June 28, 2008

John MacArthur’s Mandatory Performance Guidelines for “Lordship” Salvation

Dear Guests:

As an interim article between reviews of the
20th Anniversary edition of The Gospel According to Jesus, I am presenting another example of Lordship Salvation as expressed by Dr. John MacArthur.

The saving faith in Jesus Christ that the New Testament teaches is much more than a simple affirmation of certain truths about Him…. Saving faith is a placing of oneself totally in submission to the Lord Jesus Christ, and it has certain indispensable elements that the New Testament clearly teaches. Saving faith in Jesus Christ involves the exercise of the will. Paul told the Roman believers, ‘Thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed’ (Rom. 6:17). Salvation begins (from the human standpoint) with a person’s willful obedience in turning from sin to follow the Lord Jesus Christ. Saving faith also involves the emotions, because, as in the verse just mentioned above, it must come from the heart as well as from the mind.” (Romans, pp. 204-5, bold added)
Dr. MacArthur is stating what he believes are necessary requirements to be born again. The use of phrases such as, “salvation begins…” confirms this. His Lordship message to the lost is that for salvation they must make an up-front commitment of absolute “submission” to live in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ. John MacArthur’s Lordship Salvation conditions the free gift of God on a commitment to performance of the “good works” (Eph. 2:10) expected of a born again disciple of Christ.

In his new book,
Getting the Gospel Wrong Dr. J. B. Hixson (Executive Director of the Free Grace Alliance) addressed the above quote by MacArthur. Hixson’s response is found under a chapter titled, The Performance Gospel, pp. 304-5.
“MacArthur’s citation of Romans 6:17 in support of the notion that willful surrender and obedience must accompany saving faith is unconvincing. To be ‘obedient from the heart’ is simply another way of expressing what it means to believe. The ‘form of teaching’ to which Paul referred was the very teaching he had been putting forth, namely that righteousness comes by faith rather than keeping the Mosaic Law. The verse cited says nothing about obedience vis-à-vis turning from sin and submitting to the Lordship of Christ. Furthermore, the suggestion that saving faith involves emotions, based on Paul’s reference to heart is a strained appeal to the alleged distinction between the heart and the mind that is common among proponents of a performance gospel.
There are numerous examples, such as the one here from John MacArthur, that remove any doubt that Lordship Salvation is a man centered message that frustrates grace (Gal. 2:21).


June 24, 2008

The Gospel According to Jesus: What is Authentic Faith?

Immediately following the first edition of The Gospel According to Jesus (1988) men who wanted to be sympathetic toward Dr. MacArthur’s Lordship interpretation of the Gospel have referred to some of the more polarizing elements as “overstatements.” Some of these men were on the faculty of The Master’s Seminary. I have spoken to men with those concerns. They have been frustrated with MacArthur’s alleged “overstatements.” The Anniversary Edition contains many of the same themes and “overstatements” found in the original version of this volume.

If these areas of concern were merely “overstatements,” why hasn’t MacArthur edited, explained or eliminated them after 20 years in print?
The answer is quite simple: they are not “overstatements!”

In the preface to the Anniversary Edition this statement appears,
The cost of discipleship; the need to hate one’s own sin; Christ’s call to self-denial; His command to follow Him; and (especially) every mention of submission to Him as Lord were systematically expunged from the message Christians proclaimed to unbelievers. Sanctification became wholly optional. A whole new category ‘carnal Christians’ was invented to explain how someone could be converted to Christ and given eternal life but left totally unchanged in heart and lifestyle by such a transaction.”
One must remember that the primary crux of the controversy over Lordship Salvation is Dr. MacArthur’s view of what he believes are the requirements for the reception of eternal life. There is a difference between the requirements for and the results of salvation. My concern is primarily with the conditions Lordship Salvation places on the lost for salvation, that the Bible does not. It is this area that makes the difference between Heaven and Hell. The eternal destiny of human souls is as stake. This is why I wrote In Defense of the Gospel: Biblical Answers to Lordship Salvation.

