January 8, 2009

Upcoming Articles for 2009 & the One Disappointment from 2008

Dear Guests of IDOTG:

We are well into the new year 2009. For the Christmas season, which has just concluded I was anticipating a quiet time of discussion and debate in defense of the Gospel. Unfortunately, the holiday season was not as quiet as I would have expected.

Following the details of what you can expect as we open 2009 at IDOTG I will close 2008, which was an encouraging year for the defense of the Gospel, with a brief note on the disappointing change of heart and mind by one of our, now former, blog partners.

Let’s begin with Upcoming Articles for 2009:

You may recall from December I began reposting Pastor Dennis Rokser’s series
The Issue of Incongruity: Actual or Artificial? The Christmas season interrupted that series. On Tuesday (1/13/09) I will be posting Part 4 of 5 from the series for your consideration. Part 5 will follow later in the week.

Afterwards, I am going to start afresh the unfinished series by Greg Schliemann,
Zane Hodges: “Legalism is Not a very Nice Word.” I will repost part one through three, followed by parts four and five. This is the series that extensively addresses the last published article by Zane Hodges, The Hydra’s Other Head: Theological Legalism. That article exemplifies what is the lasting legacy of Zane Hodges. His legacy of assaulting the Gospel with the most egregious form of reductionist assaults on the content of saving faith that the NT church has ever been exposed to by one of its own (Zane Hodges & Bob Wilkin).

Then I will be posting two new series of articles. One by a new comer to the defense of the Gospel against both
Lordship Salvation and the Crossless gospel. I will formally introduce this new comer once the first in the series is published.

The other series will be produced by our friend Rachel from **
The Land of Reason blog. She will be writing a short series on some of the obvious errors and inconsistencies of the Crossless gospel as published by Zane Hodges. Rachel’s series will be posted jointly at TLOR and here at IDOTG.

Finally, many have asked when the revised and expanded edition of my book
In Defense of the Gospel: Biblical Answers to Lordship Salvation will be available. The work of revision is complete. A number of highly recognizable preachers/theologians have agreed to provide an endorsement for this new edition. I have received half of those endorsements, the rest will be submitted by the end of this month. Once I have them all in hand the manuscript will sent to the publisher for a fresh cover and be in circulation soon thereafter. When the revised and expanded edition nears release I will begin posting samples of the revisions, additions as well as the endorsements.

Now we’ll turn our attention to the one disappointment from the close of 2008:

As I noted above, 2008 was an encouraging year for the defense of the Gospel, but their was one disappointing event. That was the change of heart and mind toward the advocates of the Crossless Gospel by one of our, now former, blog partners.

This man took a new and tragic turn toward befriending and forming an alliance with the advocates of the reductionist assault on the content of saving faith, i.e. the
Crossless Gospel (CG). Until mid-2008 he was an effective voice in exposing and biblically refuting the Crossless gospel. His articles once addressed many of the extremes coming from advocates of the Crossless gospel. Statements such as these from Antonio da Rosa in his article Believe Christ’s Promise and You are Saved No Matter What Misconception You Hold, (May 2006):
If a JW hears me speak of Christ’s deity and asks me about it, I will say, ‘Let us agree to disagree about this subject.’ If someone asks me point blank, do I believe that one must believe that Jesus is God in order to go to heaven, I would say ‘NO!’

“At the moment that a JW or a Mormon is convinced that Jesus Christ has given to them unrevokable [sic] eternal life when they believed on Him for it, I would consider such a one saved,
REGARDLESS of their varied misconcetions [sic] and beliefs about Jesus.”
And arguably the most infamous of da Rosa’s statements,
“The Mormon Jesus and Evangelical Jesus are One and the Same!”
In another article that dealt with the dangerous statements coming from da Rosa, he gave a heart felt and clear caution to *Rose (another casualty of close cooperation with the Crossless gospel advocates) who, in recent years, has become an increasingly passionate sympathizer and supporter of the Grace Evangelical Society’s Crossless & Deityless interpretation of the Gospel. He wrote,
By defending da Rosa, you (Rose) are defending ‘doctrines of demons’, ‘myths’, and heresy. As the apostle Paul pleaded with the Galatian Christians concerning their acceptance of a perverted gospel, I plead with you: ‘O foolish Christian, who has bewitched you’?
As you can see he was powerfully exposing as well as refuting from the Scriptures GES’s anti-biblical teachings, which are an assault on the Person and work of Christ. He was following the biblical mandates to “note the man…admonish him,” to “mark” and warn others to “avoid” the advocates of the Crossless gospel (2 Thess. 3:14-15; Rom. 16:17). Then in this sudden, unexpected shift he has embraced, struck a friendship, formed an alliance with and begun running interference for the most extreme of the CG’s apologists, Antonio da Rosa. Why he has, we can’t imagine. It appears, however, he has developed what might best be described as a case of laryngitis in regard to the Crossless gospel and its advoacte(s).

