Dear Guests of IDOTG:
Earlier this month I had the privilege of introducing the new book by Pastor Tom Stegall, The Gospel of the Christ: A Biblical response to the Crossless Gospel Regarding the Contents of Saving Faith.
In Tom Stegall’s introduction of his book he noted:
“My objective in writing the book was to provide a biblical response to the controversy within the Free Grace community over the subject of the ‘crossless gospel’ and the contents of saving faith. Part I of the book lays the groundwork by introducing the problem of the crossless/promise-only/Grace Evangelical Society (GES) gospel and its associated doctrines. The remainder of the book still interacts with the new GES theology but it is primarily an exegetical synthesis of dozens of key passages involving the terms ‘gospel’ and ‘Christ’.”
Today is our fourth in the series comprised of excerpts from Stegall’s book. You can begin reading this series from the start at, The Gospel of the Christ: The Sinlessness of Christ. The selections I am publishing (with permission) provide a balanced cross section of issues related to the Gospel.
The Dilemma of Muslim Evangelism
First, the problem of the new, (GES) aberrant form of the gospel is not merely theoretical and harmless. Some proponents of this new gospel, when confronted with the possibility that their gospel allows a person to deny the deity of Christ and still receive eternal life, have averred that the problem is all just “hypothetical” and inconsequential, since they also believe and proclaim Christ’s deity, death for sin, resurrection, etc. However, this defense will not suffice for one moment.
Imagine that an advocate of crossless saving faith is evangelizing a Muslim with his abbreviated, John 6:47 version of the saving message. He tells the Muslim that Jesus can guarantee him everlasting life if he just believes in Him for it. Then the crossless gospel advocate dutifully proceeds to inform the Muslim that Jesus is also God’s Son, who died on the cross for his sins and who rose from the dead. Then, at this juncture in the conversation, the crossless evangelist is met with an arresting question from the Muslim, who asserts the following:
Well I don’t believe that Jesus is God’s Son, since the Qur’an repeatedly calls it a monstrous falsehood to believe that God has any equals. Jesus—blessed be his name—was a man and a great prophet; but my tradition also tells me in the Hadith that he is coming back again before judgment day. Perhaps that will be in my lifetime; so I can conceivably see and believe that he can guarantee me everlasting life somehow. However, I must also reject your claim that he died on the cross, since the Qur’an also rejects this in Sura 4:157. And therefore I must also deny that Jesus—peace be upon him—rose from the dead, since he never died, as Sura 4:158 states, “they did not slay him for certain; God lifted him up to Him.” However, dear Christian, you said before that if I simply believe in him as the only one who can guarantee me eternal life, then I can receive eternal life on that basis, right? Well, I believe in Jesus—blessed be his name—as my guarantor of eternal life, though I reject your claim to his deity, and his death for my sins, and his resurrection.Now what will the crossless gospel advocate say in response? Will he warn this Muslim that he has a false assurance and that he is still dead in his trespasses and sins until he believes in the Jesus of the Bible? But how can he warn him, since the Muslim is just consistently following the logic of the new crossless gospel? The same scenario could be replayed countless times simply by *substituting members of other cults and world religions in the place of the deceived Muslim. Clearly, this is not just a “hypothetical”19 problem with no eternal consequences.
Please continue to Excerpt 5, Evangelizing the Way Jesus Did
19 Brandon Wallace, “Free Grace Theology for Beginners,” Grace Evangelical Society Conference, Dallas, TX, February 27, 2006.
*The following exemplifies Stegall’s contention above. This statement was made by GES member, Antonio da Rosa, who has been a featured speaker at GES national and regional conferences.
“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.” (Believe Christ’s Promise and You are Saved, No Matter What Misconceptions You Hold)For additional study on the tragedy of the Grace Evangelical Society’s Crossless gospel see the following articles.
The Gospel Under Siege by the Very Man Who Wrote the Book On It
GES Reductionist Affirmation of Faith
Is the “Crossless” Label the Right Label?
Believing the Gospel, “May Indeed Frustrate Grace.”
The Hollow “Gospel” of the Grace Evangelical Society
Can the Biblical Jesus & Mormon Jesus be, “One and the Same?”
Free Grace Theology: What Every Advocate of Lordship Salvation Should Know
Men Consistently “Saw the Light” of Hodges’s Reasoning.