Dr. MacArthur’s Anniversary Edition of The Gospel According to Jesus is a continuation of his Lordship Salvation interpretation of the Gospel. For example, in the preface I cited above one can see that MacArthur continues the pattern of blurring the line of distinction between the doctrines of salvation and discipleship. He still insists the “carnal Christian” is a modern day invention completely disregarding the Holy Spirit’s inspiring Paul to define and address the reality of “carnal” believers in the first century church.

IMO, MacArthur does not condition salvation on the performance of the “good works” (Eph. 2:10) expected of a disciple. He does, however, require an upfront commitment to the “good works” of discipleship in “exchange” for salvation. (See Is Lordship Salvation an “Exchange?” & Lordship Salvation’s “Barter” System)

Another theme that reappears in the Anniversary Edition is the *false dilemma. MacArthur argues against and seeks to answer what is portrayed as the only alternative to his Lordship interpretation of the Gospel. MacArthur points readers to the opposite end, the extreme edge of the theological pendulum swing. On the far end of that swing are the egregious errors of Zane Hodges, Bob Wilkin, the Grace Evangelical Society’s Crossless/Deityless interpretation of the Gospel.

The reductionist Crossless Gospel is a legitimate target for criticism. MacArthur acknowledges that others are answering the Lordship view, but barely recognizes that these are more balanced biblical positions in sharp contrast to the reductionist extremism of Zane Hodges. While MacArthur references Dr. Charles Ryrie’s Balancing the Christian Life, he (MacArthur) never references Ryrie’s major contribution to the Lordship debate So Great Salvation.

MacArthur’s second Lordship apologetic, The Gospel According to the Apostles does include a discussion of elements in Ryrie’s So Great Salvation (SGS). However, in none of his three editions of The Gospel According to Jesus, which is regarded as the foremost defining apologetic on Lordship Salvation, does MacArthur refer to SGS.

Dr. Charlie Bing’s dissertation Lordship Salvation: A Biblical Evaluation & Response is one of the most balanced and compelling refutations of Lordship Salvation on the market. Dr. Bing is a relatively well-known theologian and major contributor to the discussion over Lordship Salvation. The Grace to You staff is very familiar with Dr. Bing and his dissertation. Nevertheless, nowhere in any of MacArthur’s Lordship apologetics, does he acknowledge or cite Bing’s work on the Lordship gospel.

Many of you are aware I have been working on a revised and expanded edition of my book, In Defense of the Gospel (IDOTG). This process has gone well past the time frame I gave myself to complete the project. Many have called to ask me when it will be done and made available. Some, more than once, have called to encourage me to finish at my earliest convenience.

In all sincerity there have been times of frustration over having to devote so much time to the Crossless gospel, which kept me from completing the revision of IDOTG. In the back of mind, however, I knew the Grace Evangelical Society’s Crossless gospel had to be exposed and biblically refuted, the Lord’s timing is perfect, and there must be some compelling reason for the delay in finishing the revision.

Thankfully I did not rush the completion, but instead waited on the Lord’s timing. I would have been disappointed had I rushed to completion only to have my revised and expanded edition released just ahead of MacArthur’s 20th Anniversary Edition.

From his review of the original The Gospel According To Jesus, Dr. Ernest Pickering noted,
John MacArthur is a sincere servant of the Lord, of that we have no doubt.... We believe in his advocacy of the so-called lordship salvation he is wrong. He desperately desires to see holiness, lasting fruit, and continuing faithfulness in the lives of Christian people. This reviewer and we believe all sincere church leaders desire the same.... But the remedy for this condition is not found in changing the terms of the gospel.” (Lordship Salvation: An Examination of John MacArthur’s Book, The Gospel According to Jesus)
Dr. Charlie Bing made a similar observation,
They are motivated by the worthy desire to see those who profess Christ go on to maturity and fruitfulness. Faced with the sad realities of inconsistent behavior, ‘backsliding,’ and outright apostasy by some professing Christians, they have proposed a gospel that demands up front an exclusive commitment to an obedient lifestyle in hopes of minimizing these problems.” (Lordship Salvation: A Biblical Evaluation and Response, p. 11.)
I share the thoughts expressed by Pickering and Bing. All of us share the distress over men and women in our churches who profess Christ as Savior, but show little interest in living for Him as Lord. The answer, however, “is not found in changing the terms of the gospel.”

