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.