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’.”
Let’s continue with the powerful series of excerpts from Tom Stegall’s book.
The Language of Accommodation or Correction?
Furthermore, whether (Bob) Wilkin and (Jeremy) Myers would accept it or not, from the Lord’s perspective, the Word of God still uses the term “gospel” to refer to the “saving message” that the lost must believe in order to go to heaven. Simply because Wilkin and Myers no longer view the term “gospel” accurately does not mean that the rest of the Free Grace community must start using language that accommodates their doctrinal error. I have even noticed with some Free Grace people who are not crossless a new reluctance and apprehension to speak of “the gospel” as synonymous with, and equivalent to, the saving message. My fear is that some well-intentioned Grace people may be overly concerned about paying a courtesy to those in grave doctrinal error on the meaning of “the gospel,” rather than showing a greater courtesy and respect to God who equates “the gospel” with the “saving message” in His Word (Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 1:17-21; 4:15; Eph. 1:13; 2 Thess. 1:8-10). By conceding to the wishes of those who no longer teach that “the gospel” is God’s saving message, are we not subtly accommodating error by adjusting our speech accordingly? Thus, any message that purports to be “saving,” and yet is crossless, must still be regarded as a “crossless gospel” if we wish to continue speaking from a biblical standpoint.
If we concede to drop the term “gospel” from the phrase “crossless gospel,” this will have the effect of legitimizing this false, unbiblical distinction between “the gospel” and “the saving message.” Even if we concede to the wishes of Wilkin and others who share his doctrine by refraining from the use of the phrase “crossless gospel” while still personally and privately maintaining the correct, biblical view, will this not contribute towards the further establishment of unbiblical speech within the Free Grace community? Will this not establish an unbiblical precedent that others will be expected to follow as the distinct impression is given that it is actually wrong or somehow ungracious to portray the false doctrine held by some of our Grace brethren in a negative light?
Please continue to- The Gospel of the Christ: Biblical Terminology for False Teaching
Editor’s Note: The Crossless Gospel was originated by the late Zane Hodges. This is the most egregious form of reductionist soteriology ever introduced to the New Testament church by one of its own. No one in Christian circles outside the membership and friends of the Grace Evangelical Society (Bob Wilkin, Executive Director) believes in and/or advocates this reductionist assault on the Gospel, i.e. the necessary content of saving faith. For related reading and discussion see these articles.
GES Reductionist Affirmation of Faith
The Hollow “Gospel” of the Grace Evangelical Society
Believing the Gospel: “May Indeed Frustrate God's Grace?”
Zane Hodges: Drifting Far Off the Marker
Is “RE-DEFINED” Free Grace Theology- Free Grace Theology?
Free Grace Theology: What Every Advocate of Lordship Salvation Should Know