My initial review of The Gospel According to Jesus: Anniversary Edition leads me to conclude that this is a continuation of the same teaching found in each of Dr. MacArthur’s preceding major apologetics on Lordship Salvation.

The “overstatements” run like a thread through each of MacArthur’s Lordship Salvation apologetics. They define exactly what the Lordship message truly is. That is a message that frontloads faith with a “wholehearted commitment” of “submission” and “surrender” to perform the “good works” (Eph. 2:10) expected of mature, born again disciple of Jesus Christ. (See John MacArthur’s Discipleship Gospel)

I whole-heartedly support the biblical call upon the Christian to live in submission and sacrifice to the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 12:1-2). MacArthur, however, speaks in terms that in one sense go beyond, but also precede what should be the natural result of a genuine conversion. To reiterate from above, MacArthur does not precondition salvation of the lost man on the performance of the good works (Eph. 2:10) expected of a disciple. He is teaching what he insists is the requirement for the reception of eternal life. That teaching, which frontloads faith with commitment in “exchange” for salvation, is present and as stark in this 20th Anniversary Edition as it was in the 1988 original.

Later in the week I am going to post a follow up to this article. I will be taking one page from this latest edition of The Gospel According to Jesus and from that single page demonstrate the most glaring and obvious error of the Lordship Salvation interpretation of the Gospel. IMO, that single page provides all one needs to affirm Lordship Salvation is a works based, man-centered message that frustrates grace (Gal. 2:21).

Yours faithfully,


I invite you to read a companion article, Ominous Signs of Lordship’s Coming Storm! This article provides a unique historical perspective of the Lordship controversy from a man who was on staff at Moody Press with Phil Johnson who is John MacArthur’s senior editor. This article details pertinent events just prior to the release of MacArthur’s original The Gospel According to Jesus.

*The student of logic will spend some time studying fallacies. One of the logical fallacies people use in an attempt to prove their point is sometimes called the “false dilemma.” This fallacy occurs “when the two alternatives are presented, not all the possibilities have been explored.” This fallacy presents itself in the current debate. Those who advocate the lordship salvation position see only the mental assent or “easy believism” position as an alternative. Likewise those who hold to Hodges’ mental assent position decry all others as advocates of lordship salvation… There is a balanced, biblical position on the issue of salvation. (Dr. Fred Moritz, Preach the Word, Oct. – Nov. 1999, p. 10.)

June 18, 2008

On the Horizon

Dear Guests:

Recent months have produced a number of compelling articles at In Defense of the Gospel. For example...

Pastor Dennis Rokser’s continuing series The Issue of Incongruity has been nailing down the egregious errors of the Grace Evangelical Society’s Crossless gospel. Furthermore, the series is nailing shut the coffin on the question of whether or not there is any incongruity or difference between the CONTENT OF THE GOSPEL message which is to be faithfully PREACHED and the content of SAVING FAITH post-Calvary which must be BELIEVED in order to have eternal life today.

Dr. J. B. Hixson (Executive Director of the Free Grace Alliance) announced and excerpted two portions of his new book Getting the Gospel Wrong: The Evangelical Crisis No One is Talking About.

In May I posted an important discussion of the GES’s “REDEFINED” Free Grace Crossless/Deityless Theology. This article refutes and dispels the serious misnomer that the Grace Evangelical Society speaks for and/or is representative of the whole of the Free Grace movement.

A new web site Voice of the Evangelists published a two-part series I wrote by request, which answers the question: What is the “Crossless” Gospel? See Part 1 & Part 2 at your convenience.

Dr. Fred Lybrand, Vice President of the Free Grace Alliance made several helpful contributions in regard to the FGA’s Official Statement and other important matters of interest to Free Grace community.

So, while I am grateful for what is being accomplished through a cooperative effort, more needs to be done in defense of the Gospel, and more is being done. In upcoming weeks there are several new articles that will be posted at In Defense of the Gospel. The list of what is on the horizon includes, but is not limited to the following articles.

The Necessity of Forbidden Fellowship

Initial Reaction to John MacArthur’s The Gospel According to Jesus: What is Authentic Faith?

