of and/or consciously rejecting His deity

Lordship’s “Turn from Sin” for Salvation
There has been an on-going pattern of a certain few Lordship Salvation (LS) apologists demonstrating that they/he do not recognize or understand how Dr. MacArthur is writing and is teaching on the Lordship Salvation interpretation of the Gospel. This time the mistake is on MacArthur’s view of repentance.”

Is “REDEFINED” Free Grace Theology- Free Grace Theology?
In recent weeks I have been viewing various blogs on both sides of the Lordship Salvation & Crossless Gospel debates. One item that has stood out in my reading is the unfortunate misconception that the Grace Evangelical Society (GES) is largely perceived as the voice of the Free Grace movement at large. The problem is that there are many men in the FG movement that reject and have separated from the GES over the very teachings that have come to be associated with all men in the FG camp. I have been interacting at these various blogs to correct and dispel that misunderstanding.

Reviews and Critiques of the late
Zane Hodges’s “The Hydra’s Other Head: Theological Legalism”
By his definition of ‘theological legalism,’ Hodges condemns every single Free Grace champion of the past such as C.I Scofield, Lewis Sperry Chafer, John Walvoord and every Free Grace leader of the present including J.B. Hixson, Charlie Bing, Robert Lightner, Roy Zuck, Dennis Rokser, and James Scudder. Only those closely aligned with the new direction of the Grace Evangelical Society (such as Zane Hodges, Bob Wilkin, John Niemela, and Bob Bryant) are exempt from the charge.

Therefore, one must not mistake a criticism of Hodges as a criticism of Free Grace. Many Free Grace proponents now condemned by Hodges have esteemed him as a teacher, mentor, scholar, or professor.
It is challenging to admit such a person has become a heretic. So I appeal to supporters of Zane Hodges, that you be ‘swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath’ (James 1:19) as the Free Grace community responds to Hodges’s new path.”

Can the Biblical Jesus and Mormon Jesus be: “One and the Same?”
Antonio da Rosa wrote, ‘The Mormon Jesus and the Evangelical Jesus are one and the same.’ This is among the most egregious and dangerous statements to date coming from Antonio da Rosa or any advocate of the ‘Crossless’ gospel. The Mormon Jesus is believed to be a spirit (or half) brother of the Devil. To equate the Mormon view of Jesus with the biblical Jesus is as abominable a heresy as can possibly be uttered about Him.

Reasoning on Rose: We Just Can’t Know? by Stephen Stark.
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 book 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.

The Hollow “Gospel” of the Grace Evangelical Society by Phillip M. Evans of the Eternal Security Proved blog.
What (Zane) Hodges has done is to redefine believing in Jesus in such a narrow way that it makes a mockery out of the Biblical truth of what it means to believe in Him. In Hodges’ deserted island scenario he pieced together the first part of John 6:43 with John 6:47 as follows: “But the only readable portions are: ‘Jesus therefore answered and said to them’ (v 43) and ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life,’” (v 47).

Hodges wants us to believe that the unsaved man alone on the island who had never heard anything of Christianity could be saved by reading this portion of the Bible alone. What a gross mishandling of God’s Word and misrepresentation of the Gospel! His article treats the name ‘Jesus’ like a talisman. Just know and believe in the name and you won’t be disappointed, regardless of not knowing who He is and what He has done to secure our eternal salvation.

The Holy Spirit at Odds with ReDefined Free Grace Theology by Stephen Stark.
Redefined Free Grace would have us be appeased that they always present these facts (Christ crucified) in their presentations of ‘the saving message’ because they are powerful and persuasive reasons for the lost to believe in Jesus. Though in some cases that may be true, the obvious problem with this thinly veiled attempt to appease is that it fails to address why Paul, or anyone else, would/should include these items when it is known that they are in fact obstacles to saving faith. To be consistent, the adherents of Redefined Free Grace would have to ultimately conclude that it is completely acceptable to entirely leave out any known stumbling block as part of ‘the saving message’. It is inconsistent for Redefined Free Grace to claim that there is anything that needs to ‘always be said’ in a presentation of ‘the saving message’ save whatever is necessary to convince the lost to believe what they see as the only belief that ultimately matters -- that ‘Jesus guarantees Everlasting Life to all who simply believe in him for it’.
Well, that is my list, as is stands. Please, in the thread,  feel free to nominate additional articles for consideration.



