Dear Guests of IDOTG:
A friend of mine and of this blog read the latest issue of Grace in Focus (May-June 09) a publication from the Grace Evangelical Society. The reviewer found *Dr. Stephen Lewis’s article entitled “Consensus Theology Stinks” to be both “interesting and alarming.” Following is his reaction to the article.
From the outset of my reading, I had a pretty good idea where Dr. Lewis was going to land. One of the lines of debate in the Crossless gospel controversy relates to: “who really represents free grace theology?” Is it the sole possession of the Grace Evangelical Society (GES)? Has the GES cut itself off from the Classical Dispensational interpretation of the gospel grace?
Since GES cannot substantiate their novel position from historical roots, it’s no wonder that GES would include an article such as this to try to bolster their crumbling position.
In his article, Dr. Lewis concludes:
“Free Grace people sometimes have our own traditions and these traditions sometimes blind us to the clear meaning of Scripture. Take the response of some in the FG camp to the writings of Zane Hodges as an example. Some rejected out of hand his view on assurance as being of the essence of saving faith. Others rejected, out of hand, his deserted island illustration and his suggestion that all who simply believe in Jesus have everlasting life that can never be lost. Still others in the FG movement rejected his explanation of the Gospel of John because it contradicted their tradition. These people did not carefully read and consider his Biblical arguments. If they had, their traditions would have given way to Scripture. We must beware of our own consensus theology.”The underlined statement is the height of presumption. The very reason that Zane Hodges, Bob Wilkin and GES are being called to account is because men have thoroughly examined the Biblical evidence and found the GES Crossless/Promise-ONLY position to be wanting.
In Zane’s article, The Hydra’s Other Head: Theological Legalism, he essentially declared GES to be the sole voice for “free grace theology.” In similar fashion, Dr. Lewis portrays Zane as being “the exemplar” of sound doctrine and anyone who challenges him as being in error.
Certainly following the traditions of men is hazardous territory. On that point I can agree. But blindly following an individual man (Zane Hodges) who was traversing a course contrary to Scripture is an even greater danger.
I want to thank the reviewer above for pointing out the dangerous direction of GES (Bob Wilkin, Exec. Dir.). Over the years the GES has steadily devolved into a cultic movement grounded on absolute loyalty to the personality of the late Zane Hodges at the expense of fidelity to the Scriptures. The GES people are unrepentant over and in need of recovery from the egregious reductionist errors on the necessary content of saving faith originated by Zane Hodges.
I want to conclude by reiterating and reminding all those who are advocates of Lordship Salvation of an important fact. The GES is an isolated, shrinking cell of theological extremists whose Crossless/Promise-ONLY gospel is a doctrinal aberration. The GES does not speak for or represent any man outside its own membership or its sympathizers.
*Stephen R. Lewis, Th.M., Ph.D.
President, Rocky Mountain Bible College & Seminary