The Issue of Incongruity- Actual or Artificial,? Part 5

A Non-Free Gracer Reviews Bob Wilkins’s Scavenger Hunt Salvation Without a List

Do all things, “to the praise of His glory.”

Yours faithfully,


June 16, 2008

J. B. Hixson: “Crossless” Advocates Have Gone too Far!

Dr. *J. B. Hixson’s new book, Getting the Gospel Wrong: The Evangelical Crisis No One Is Talking About contains an important section that address the Crossless gospel.

I trust the following notes from Dr. Hixson will make very clear to readers that the Grace Evangelical Society’s ReDefined” Free Grace reductionist theology is a radical departure from the biblical plan of salvation. Furthermore, this effectively erases any lingering notion that Hodges, Wilkin or GES speak for or represent the Free Grace community at large.


In recent years, some theologians have departed from the biblical view of the gospel by suggesting that one can believe in Jesus for eternal life without explicit knowledge that He died and rose again for one’s sins. For these theologians, knowledge of Christ’s death and resurrection as a payment for one’s sins is optional as part of the content of saving faith.

The view that one can believe in Jesus for eternal life without knowing that He died and rose again has been variously termed the “crossless gospel,” the “promise-only gospel,” the “contentless gospel,” the “minimalist gospel,” and the “refined gospel.” This view is being propagated primarily by the Grace Evangelical Society and such notable theological scholars as Zane Hodges, Bob Wilkin and John Niemela, to name a few. Their self-labeled view of the gospel is termed the “refined view,” indicating that the accepted view of the gospel throughout two thousand years of church history has been incorrect and that they have now provided a long-overdue corrective. Hodges refers to the traditional view of the gospel, as including the death and resurrection of Christ, as “flawed.” Cf. Zane C. Hodges, “How to Lead People to Christ, Pt.2,” Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society 14 (Spring 2001): 9–18. Hodges elsewhere states, “The simple truth is that Jesus can be believed for eternal salvation apart from any detailed knowledge of what He did to provide it.” Ibid., p. 12. See also Zane C. Hodges, “How to Lead People to Christ, Pt.1,” Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society 13 (Autumn 2000): 3–12, emphasis added.

For Hodges and others who hold this view, the gospel is limited to: “Belief in Jesus Christ as the guarantee of eternal life.” Hodges writes, “People are not saved by believing that Jesus died on the cross; they are saved by believing in Jesus for eternal life, or eternal salvation.” Hodges, “How to Lead People to Christ, Pt.2,” 10. According to Hodges, details such as who Jesus is (i.e. the Son of God) and His work on the cross are not relevant to the precise content of saving faith. To be clear, proponents of this view believe Christ died and rose again; they just do not believe one has to believe in the death and resurrection of Christ to be saved.

The present writer applauds the quest for precision in the content of saving faith by those who hold this view; yet, in a tragic example of a theological method gone awry, they have gone too far. Their theological method manifests several errors such as [1] an unbalanced appeal to the priority of the Johannine Gospel (Consider Hodges’ statement, “All forms of the gospel that require greater content to faith in Christ than the Gospel of John requires are flawed.” Hodges, How To Lead a Person To Christ, Part 1, p. 8. And, “Neither explicitly nor implicitly does the Gospel of John teach that a person must understand the cross to be saved.” Ibid., p. 7.); [2] A failure to acknowledge and correctly handle the progress of revelation in Scripture (**See the present writer’s discussion of this issue in note twenty-eight below.); [3] A failure to acknowledge the changing content of saving faith within each dispensation (In support of their position that saving faith today does not require knowledge of Christ’s work on the cross, adherents of this view often will appeal to the fact that Abraham and other OT saints did not believe in the death/resurrection of Christ. Such an argument evidences a departure from the foundational dispensational understanding regarding the changing content of saving faith. It is self-evident that OT saints did not believe explicitly in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, since the events of Calvary had not occurred yet. But it does not follow from this observation that someone today could be saved without knowledge of Christ’s work on the cross. See note twenty-eight below.); [4] An improper theological synthesis when comparing Scripture with Scripture; and [5] The tendency to read a presupposed theological conclusion into a given passage, thus obscuring the plain, normal sense of the passage.

