March 12, 2009

Upcoming Article: “(Far) Out on a Limb to Protest too Much

Dear Guests of IDOTG:

A fair amount of needless controversy developed over my previous article,
Believing the Gospel: “May Indeed Frustrate Grace.”

In that article I demonstrated how Antonio da Rosa, the blogosphere’s most vocal apologist for the Grace Evangelical Society (GES) reductionist view of the Gospel, believes to call on the lost to believe the Gospel (the cross and resurrection of Christ) “
may indeed frustrate (saving) grace.” This is da Rosa’s position, which has been thoroughly documented. Regrettably, as is his custom virtually any time he is held accountable for his reductionist teaching, he cries, “misrepresentation.” *His complaint appeared in an article at one of his Crossless Gospel blogs.

The driving force behind da Rosa’s (and GES members) baseless cries of “
misrepresentation,” is they refuse to take ownership of their well-documented reductionist assault on the Gospel, i.e. the content of saving faith.

On Wednesday (3/11/09) da Rosa followed his having buried the comment thread were he was claiming he had been “
misquoted” and “misrepresented” by deleting his article in its entirety. His charges that he had been “misrepresented” were, of course, indefensible as it was irrefutably demonstrated to him. In any event, the deleted thread was archived prior to Antonio’s burying it.

In any event, two of my partners in defense of the Gospel (Kev Lane and Phillip Evans) challenged da Rosa at one of his own
Crossless gospel blogs over his claims of “misrepresentation.” Unfortunately, their questions to Antonio were at first essentially dodged. Kev pressed him further to clarify his position in unvarnished terms. Finally, Kev became the target of personal attacks by da Rosa for pressing toward and expecting a clear and transparent answer from him, which he refused to provide. Antonio finally closed and buried the blog thread where these exchanges were taking place.

Kev of the
On My Walk blog devised a very clever way to finish the conversation with Antonio. Kev took snap shots of the Crossless gospel blog thread before Antonio deleted it. From the snap shots Kev exposes the absurdity of da Rosa’s claim and then refutes them. I like this approach because it is like a debate with a man (da Rosa) who refuses to appear. So Kev is continuing the debate with da Rosa voluntarily in abstentia using his (da Rosa’s) known and published views to represent him. Kev’s unique and compelling article is titled, The Grace of a Man: Discussion Disabled.

Brother Evans has also prepared his own continuation of the deleted discussion he began with
Crossless gospel advocate Antonio da Rosa. Here is a sample from Brother Evan’s straight-shooting look at the theology and evasive nature of GES member Antonio da Rosa:

“Perhaps you could answer this question to help clear things up:

Can a lost person be saved while maintaining a denial of the Deity of Christ, His death on the cross for our sins, and resurrection?’

you are either fearful or unable to answer my question clearly and simply in your own words, after which we could both appeal to Scripture to justify our positions. Instead, you prefer to hide behind numerous Scripture passages you’ve fashioned into a cloak via your misuse of them. This method is right out of the cultists’ handbook of tactics.

I will now address your quotations of Scripture that you used as a reply to my question above. You said...”
This new article “(Far) Out on a Limb to Protest too Much” by Phillip Evans will be published on Monday here at IDOTG.


da Rosa posted his complaint here ignoring he has been banned for well over a year. Comment moderation kept his posts off this blog.


  1. To All:

    It is irrefutable that Antonio da Rosa on behalf of the GES teaches that calling on the lost to believe the Gospel (its saving message) “may indeed frustrate (God’s saving) grace.”

    This is one of many examples of how, what remains of the GES membership, has fallen into a reductionist assault on the content of saving faith that as originated by the late Zane Hodges.

    From the deleted article and thread, in which da Rosa cried, “misrepresentation” he wrote,

    My point is about the EVANGELIST and NOT THE LOST MAN!”

    OK, so now we have da Rosa claiming that for the Evangelist to call on the lost to believe the content of saving faith embodied in the Gospel as defined in Scripture from (1 Cor. 15:1-4), “may indeed frustrate grace.”

    Now watch this from near the end of his deleted note, “God forbid that I fail to preach the cross and resurrection to men!”

    Think of it: he essentially claims to ALWAYS preach the cross and resurrection of Christ. And this incredibly follows his stating that for the Evangelist (the God ordained messenger of the content of saving faith) “may indeed frustrate grace” by preaching the reception of salvation through faith/believing in the saving power of the Lord’s sacrificial death on the cross and His bodily resurrection.