  1. Hey Lou,

    Just wanted to say Happy Birthday!! Hope you had an enjoyable, memorable day. :-)

  2. I wonder if you realize Lou, how close you are to the reductionists whom you so adamantly oppose. I can only hope and pray that you will come to see this soon and do not spend years opposing solid Christian teachers and defending a watered-down, powerless gospel that very well may lead many astray.

    You rightly oppose those who remove the cross and Christ from salvation, yet you remove the power of the cross and Christ from salvation.

    I know I'm banned, but I hope you will give some consideration to my words, even if they are deleted.


  3. Rachel:

    Aaah, shucks! You remembered. Thanks.


    29 again! ;-)

  4. bp:

    The only reason why I'll let your comment stay is because it reminds me why I asked you not to post here anymore, which is:

    I can't, for the life of me, figure out what in the world the message is you're trying to convey.

    Good Lad/Bad Boy?

    In any event, please do not reply or post again.

    Kind regards,


  5. Greetings brother Lou,

    Good post of past articles here. You're doing great, and needful work in exposing the twin errors of LS and CG. Have a great New Year.


    You state to Lou, "I wonder if you realize Lou, how close you are to the reductionists whom you so adamantly oppose".

    Lou doen't need any defense from me, but I'm giving it anyway. I've read almost every comment/post of Lou's on IDOTG, and not one reduces or adds to the gospel. In your heart, and putting all your pride aside, you know this is true.

    Your frustration at Lou results from a) your adherence to a false gospel(LS), and a vain philosophy (calvinistic interpretation of TULIP), b) Lou's unwillingness to allow you to spread this poison on his site, and c) your lack of love which is a side-effect of having been indoctrinated by teachings which frustrate grace and destroy the simplicity that is in Christ.

    I pray you will repent of your false beliefs Bridget. They do dishonor our Lord.

    In Christ,

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Jimmy:

    Greetings, I haven't heard from you all year. :-)

    Thanks for the greeting and firm response to bp who needed the admonition and call to abandon the errors she has been confused by and through.

    There is a balance between the polar opposites of Lordship Salvation's extra-biblical additions to the Gospel and the Crossless Gospel's reductionist assault on the Gospel.

    I have labored through prayerful study to strike, and present that biblical balance between the center of the two extremes.

    Yours in Him,


  8. Hi Lou-

    Happy belated to you and happy new to all!

    "You rightly oppose those who remove the cross and Christ from salvation, yet you remove the power of the cross and Christ from salvation."

    This seems like it really needs a comment from someone but I can't do it as I can't make enough sense out of it.

    Does anyone else understand it? I suspect it is some sort of TULIPese that I am not fluent enough to decipher.

    Scratching my head in the new year,


  9. Jan:


    That is why I asked bp to refrain from posting here. No one, I am aware of, could make sense of her comments such as the one above.

    Plus, instead of answering questions put to her, she would only repeat post (over and over) the same mantra support of Lordship Salvation and Calvinism.

    As I recall bp took some very strange views on Calvinism that IMO would make most Calvinists squirm.

    Some put up with her at their blogs much longer than I did. I do not allow my blog to become a bully pulpit for the the propagation of false doctrine.

    Happy New Year,


    PS: Thanks for the belated birthday greeting.

  10. To All:

    I want to share an IMORTANT UPDATE from 12/30/08.

    After approximately 10 months of refusing to admit or deny, Antonio finally confessed to being the Sock Puppet: fg me.

    Last month another blogger publicly called on Antonio to confirm or deny that he was the Sock Puppet: fg me, to confess it if he was, and he (Antonio) finally relented.

    He was forgiven the day (Feb. 2008) we (Rachel and I) caught him posting comments at my blog supporting his own personal Crossless theology under a false identity. So, that has been settled, but I reiterate that forgiveness here again.

    His full apology, which is filled with vitriol and personal ad hominen attacks cannot be posted in its entirety. What it shows, however, is that he was primarily sorry only for having been caught. That is false repentance.

    Nevertheless, here is the only portion of da Rosa’s apology that is suitable for publication.

    I indeed was the fg me on Lou’s blog. 

I have long since confessed my sins concerning that (and many others along the way) and forsaken them. It is a sad thing when the urges of the flesh to pride and superiority show their ugly, and evil heads so as to bring others low and cut them down.

 It isn’t an unheard of thing...To those (including Lou Martuneac, Stephen, Rachel, and any others) who were hurt or offended by my few day stint as fg me, I apologize and ask for your forgiveness.


  11. 2008 was a banger of a year that's for sure!