Sadly, in their commendable effort to eliminate any elements of works or human effort from the gospel, they have stripped it of key salvific components. One proponent of this view stated that it is possible for a person to get saved in the present age by believing in Jesus, and then die and go to heaven, whereupon he is surprised to learn that the Jesus who saved him also died and rose again for his sins. (Bob Wilkin, Question & Answer time during Wilkin’s presentation at the 2007 Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in San Diego, CA, entitled, “Our Evangelism Should Be Exegetically Sound,” November 15, 2007.) According to Wilkin, as long as one believes that Jesus guarantees him eternal life, he can be saved, even if he does not know that Jesus is the Son of God and even if he knows nothing about Jesus’ work on the cross.

Yet, several New Testament passages indicate that explicit knowledge of Jesus’ death and resurrection is necessary for eternal salvation. A detailed critique of the so-called “crossless gospel” is beyond the scope of this present work, but a couple of passages are worth noting here. In 1 Corinthians 1:17–18 Paul references the gospel he preached and refers to the “cross of Christ” and the “message of the cross.” Three verses later in 1:21, he states that one is saved by believing the message he preached. Two verses after that, he affirms once again the content of his message, which, when believed, results in salvation. He states, “we preach Christ crucified…” (1:23). This passage inseparably links the work of Christ on the cross to the content of saving faith. Later in 1 Corinthians 15, in a passage previously discussed in this present work, Paul states that one is saved by believing the gospel, which he then defines as including the death and resurrection of Christ. Galatians 1:8–9 also is instructive here. In Galatians 1:8–9, Paul states plainly that any gospel other than the one he had preached to the Galatians during his visit to them is a false gospel. Scripture provides a record of the precise gospel that Paul preached to the Galatians during his first missionary journey. That record is contained in Acts 13. There, one finds that the gospel Paul preached included quite naturally the death and resurrection of Christ (cf. Acts 13:28–30; 38–39). When synthesizing Galatians 1 with Acts 13, the conclusion can only be that any gospel that omits the death and resurrection of Christ is a false gospel. Many additional passages could be cited that affirm the centrality of the cross in the gospel message, but these should suffice to render the view discussed above as warrantless and unbiblical.

For a detailed treatment of this erroneous view of the content of saving faith, see Tom Stegall’s 5-part series in The Grace Family Journal. Tom Stegall, “The Tragedy of the Crossless Gospel, Parts 1–5,” The Grace Family Journal (2007).

See also Gregory P. Sapaugh, “A Response to Hodges: How to Lead People to Christ, Parts 1 and 2,” Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society 14 (August 2001): 21–29.

Reprinted by Permission (with minor formatting changes for presentation at this blog)

Please continue at Preface to Getting the Gospel Wrong.

*J. B. Hixson serves as Executive Director of the Free Grace Alliance. He also teaches Theology at Grace School of Theology in The Woodlands, TX and Free Grace Seminary in Atlanta, GA. He earned his B.A. from Houston Baptist University, Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, and Ph.D. from Baptist Bible Seminary. He has pastored churches in Texas and Illinois.

**See Hixson’s note #28 in the thread below.

Getting the Gospel Wrong will be available beginning June 30th. You can pre-order through Dr. Hixson’s website: Not-by-Works. I am going to provide a link once the book is available for on-line ordering.

June 13, 2008

Preface to Getting the Gospel Wrong

Dr. J. B. Hixson’s new book Getting the Gospel Wrong: The Evangelical Crisis No One Is Talking About is not a treatise on the “Crossless” gospel controversy. Only one footnote in the entire book directly addresses the issue. The footnote takes the Grace Evangelical Society (GES) to task on the key issue of the content of saving faith. IMO, however, a footnote, found in a book of over 400 pages hardly constitutes a treatise against the Crossless gospel of the GES. Please visit “Crossless” Advocates Have Gone too Far to read Hixson’s extened footnote on the GES Crossless gospel.

If I had written a book on what is wrong with the Gospel I would have dedicated a major chapter on the teachings of GES’s Crossless/Deityless reductionist interpretation of the Gospel. My book would have been a treatise on the twin assaults on the Gospel by Lordship Salvation and the Crossless gospel. My current book tackles Lordship Salvation. Over the last two years I have complied more than enough documentation of the Crossless gospel and the biblical answers to it that I could organize a book for publication. I may one day proceed with the project.

