January 26, 2010

Best of 2009: Lordship Salvation and/or Crossless Gospel

Dear Guests of IDOTG:

Today I am offering several more articles from 2009 that are among the best. These will address either Lordship Salvation, the Crossless Gospel or elements of each.

The Free Grace Fracture: What Every Advocate of Lordship Salvation Should Know

There are sharp differences between the views of Drs. Lightner/Ryrie and Dr. MacArthur on the necessary content of saving faith. However, everyone in on or viewing the debate must understand that Hodges, Wilkin and GES have drifted far outside the main stream of Free Grace theology with their reductionist assaults on the content of saving faith. The teaching of Hodges, Wilkin and the GES is commonly known as the “Crossless” or “Promise-ONLY” gospel…. Myth: Free grace theology began in the 1980’s as a response to John MacArthur’s book The Gospel According to Jesus.

Lordship Salvation and the Crossless Gospel: “Joined at the Hip”

This article by Tim VanderPloeg examines a common denominator between Lordship Salvation and the Crossless Gospel. And introduction is provided by Jan Hawthorne. The article is followed by an extended editor’s note that I added after a private discussion with a friend whom I appreciate.

The Gospel of the Christ: The “No Lordship” Counter Claim

This is just one article from a series of excerpts I posted from Pastor Tom Stegall’s new book, The Gospel of the Christ.

When Lordship Salvation proponents refer to the Free Grace position as the “no-lordship” view, they are specifically referring to the subject of eternal salvation, not sanctification in the Christian life per se. They are referring to our view as the “no-lordship salvation” view. As this applies to the Free Grace movement historically, “no-lordship salvation” would not be an accurate or appropriate designation since Free Grace advocates have traditionally viewed belief in the Lord Jesus Christ as a requirement for eternal salvation or justification, just as Acts 16:30-31 and Romans 10:9-10 teach.

Men Consistently Saw the Light of Zane Hodges’s Reasoning

This multi-art series by Ron Shea opens by attempting to answer the question: What turned Hodges to this profound Deconstructionist Error? The series then turns to a discussion of why men such as Bob Wilkin of the Grace Evangelical Society would swallow whole virtually every aberrant doctrinal view that came from Hodges through his passing in 2008.

I have noticed that those who have embraced the Crossless gospel were not theologians and Christians punctuating the evangelical landscape, who read the work of some unknown theologian (Zane) on the web or in print, and found the arguments compelling. NO! The “inner circle” consisted of those men…who had been embraced by Zane as a friend, and/or fellow theologian. They had an emotional stake in Zane’s friendship. Or more importantly, because Zane was a respected theologian of the first order, they had a vested emotional stake in Zane’s validation of them as theologians. To a man, people like Bob Wilkin and John Niemela somehow “saw the logic” of all of Zane Hodges’s defections.

Believing the Gospel, “May Indeed Frustrate God’s Grace

This article through numerous examples documents some of the most extreme manifestations of the reductionist heresy of the Crossless gospel originated by Zane Hodges are documented and many are answered by a variety of contributors.

To those of you who have any level of God-given influence as pastors, teachers, or through a Christian service ministry, you would do well to caution and warn those whom the Lord has placed in your sphere of influence. You can protect your people from the GES reductionist assault on the Gospel, i.e. the content of saving faith, by equipping them to recognize what it is at first sight. It would be a genuine tragedy of the Crossless gospel if even one of your acquaintances were to be caught up in these obvious and extreme errors.

Evangelism With the Jehovah’s Witness at My Door

In January 2009 two JW’s came to my home and I did speak to them.

I told them as long as they reject that Jesus Christ is one and the same as the Father, the Bible says they are dead in their sins and on the way to Hell. They maintained that Jesus was “a god,” but NOT equal with the Father. I sent them on their way with another (biblical) admonition that as long as the reject the Lord’s deity they are dead in their sins and on the way to Hell.

The direction of this article is to demonstrate how the advocates of the GES Crossless gospel: “...would consider such a one saved, REGARDLESS of their varied misconcetions [sic] and beliefs about Jesus.”

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