Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Proposal for the Free Grace Camp

The recent post on the death of Zane Hodges brought a firestorm of replies in the comment thread. Honestly, I don't have the time to engage in lengthy debates on threads and I find it difficult to track all of the responses.

I do think it's important to lay out point by point the main issues when it comes to the Free Grace camp's position(s) on the nature of saving faith. I'm grateful for all of the feedback on the Hodges thread because I've learned how marked the differences are between men like Charles Ryrie and Zane Hodges (and his false prophet, Bob Wilkin). I'm glad to see that men like Lou Martenac recognize Hodges' gospel as a "Crossless" gospel. However, Lou, I think that the position that the majority of the Free Grace camp holds is simply the doctrine of Free Grace drawn to its logical conclusion. I'm sure you disagree with me, but I hope to prove this statement over the weeks ahead.

So, the proposal is this: over the next five or six weeks (at least), I am going to post a series of posts here which will address the teachings of the Free Grace camp point by point. This will give all of us one issue to respond to at a time. If y'all want to debate what I write (and I hope you do) go for it. All I ask is that if you choose to respond to the posts, please limit your discussion to the points discussed in the original post. For example, if it's about the true definition of repentance, please limit your responses to that issue. If you want to say something about the definition of faith, please wait until the post on faith comes up before going there. This will help keep things focused.

I hope you will join us for this important discussion. The Free Grace\Lordship debate was not resolved in the 1980's and I'm not foolish enough to think that this will resolve it now. But we're talking about the Gospel and in this day of doctrinal error the Gospel needs to be clarified, as evidenced by some of the responses to the Hodges post.


Trevor said...

Looking forward to the discussions. All sides need to be heard and I know that was the case with the comments to your last post.


gereja said...

Hi John, just for a clarification. Are you going to do a exegetical criticism of the writtings of Bob Wilkins and Zane Hodges? Or are you going to skip exegesis and only deal with cut and paste quotations? I would like to see point by point exegetical refutation of the Free grace main points. As I read free grace website, especially their journals it seems very difficult to answer these by means of exegetical refutation. I hope you all who are experts can mount up a heap of exegetical refutations that would bury the so called "crossless gospel." I see that labeling does not automatically proof it is denying the cross and still does not proof the contrary position. I can't wait to read your point by point refutation.


Jon Speed said...


Generally, I think it's best to exegete Scripture and not man's words.

My goal is simply to take what they have written, in context, and compare it with what the Scripture says, in context. The majority of my posts will come directly from several weeks of study that I did on what Zane Hodges and Charles Ryrie have written on the doctrine of salvation.

I plan on doing the first post in the series next week. I'm taking this week off for Christmas.



My Emails to: said...

Roby, do you read any books on the subject? Zane, Bob, Lewis Sperry Chafer et., al., were buried by three books alone, "The Gospel According to Jesus", The Gospel According to the Apostles" and "The Bible". There are numerous other books that buried the errors of Non-Lordship advocates. This issue is resurected by Non-Lordship "pastors" who when shaking your hand do it with a limp wrist because they don't want to offend you. These pastors also don't have real teeth, they voluntarily removed them so they would never be accused of putting teethe into the Gospel. These pastors are so feminized, that like cancer it softens their male reproductive glands to ensure their offspring offer cafe mocha's instead of the "Rock" of the Gospel. The flock is being taught to "feel" for the sinner, or to gain the sinners confidence to "beg" them into the church walls for the after glow Late, bagles, and a drawing for free movie ticket with an "R" rating.
Remove hell, wrath, sin, and you can't even find your way to the Cross. Add God loves you, Jesus loves you, and don't worry about the cussing, the adultery, lying, coveting, blasphemy, and it will be impossible to know how corrupt your life really is. God does not have a wonderfull plan for your life, He has a wonderfull plan for His life to be glorified by His justified sinners.
Roby, where will you find me?
At the edge of hell, punching people so hard in the spiritual gut so that they won't take another step until I proclaim the Gospel to them. That's Lordship Salvation!

tony said...

My Email, I have not read those books. How would you bury Hodges, Chafer, etc. I believe they are part of Dallas Theological Seminary? I heard that it is the best seminary in the world? You must be an expert. I will find and read Hodges today. Please delineate some of your "rock[s]".

Thank you

Jason S. said...

Imagine for a moment if Christ followed the easy believism mantra. HE could tell us all he loved us but yet he did not need to obey Gods law because an action of Love is not needed just a profession. He could could say I love you but yet dying on a cross for you sounds to much like faith/works.He could say even though Iam the one who grants repentence because I love you you get to make up the definittion because thats how much I want to see you up here with me.He could say even though my love for you causes no desire in you for worshipping me at least you did not want to go to hell and I come in a close second.

twalls2 said...

Jason S.,

I don’t think any non-Lordship writers are saying that anyone shouldn’t obey Gods law. They are only saying that one doesn’t have to obey Gods laws to be saved, other than to obey the command to believe. All that I have read always explain the importance for a Christian to obey Gods laws out of the gratitude for what He has done for them, and that gratitude is the best motivator for obedience. Also they teach that obeying the Lord is the only way a Christian can fully experience God’s Love and the peace, joy and contentment that He gives you when you are walking close to Him. And they explain that the Lord disciplines His children and they give many more reasons for obeying the Lord. I’ve never seen where one has encouraged anyone not to obey the Lord, not even once.

You guys call our belief easy believism like that’s a bad thing. I think the Lord made it very easy for us to be saved. It’s very easy for us but it wasn’t easy for Him. It was very hard and very costly for Him and nothing we could ever say or do could change that. If you think that easy believism is wrong then you must believe in some form of hard believism, and if there’s something that we must do that’s hard, for us to be saved then you are introducing some form of works. If it’s not easy then it requires some kind of effort that’s not easy from me which would have to be some kind of works, period. There’s no way around that fact.

Jon Speed said...


Your argument is a straw man. Focusing on the lingo for the sake of shooting down an argument is just dirty pool.

Now here is what the Free Grace camp cannot get by: what does 1 John 3:9 mean? How about Titus 2:11-12? And how does your interpretation of these verses square with your teaching on the so-called "carnal Christian"?