The following is the Preface to Getting the Gospel Wrong. This will identify for readers the true vision for and primary purpose of Dr. Hixson’s book.


Vince Lombardi is widely recognized as one of the greatest football coaches of all time. On one occasion, after a particularly tough loss for his team, he gathered his players in the locker room for the usual postgame speech. In a short but poignant statement, the coach cut right to the heart of the matter. Holding up a football, Lombardi quipped, “Gentlemen, this is a football.” His point was not lost on the players: Their performance in the game that just concluded had evidenced an utter lack of competency in the very basic fundamentals of the game.

A survey of the state of American evangelicalism reveals a similar incompetency when it comes to the basics of the Christian faith—namely, the Gospel. There is a crisis regarding the nature of the gospel within evangelical theology today and very little is being done to address the issue. While most evangelicals agree that Jesus Christ is the object of saving faith, there is widespread inconsistency regarding the specific content of saving faith. What is it about Jesus Christ that one must believe in order to have eternal life? Are there certain non-negotiable truths that must be included in a gospel presentation in order for it to be considered the pure gospel? An abandonment of certainty, as well as a general disdain for absolute truth within the postmodern ideological milieu, have created fertile ground for erroneous gospel presentations—each competing for legitimacy within the evangelical church at large.

Perhaps most disturbing is the fact that each of these inherently contradictory gospels is welcomed as a legitimate pretender to the true biblical gospel and few, if any, evangelical leaders seem concerned with the transparent incongruity. This suggests at least a couple of possibilities. (1) Either various evangelical pastors, scholars and leaders are not really paying attention to what other evangelicals are saying about the gospel and thus have not noticed the incongruity; and/or (2) each evangelical pastor, scholar, or leader does not hold his or her particular view of the gospel with any degree of conviction and is thus open to embracing competing views on the matter. Either explanation does not speak well of the state of evangelicalism today.

What is needed today is a Lombardi-style critique in which pastors and evangelical leaders confidently raise their Bibles and remind the church, “This is the Gospel!” The present work examines the postmodern evangelical climate and interacts with various gospel claims. Each is evaluated based upon the standard of Scripture and a five-fold standard of the gospel is outlined. The conclusion is both unmistakable and disturbing. Certain core essentials necessary in order for any soteriological method to claim a rightful place within biblical orthodoxy are missing from the vast majority of gospel presentations in postmodern, American evangelicalism.

Necessarily, the present work examines in detail not only the content of the gospel, viz. its core essentials, but also the nature of faith itself. What precisely does it mean to believe the gospel? Is there such a thing as defective faith and if so what is it that makes it defective? These questions are fundamental to any examination of the gospel. After establishing the standard of the pure gospel and examining the nature of faith itself, several case studies are undertaken as an example of five broad types of erroneous soteriological methods prevalent in the postmodern era. These include: the purpose gospel, the puzzling gospel, the prosperity gospel, the pluralistic gospel and the performance gospel. Each of these is discussed in detail with various examples cited. The present work concludes with several suggested correctives to the problem of faulty gospel presentations. Although the widespread mishandling of the gospel within contemporary evangelicalism presents a seemingly insuperable threat to the historic Christian faith, the battle is not lost. If the body of Christ will return to the centrality of the Scripture, and the clarity of the simple gospel it proclaims, revival and true evangelistic success will reshape the evangelical landscape.

June 8, 2008

J. B. Hixson: “They Have Gone too Far.”

Dr. J. B. Hixson (Executive Director of the Free Grace Alliance) has written a new book, which appears to the right. I am looking forward to *receiving a copy which I have recently ordered from Dr. Hixson.

Numerous reviews I have read indicate this will be a very valuable resource for Christians across a broad spectrum of evangelical Christianity. It will help believers to recognize various false interpretations of the Gospel that plague our churches and fellowships today. It will furthermore aid them in their understanding, proclamation and defense of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

There is a portion of the book in which Dr. Hixson addresses the Crossless interpretation of the Gospel. This is a new reductionist interpretation of the Gospel, which was originated by Zane Hodges, and is perpetuated by the Grace Evangelical Society. I have been given permission to reprint that section of his book here at In Defense of the Gospel. Here is a sample from that section.