    The requirement to believe these truths, the cross and resurrection, that da Rosa himself claims to preach, are in his words, “caveats, provisos, and codicils in the saving transaction.”

    He just stated that for the Evangelist to preach required belief in these “caveats, provisos, and codicils in the saving transaction,” and in his preaching necessitates belief in these things for salvation “may indeed frustrate grace, and preclude (hinder) people from (receiving) eternal salvation.”

    Bad doctrine, confused reasoning: The Tragedy of the Crossless gospel.

    Brother Evans will be addressing more of the same such as this in the opening installment of his new article to begin on Monday.


  2. To All:

    I was able to share the following with a man who noted ttat he has been recently recovered from Calvinism and Lordship Salvation...


    It is a blessing to learn that you have been recovered from Reformed and Lordship Salvation (LS) theology. Yours is an all to infrequent testimony, but a blessing to know it.

    What folks like you must be careful about is coming out of one extreme and landing right into another one. The teaching of the Grace Evangelical Society (GES) so-called “Crossless” Gospel (CG) is the other extreme in the salvation debate. Here is the difference.

    Lordship Salvation (John MacArthur) teaches salvation through faith, plus commitment of life. That is works based, man-centered message that frustrates grace (Gal. 2:21).

    The GES (Bob Wilkin) teaches that a lost man can be born again apart from knowing, understanding or believing in whom Jesus is (that He is deity) that He died on the cross and rose from the dead. Even worse GES teaches that a lost man can consciously reject the deity of Christ, but this in no way hinders him from being born again.

    Now watch this: the GES camp says that if you are witnessing to a lost man and to be born again you tell him that he must believe Jesus died for his sins and rose from the dead, the GES says you are preaching a message that, in Antonio’s words, “may indeed frustrate grace.”

    For GES you are furthermore a “legalist” for preaching the necessity of belief in the cross and resurrection for the reception of eternal life. Antonio is teaching a workshop on this very thing. Antonio believes Dr. Chares Ryrie is a “legalist” because he (Ryrie, in his book So Great Salvation, p. 40) teaches the necessity of belief in the death and resurrection of Christ for salvation.

    LS and the CG are at polar opposite ends of the theological pendulum swing.

    LS errs by addition whereas the CG errs by subtraction. Both are non-saving messages that are the extremes in the debate.

    My concern for good folks like you is that while you have been recovered from LS the danger is that you may bounce to far in the other direction and land in another extremist heresy, which the GES’s Crossless Gospel is.

    So, no matter what you see in the debate, just strike a balance between LS and the CG. My concern for you is that you do not bounce too far of the LS heresy right into the GES heresy.

    You can read scores of articles on the errors of, balance between and biblical answers to these two polar opposites at my blog.

    Yours faithfully,


  3. Hey Lou,

    You know it's not you, or Phillip, or I who Antonio has disagreement with. He says, to use his recently refined and expanded terms "for the evangelist to require someone to believe" the Gospel may very well frustrate Grace.

    The Person he actually disagrees with is Our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ.

    In John 3 the Lord explains Salvation by giving a teaching from the Mosaic foreshadow of the Cross, and then shows that THIS is how God has loved the world by giving His Son in like manner.

    Then in John 3:14-18 we read.

    14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
    18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    If you don't believe the Gospel you have not believed in the Name of the only begotten Son of God, and you are not saved.


  4. Amen, Kev! You stated the case perfectly!


  5. Kev:

    Thanks for this.

    The saving message of Jesus Christ is very plain. The teaching of GES is anti-biblical to its core.

    As I have noted before, the GES's Crossless gospel is a reductionist assault on the Person of Christ and the content of saving faith.

    Lord willing their reductionist heresy will NEVER gain any traction outside the cell of theological extremists in the GES.


  6. ...a man who noted ttat he has been recently recovered from Calvinism and Lordship Salvation...


    I am very happy to hear about this!

    Good counsel, too, about going from one extreme to another.


  7. Jan:

    Thanks for the note. This is a genuine concern and works both ways.

    Once we see people who have ben deceived by the reductionist teaching of Hodges, Wilkin and GES come to realize they are in error we will need to help them to avoid going all the way over to Lordship Salvation.