    I didn't know there was a conversation happening here.. will have to get caught up. :)


  12. Bridget's point was that she thinks that because we don't think a Christian has submit to the Lordship of Christ (which includes a long list of conditions that must be met to some undeterminable measure) that we have removed the power the Cross to change a person from our message.

    Of course the Good News is not that we can be a better person, or a better servant or a better slave or a better anything.. .the Good News is that Christ Jesus died for our sins, was buried and rose to life again and if we receive this message we will be baptized into Him, His payment and His resurrection unto Eternal Life.

    The working of the Holy Spirit through the life of believers is not part of the Good News, but it surely is something to be celebrated.

    Our Youth Pastor made a good comment today, though he leans towards Lordship himself. He said that man has always wanted to point to his good works. It started with Adam. Adam sinned and he hid and even put leaves on himself to cover up his nakedness.

    Man never wants to stand naked before God totally dependent on His Grace. We always want to say "we're not that bad" or "look we're so much better now!"

    But we only have righteousness in Christ. He is our garment, not our works. If one wants their salvation judged by their works they ought to remember the Prophet Isaiah's words that our works but filthy rags before a Holy and Just God.

    Judge your salvation by your works and you receive what they deserve.


  13. Hi Kev-

    Thanks for attempting to clarify the comment in question with this statement:

    "Bridget's point was that she thinks that because we don't think a Christian has submit to the Lordship of Christ (which includes a long list of conditions that must be met to some undeterminable measure) that we have removed the power the Cross to change a person from our message.."

    I'm afraid it didn't help, but that is not your fault.

    The thing (not with your comment but with the original one) is, I don't see why Christ's cross is unable to function effectively unless the person doesn't need it to. That's like saying that Christ only makes alive the people who aren't dead. Where is the power in that? If I could make Christ Lord of my life as an unbeliever, why would I need Him to die for me? Wouldn't I already be demonstrating an indwelling righteousness at that point? But if I must do that before I believe in order to be saved....?

    See my difficulty?

    I like very much what you said here:

    "But we only have righteousness in Christ. He is our garment, not our works."

    I agree with you completely. Christ Himself is our righteousness. He is also the one who accomplishes righteousness in us as He lives through us. "...yet not I, but Christ lives in me." Galatians 2:20. We don't have any righteousness before we receive Him. Therefore, as unbelievers we don't have the ability to submit to Christ's Lordship. Since as unbelievers we have only one nature- the sin nature, which is at enmity with God (...for the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:7-8.) - it is impossible to submit to Christ's Lordship prior to receiving a new nature which is disposed to obedience. But that new nature cannot be given apart from Christ, because the new nature is the nature of Christ Himself {who is our Life (Colossians 3:4a) and Righteousness (1 Cor 1:30)}. Therefore, it is not possible to receive a new nature unless and until we receive Christ by receiving Christ's atoning death on the cross for our sin. Besides, someone positionally dead in trespasses and sins making a commitment to Christ as Lord is a sort of mockery of His holiness. God is not the God of the dead but of the living (Matthew 22:32). Let the living submit to Him as Lord- or, better, abide in Him as Life- and let the dead come to the Lord as Redeemer and Savior and so receive His Life.

    Further, we may think we have the ability to submit to Christ's Lordship, but given the condition of our sinfulness, that would be more demonstrative of unbelief than belief, I should think. In order to be able to commit to Christ's Lordship, or do any other righteous thing, we would need to have had the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit done in our spirit, which is how we are given a new nature. But since the Holy Spirit's job is to testify of life in Christ and death apart from Him, He certainly cannot make a person alive before he is in Christ, who is his Life. That would be incongruent. To say that the Holy Spirit makes a person alive (or "quickens" or "regenerates", or whatever word is used that means the same thing) so that the individual may come to Christ and that the one He regenerates will indeed come to Christ does not solve the problem. Rather, it creates the problem that the person is made alive apart from Christ, rendering His cross work secondary and invalidating the Holy Spirit's testimony, since the sinner could be made alive apart from Him. Also, it would indicate that trusting Christ's death on the cross for one's sins is the result of salvation rather than the means of receiving salvation. I suppose if Ephesians 2:8 said, "For by grace you have been saved to faith," they would have an argument. But as things stand I would have to reject that.