This man has formed an alliance with GES by linking to, as an endorsement of, Bob Wilkin’s personal attack on Dr. J. B. Hixson. This attack is in Wilkin’s hostile and condescending review of Dr. Hixson’s excellent book,
Getting the Gospel Wrong.

Several of us, like Kevl, tried to help this brother see the dangerous turn he has taken and encouraged him to turn from it, but all of our attempts were rebuffed by him and in most cases ignored while he kept running interference and protection for heresy of the
Crossless advocates. I reminded him, Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful,” (Prov. 27:6).

Pray with us that this brother will awaken and withdraw from the advocates of the most egregious form of reductionist assaults against the Gospel, coming from the
Crossless gospel of Zane Hodges, Bob Wilkin and the GES.

Yours in His service,


  1. The latest with Antonio answering about his stance on the truths of the Gospel and JP's lack of a response is saddening even further.

    I'm confused by JP's tactic of embracing those in great error to promote a nit-picking of someone else. I'm sure we'll see this back fire on him. I'm hopeful he will not be too badly hurt by his association with the GES.


  2. JP's odd behavior is a tragedy. He claims that he his Free Grace yet his understanding of the content of saving faith no longer resembles any historically held view of Free Grace that I'm aware of. His attempts to claim that many support his specific soteriology (Moyer, Habermas, Geisler, etc.) are stretches at best, and deliberate misrepresentations at worst.

    Whatever the label, I'm sure JP believes he is "biblical", but claiming he represents "Free Grace" (as indicated by his blog name and criteria for what manner of "free speech" he tolerates) is, IMO, as misleading a use of the label on his part now as it is for GES to claim it. GES has subtracted from the FG content of saving faith and JP has added to it. IMO, both views usurp the good name of authentic FG to soften how radical their doctrinal departures actually are. Both GES and JP (so far as I know) were under the umbrella of FG at one time but then changed... but each still wants to keep a claim on a label that, for all practical purposes, no longer applies. I can guess as to why, perhaps it's because ditching the label would be a clear signal that THEY are the ones whose view has changed.

    Looking forward to the next year, and particularly to the completion of Greg's series. I don't mean to diminish your other contributors at all, but some of Greg's older articles (see The Best of 2007) were the first I ever read at your blog. They were timely, well done, and very helpful to my growth and biblical understanding of the issues he wrote about.


  3. Men:

    I have been away all day. I will have replies to each of you later this evening.

    For now, just to Stephen's note, "Both GES and JP (so far as I know) were under the umbrella of FG at one time but then changed... but each still wants to keep a claim on a label that, for all practical purposes, no longer applies."

    In regard to GES, they have indeed become a theologically extremist (fringe) group far to the left of a balanced FG theology. I recall how you coined the term for GES, "REDEFINED" FG theology,which was well said.

    But, you know it is not just that the GES (under the leading of Hodges and Wilkin) have lost their identity as FG, they have checked out on any kind of balanced representation of the biblical plan of salvation. What I'm trying to say is that it is not just GES is no longer FG, it's worse- they are not even biblical.

    Their reductionist assaults on the content of saving faith are bizarre and even worse than unbiblical, but wholly ANTI-biblical.

    More later,


  4. To All:

    Last night I was in touch with Greg Schliesmann in regard to his critique of Zane Hodges's article, The Hyrda's Other Head: Theological Legalism.

    Greg told me he is revising and expanding the critique to more throughly draw out and biblically refute the troubling elements in Hodges's legacy article.

    We are reworking the timetable for posting his series, "Legalism" in Not a very Nice Word, but it is in production.

    Kind regards,


  5. To All:

    I am going to make one more scheduling change to the upcoming articles. I will be posting one, possibly two brief articles before restarting Dennis Rokser’s The Issue of Incongruity.

    More to follow…