Dear Guests of IDOTG:
This is a retro look back to what are IMO the best blog articles of 2007. There were exactly 100 articles posted at IDOTG in 2007, which made selecting the following for inclusion especially difficult. I chose 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 and I may add more in the coming days.
The Technical Meaning of the term, “THE GOSPEL” a multi-part series by Greg Schliesmann.
“Before Jeremy Myers’s article “The Gospel is More than Faith Alone,” I had never heard any evangelical deny that the term “the gospel” does have such a technical usage. In fact, Myers’s view contradicts prior statements from the Grace Evangelical Society (GES). Even while advocating the crossless gospel, GES has argued that there is both a “broad” and “narrow” usage of the term “the gospel.” They argued that the “narrow” sense does refer to the message the lost must believe to be saved. That is why Zane Hodges could title his book The Gospel Under Siege. Crossless gospel proponents, however, have come to realize the impossibility of arguing that there is a “narrow” version of the term “the gospel” that does not include the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
[Update: Bob Wilkin, Executive Director of the GES, publicly announced his adoption of Jeremy Myer’s view at the GES Regional Conference in Dana Point, CA: August 24-25, 2007.]
How Does the Lordship Advocate Define Repentance?
“Lordship Salvation’s repentance confuses sanctification (growth of a believer) with justification, (God declaring/making a sinner righteous). For Lordship advocates anything short of a commitment to obedience is not repentance, and would leave the lost man dead in his sins, no matter he believed about his guilt before God or the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Upfront commitment to the kind of behavior expected of a spiritually mature Christian is the Lordship advocates definition of repentance.”
What is the “Crossless” Advocates Stance on the Cross, Resurrection & Deity of Christ?
“Did the late Zane Hodges and today does Bob Wilkin teach a ‘faith alone position’ on the Gospel? The initial reply would be, ‘Yes, they do.’ What we have been primarily concerned with, however, is what these men insist is unnecessary for the lost man to believe for the reception of eternal life. What the lost man must be convinced of and believe that will result in his being born again is the crux of the debate and concern among many in evangelical circles.”
Special Edition of the Grace Family Journal by Pastor Tom Stegall
From the thread, Pastor Bret Nazworth noted, “Just got finished with Pastor Stegall’s first article in the special edition of the GFJ and it is a slam dunk. Once again he proves that GES is indeed preaching a crossless gospel. The fact that they preach a crossless gospel is not new information but the proof he presents is mouth-gapingly astonishing. Terrifyingly, they are aggressively using their writing and speaking to delete the CROSS and RESURRECTION from being Gospel CONTENT wherever they can. The best that they can concede is that the cross may be ‘helpful information,’ but they are equally quick to add that it is ‘not the Gospel’.”
An Example of Lordship’s Man-Centered Message
“At face value that title is direct and can be supported biblically. The problem is that Pastor Steve Lawson is not only taking about the cost of discipleship for a believer, he teaches, just like John MacArthur, that there is a cost FOR salvation… .
It is what Lordship advocates insist are the requirements for salvation that is the error in their system. In Pastor Lawson’s text when he speaks of following Christ, self denial and cross bearing in the context of a born again believer needing to make those commitments to his Lord and Savior he is on biblical ground. When, however, he takes those same commands and presents them as conditions which must be agreed to in exchange for salvation he has checked out on the Scriptures and is preaching a works based message that frustrates grace (Gal. 2:21).
The “CHRIST” Under Siege: The New Assault by the Grace Evangelical Society by Greg Schliesmann.
“In my first article in this series I discussed the attempt of Zane Hodges and the Grace Evangelical Society (GES) to remove Deity from the Biblical concept of Jesus as ‘the Christ.’ Hodges’s fraudulent arguments regarding the Samaritans in John 4 were exposed.
The purpose of this article is to show the Biblical concept of ‘the Christ’ involves Deity, and that this is necessary for salvation. Future articles will show the truths of His death and resurrection are equally important truths of the gospel necessary for salvation today.”
I. The New Assault From the GES
“In recent days I have become aware of new arguments from GES regarding the Lord’s titles, ‘the Christ, the Son of God’ that are troubling to many fellow believers…. The latest round of attacks from GES claims neither ‘the Christ’ nor ‘the Son of God’ is a title that involves His Deity.
Insights From the IFCA’s Interview with Dr. John MacArthur
This article is a brief discussion of, with links, to the transcripts of the IFCA interviews with Dr. John MacArthur. Following these interviews the IFCA received a significant number of resignations.
Boiling Down the “Crossless” Gospel
“The ‘Crossless’ advocates, therefore, try to steer a lost person toward saying he believes a man named Jesus will give him eternal life. The unsaved man can be steered clear of or right over the death, resurrection and deity of Christ, and still be assured that by stating belief in that promise he is, according to GES teaching, born again.”
Greg Schliesmann’s thread comment is especially compelling. He wrote, “I agree the conclusions of crossless gospel advocates in John 20:31 contradict the context. Some people misread John 20:31 to say ‘that you may believe the Christ, the Son of God is named ‘Jesus.’ That’s not what it says. It says, ‘that you may believe Jesus (i.e., the one I just presented to you who died and rose again) is the Christ, the Son of God’.”
False Paradigms of the “Crossless” Gospel the first of a major two-part series by Greg Schliesmann.
“False Paradigm #1: The content of faith required for salvation has never changed. People in Old Testament times were saved without believing in Christ’s death and resurrection. Therefore, people living today are also saved without believing in Christ’s death and resurrection… . The point is, (GES) ‘Crossless’ gospel advocates have not only misrepresented what people must believe for salvation today, but they have also misrepresented what people in past ages believed in order to be saved.”
The Joseph Zichterman Issue
This article, month by month, without fail appears in the top ten of hit counts at my blog. I strongly recommend your reading this article and especially the brief thread for important flow-up reactions, one by Brother Zichterman.
Is the Sermon on the Mount, “Pure Gospel?”
“Dr. MacArthur says the Sermon on the Mount is ‘the way of salvation.’ Is Dr. MacArthur suggesting the Sermon on the Mount be given to a lost man as the plan of salvation?”
John Piper Discussion...
“There have been numerous decisions/actions on the part of John Piper that have been quite disconcerting. The crux of the discussion really has to do with the fact that there is a big difference between what John Piper writes in his books and what he does in practice.”