  14. Jan you said,

    To say that the Holy Spirit makes a person alive (or "quickens" or "regenerates", or whatever word is used that means the same thing) so that the individual may come to Christ and that the one He regenerates will indeed come to Christ does not solve the problem. Rather, it creates the problem that the person is made alive apart from Christ, rendering His cross work secondary and invalidating the Holy Spirit's testimony, since the sinner could be made alive apart from Him. Also, it would indicate that trusting Christ's death on the cross for one's sins is the result of salvation rather than the means of receiving salvation. I suppose if Ephesians 2:8 said, "For by grace you have been saved to faith," they would have an argument. But as things stand I would have to reject that.

    VERY well said.

    Of the bolded part - EXACTLY.

    yes if Ephesians 2:8-9 said "For we have been saved by grace unto the gift of faith, not of your own works but in the doing of works by the power of God, lest any should boast." IF that were the content of these verses then they may well have a case. But the last I checked God has not offered a revised version of the Bible.


    thanks for your very well put comments!


  15. To Kev/Jan/Rachel:

    I appreciate the good discussion you are having here.

    Sorry I have not been as engaged here as usual. I have been involved at another blog doing what I can to stand in defense of the Gospel against the egregious errors and reductionist assaults on the content of saving faith by one of its most extreme apologists.

    Kev joined me in that discussion, which has been very helpful.

    Those who have any experience with these Crossless advocates understand that they will evade any question that exposes the soft underbelly of their reductionist heresies. This discussion has been no different.

    Nevertheless, we are going to make sure that anyone who stumbles into that discussion is made fully aware that the GES/Crossless gospel is a radical departure from the biblical plan of salvation for the lost. And we will “mark” by name the advocates of the “contrary” doctrine of GES so that others will “avoid them” (Rom 16:17-18).


    *If any one wants a link to the discussion I refer to above, please send me a request via e-mail.

  16. To All:

    2008 yielded some high watermarks in the defense of the Gospel against the twin and egregious errors of Lordship Salvation and the Crossless Gospel.

    If there is one thing that has been the source of sadness from 2008 it has been the inexplicable and shocking turn about of one man who once was a very passionate defender of the Gospel, against the Crossless gospel advocates’ reductionist assaults on the Gospel, i.e. the content of saving faith. Reductionist errors that originated with the late Zane Hodges, perpetuated by Bob Wilkin and his Grace Evangelical Society (GES) who are theological extremists in the Free Grace community.

    I am sorry to report that I am referring to Jon Perreault (JP). It appears JP has developed what might best be described as a case of laryngitis in regard to the Crossless gospel.

    In 2008 JP was producing articles exposing the heresy of the Crossless gospel. Articles, such as:

    The Heretic in Antonio and Inconsistent Free Grace Evangelism

    JP was powerfully exposing and refuting from the Scriptures GES’s anti-biblical teachings, which are an assault on the Person and work of Christ. Now in a sudden unexpected shift JP has befriended, formed an alliance with and begun running interference for one of the CG’s most heretical, vitriolic and unethical apologists, Antonio da Rosa.

    Because of our former partner having formed ties with the advocates of heresy we have made the difficult decision to sever fellowship with him. We will interact with him when out of necessity we see the need, but we cannot afford to give the appearance of cooperation and/or fellowship with the heresy and advocates of the Crossless gospel. Nor can we enjoy fellowship with our former partner who is embracing the Crossless gospel advocates as if they are the friends of the Gospel.

    I do not expect our former partner JP to become a full-blown advocate of the Crossless heresy, but he has clearly reached out to them, welcomed their fellowship and has begun to work in cooperative fellowship with them.

    Because JP has formed a friendship and alliance with the advocates of the Crossless gospel…because he has, with a definite degree of belligerence and vitriol, resisted the attempts of several of us to biblically advise and counsel him, I have made the difficult decision to ban him from my blog until such time he recovers from the tragic decision he has made to embrace the prime instigators of the Crossless gospel’s reductionist assault on the content of saving faith.

    We have and will continue to plead with him to abandon this dangerous course. We will remain steadfast in our defense of the Gospel against the heretical teachings of JP’s new friends in the cell of GES extremists. Lord willing, he will regain his sense of direction and turn from fellowship with the advocates of the most egregious form of reductionist heresy ever introduced to the NT church by one of its own, namely Zane Hodges.

    Once and if JP recovers we will be delighted to welcome him into fellowship and assist him in exposing and refuting the twin errors of Lordship Salvation and the Crossless gospel.

    Pray to that end.

    Yours in His service,


    *Please post any comments/reaction to this under The Best of 2008 where this is repeated.