The view that one can believe in Jesus for eternal life without knowing that He died and rose again has been variously termed the ‘crossless gospel,’ the ‘promise-only gospel,’ the ‘contentless gospel,’ the ‘minimalist gospel,’ and the ‘refined gospel’… The present writer applauds the quest for precision in the content of saving faith by those who hold this view; yet, in a tragic example of a theological method gone awry, they have gone too far.”
On Tuesday morning I will be posting the entire section for your review and comments.


*Getting the Gospel Wrong will be available beginning June 30th. You can pre-order through Dr. Hixson’s website: Not-by-Works. I am going to provide a link once the book is available for on-line ordering.

Please proceed to “Crossless” Advocates Have Gone too Far!

June 4, 2008

The Evolution of Soteriological Reductionism

Dear Guests:

It has been my privilege to have known Dr. Lance Ketchum since 2002. He is well known in IFB circles through his ministry of Evangelism, Revival, Church Planting. He is a prolific writer on many important theological discussions.

Since the release of my book In Defense of the Gospel we have discussed some of the errors in the Lordship Salvation interpretation of the Gospel. Dr. Ketchum also shares our grave concern over the new and disturbing reductionist soteriology coming from Zane Hodges, Bob Wilkin and the Grace Evangelical Society.

Dr. Ketchum and I have communicated about the errors and dangers of REDEFINED Free Grace theology’s Crossless gospel. Dr. Ketchum has been supportive of the efforts men in the Free Grace movement have made to alert believers about the egregious errors of the Crossless gospel.

This week Dr. Ketchum took an active role in and joined the open discussion and debate over the Crossless gospel. He has posted an article, portions of which you may find helpful. Here is a sample,

“Why spend so much time on Soteriological Expansionism when the subject of this article is the Evolution of Soteriological Reductionism? The reason I do so is because God has given us a great deal of Scripture to insure that the purity of the gospel is protected. In giving these various inspired texts dealing with perversions adding to the gospel, the details and specifics of the gospel become very defined and definite.

By the late 1600’s liberal theological thought began a steady slide into Apostasy when a reductionist philosophical notion known as Pluralism came into religious circles. Pluralism is the teaching that says it really does not matter what you believe about God, as long as you believe in God or a god in some form.” (italics and bold his)
Please read The Evolution of Soteriological Reductionism for a historical perspective of how men may have come to arrive at a Crossless gospel.


June 1, 2008

Voice of the Evangelists Publishes Part 2 of What is the “Crossless” Gospel?

Dear Guests:

I appreciated it very much when the Voice of the Evangelists web site was opened. I have linked to the Voice site since its inception.

The purpose of the VOICE OF THE EVANGELISTS is to present a unified, positive voice of independent Baptist evangelists for the cause of national and international biblical evangelism and revival in the twenty-first century through passionate and Spirit-filled praying and preaching.
Members and contributors to Voice of the Evangelists include: Dr. Chuck Phelps, Dr. Ron Comfort; Evangelists Dave Barba, Morris Gleiser, Steve Pettit, Mike Manor, Dave Young, Rich Tozour, Jim & John VanGelderen, Bryan Samms and many more.

Late in 2007 Evangelist Tom Farrell asked me to prepare an article on the Crossless gospel for publishing at Voice of the Evangelists. Earlier this month Voice published the first of what is a two parts series. The series is titled, What is the “Crossless” Gospel?

This is the link to What is the “Crossless” Gospel, Part 1, which was published several weeks ago.

This afternoon Voice of the Evangelists posted part two of the series: What is the “Crossless” Gospel, Part 2.

I am especially grateful that this series will:
1) Alert believers in IFB circles to the egregious errors of Zane Hodges, Bob Wilkin and the Grace Evangelical Society (GES).

2) It will further identify GES as an isolated cell of extremists in the Free Grace community that do NOT speak for or represent the balanced theology of pastors and teachers who identify themselves with the Free Grace community.