August 2, 2009

Free Grace Theology: What Every Advocate of Lordship Salvation Should Know, Final- Charting the Fault Line of Fracture

Dear Guests of IDOTG:

We have seen that the teachings of Zane Hodges and the Grace Evangelical Society (GES) are a radical departure from the Gospel of grace. There has never been this level of egregious reductionist error introduced to the New Testament church by one of its own until the late Zane Hodges developed his *
Crossless & Deityless interpretation of the content of saving faith.

I am closing Bob Nyberg’s article
The Free Grace Fracture by publishing and providing a downloadable PDF (from his article) showing how the teachings of Zane Hodges and the GES are radically different to that of Charles Ryrie and Robert Lightner. In the image below topics are shown down the left column followed by the views of Ryrie/Lightner, then Hodges/GES respectively. I see this as a helpful chart illustrating the fault line of fracture in the Free Grace community.

Bob Nyberg closes his (2007) article by stating,

Free grace theology is not new. It’s been around for a long time. An element of free grace theology seems to be moving away from the more traditional wing, as represented by men such as Dr. Ryrie and Dr. Lightner. Only time will tell whether this free grace fracture widens or eventually resolves itself. The lines are being drawn and voices on both sides of the issue are expressing their opinions. Where we go from here remains to be seen. If nothing else, this debate should serve to clarify the essential elements of the gospel message.”
Over the last two years opinions have been clearly expressed. The result has been the appearance of a clear and deep line of fracture, which has isolated the shrinking cell of Hodges/GES Crossless gospel advocates far outside the mainstream of balanced Bible-believing Christians.

Contrasts in Free Grace Theology for a downloadable version of the chart above.

I am hopeful this short series will help advocates of
Lordship Salvation to understand that the troubling teachings of Zane Hodges, Bob Wilkin and the GES do not represent or speak for any Free Grace believer outside the GES’s shrinking cell of theological extremists. Through the teaching of Zane Hodges the GES has become an isolated, cult like, fringe element in the body of Christ.

Below my signature you will find links to additional articles that further clarify the reductionist heresies of Hodges that are propagated solely by Bob Wilkin and the GES.

Yours in defense of the Gospel.


*Is the “Crossless” Label the Right Label?

GES Reductionist Affirmation of Belief

Is “REDEFINED” Free Grace Theology; Free Grace Theology?

The “CHRIST” Under Siege (at the hands of Zane Hodges)


  1. Lou-

    The chart is very interesting and very helpful.

    I have a question concerning the last segment of the chart on 1 Cor 15 (it is really aimed at the GES crowd). Why is there one gospel for the saved and a different gospel for the lost?


  2. Hi Jan,

    I'm not sure that I can adequately represent the GES view. But they would say that 1 Cor. 15 is the gospel for the saved. In other words, it is good news which would have a sanctifying effect on the saved. They might call it the gospel of sanctification. They would also say that the gospel of salvation (which is for the lost) would be found in the Gospel of John.

  3. Jan/Bob:

    Sorry I've not been to active. Very busy at work these days. I do want you (Bob) to know that I appreciate your permission to reprint in these three installments.

    LS people are becoming increasingly aware that GES is NOT the voice of genuine FG theology. This will be especially helpful to those who gravitated toward LS because of the obvious errors of Hodges/GES reductionism.


  4. But they would say that 1 Cor. 15 is the gospel for the saved. In other words, it is good news which would have a sanctifying effect on the saved. They might call it the gospel of sanctification. They would also say that the gospel of salvation (which is for the lost) would be found in the Gospel of John.

    I don't follow their reasoning very well. It seems contrived to me. For one thing, the passage itself indicates that this is what Paul told them as the gospel. He also says it is the message they received AND in which they stand AND by which they are saved. He does not give any indication that there was another message that saved them. Instead he had said in chapter 2 that he knew nothing among them but Christ crucified. It seems to me that they are making the same type of error (not the same error, but the same TYPE) that the Reformed make when they say one is saved in one way (Christ crucified) and sanctified in another (law as rule of life). I don't see Paul dividing the message like that. He bases our salvation and our sanctification on the cross at all times.


  5. Jan/Bob/All:

    Pastor Tom Stegall has written a new book titled, The Gospel of the Christ: A Biblical Response to the Crossless Gospel Regarding the Contents of Saving Faith.

    There is plenty in his book that will address the good questions and comment on the GES view of 1 Cor. 15. I may insert an example here from Stegall's book.

    Furthermore, within a week or so I will begin publshing excerpts, provided to me by Ps. Stegall. These will be just a sample of what is available to those looking for answers to and biblical refutations of the Crossless gospel.

    Kind regards,


  6. Lou,

    Even after these last few years of discussion I'm still at a loss to be able to sympathize with the reductionists.

    I'm completely baffled by what value the 1 Cor 15:3-4 could be to a Saved person if it is of no value to a Lost person.


  7. Kev:

    I vacillate between astonishment and indignation when I read the teachings of GES on their Crossless & Deityless content of saving faith.

    Astonished that anyone who names the Lord as his Savior could fall into such egregious reductionism, which I consider an assault on the Person and work of Jesus Christ.

    Indignation that the GES is bent on spreading this anti-God, anti-biblical teaching. I am determined to do all that I can to see to it that the Crossless gospel never gains any new traction in the New Testament church.

    My desire is the same for Lordship Salvation.

    Thanks for stopping by.


  8. Lou, I'm going to grab Tom's book.

    What about the new revision of yours? When can we get our hands on it?

    I sent the manuscript for my book to the publisher yesterday - though I left my header and footer in the file... doh!!! Hopefully they'll just take that out.


  9. Hi Kev:

    You’ll enjoy Stegall’s book. It is a long one, but as thorough and as readable as you’ll find anywhere.

    My expanded and revised edition of IDOTG is complete and I am half-way through a final proof read. I have six high profile men who have endorsed the new edition. Four endorsements will be on the back cover with two inside as forewords.

    This would have been done weeks ago, but I was waiting for one last endorsement to come through. Furthermore, I have been incredibly busy at work, which is welcome good news for the nation’s (and Martuneac) economy.

    Once it is released by the publisher announcements will go out.

    Let me know when your book is available for purchase.

    Take care,


  10. Hey Lou, I can't find Stegall's book for sale. Where can I get it from?


  11. Kev:

    The book is supposed to be at Amazon next week. It is that new.


  12. Kev,

    I appreciate your interest in the book.

    It took a week or two longer to get set up with the printer than we anticipated, but look for it to appear at Amazon around August 20-22.

    I also want to thank you and Lou for your diligence in upholding the truth of the gospel throughout these last two years. I've intentionally tried to stay off the blogs in that timeframe in order to stay focused on writing and finishing the task the Lord laid on my heart, but I have taken note of your defense of the gospel and it is much appreciated.

    In His grace,
    Tom Stegall

  13. Pastor Stegall:

    Thank you for stopping by with this comment.

    I can assure you that the Christian community is grateful for your dedication to exposing and answering the errors of the GES Crossless gospel. Your series, The Tragedy of the Crossless Gospel was a great initial help for others to be able to recognize the reductionist assault on the Gospel coming from Hodges, Wilkin & GES.

    Your new book will be the all-in-one apologetic for the defense of the Gospel against the reductionism while declaring the glorious Gospel of Christ.

    Kind regards,


  14. Brother Tom,

    I can't wait to get your book. :) I'm very hopeful that it will assist my ministry in staying faithful in our preaching of the Gospel and help us articulate more of its implications to the world.

    I'm primarily concerned with theological drift as the ministry grows, so a full on, already packaged, apologetic of the Gospel is something that I've been looking for.