Monday, June 23, 2008

Strange views of a Zane Hodges free grace theology proponent

While skimming the thread of a free grace blog, I became intrigued by the comments of a person who kept quoting from Zane Hodges books as well as Scripture passages. I have noticed that people who follow this “easy believism” theology never seem to use other commentaries. I would like to throw out for discussion some of the things this person asserted in this thread. I say some because this post will not cover all of the, shall we say, unorthodox views that were presented in this thread.

He made distinctions between believers, disciples, and Christians. I will give both definitions that he gave for Christian. He said the following at various places in the thread:

1) There are believers that are not disciples of Christ.
2) There are believers that are disciples of Christ.
3) There are unbelievers that are disciples of Christ.
4) Christian definition #1: I also believe there are born again believers who are not Christians. A Christian is not just a born again believer but a baptized disciple of Christ.
5) Christian definition #2: A Christian, of course, is a person who has been born again by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ for the free gift of eternal life.

One definition of Christian requires being born again through faith and the other specifically says this is not enough because it also requires being a baptized disciple. Since discipleship may take a while in his theology, this brings up a possible long delay in administering baptism. These conflicting statements on the definition of a Christian brings up the possibility of having a view that must be forced through a Zane Hodges template, rather than having a foundation that remains the same regardless of what Scripture passage you are interpreting.

Some of his other views:
1) Christian disciples may drop out and not finish the race.
2) Only by abiding will we experience resurrection life, giving our dead bodies life and that is a choice we make moment by moment. (note: In fairness, I asked for clarification on this and still do not understand his view)
3) After being born again: Here in a nutshell we have the fundamental problem of Christian living. Every Christian inhabits a dead body. It (the body) is still infected by the deadly virus of sin, and as a result is completely unresponsive to the new life the Christian now posses.
4) Concerning the Great Commission I believe it was completed in their day, they turned the world upside down.

Any comments or thoughts?

39 comments:

mark pierson said...

This is what happens when one takes the idea of assurance, rips the biblical definition away, installs one's own definition, sets that definition upon an alter, then proceeds to worship at that alter - the alter of (man re-defined) assurance.

Lou Martuneac said...

What you have here are only the most recent examples of the extremism that the followers of Zane Hodges are adopting.

They occasionally cite other commentators, but their views are almost exclusively founded upon and reinforced by Zane Hodges. The advocates of the Zane Hodges (GES) Crossless gospel consistently thrust into or extract from the Scriptures whatever they must to force the Bible into conformity with whatever new twist of theology Hodges invents.

While I reject the Lordship Salvation interpretation of the Gospel, I am equally determined to resist the GES reduction assault on the Gospel and aberrant views such as those articulated in this article.

There appears to be no end in sight for these absurd and strange views Alvin articulates that have their origin in the teachings of Zane Hodges and Bob Wilkin.


LM

jazzycat said...

Lou,
Thanks for the visit and input. I agree with you if, by the term lordship salvation, you mean anything to do with justification. This is a blog dedicated to the true free grace of eternal life by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

If by lordship salvation you are referring to sanctification, then we part ways in that the N.T. in many places exhorts believers to be obiedient to the lordship of Christ. In fact we are told (Romans 8) that the indwelling HS which all believers have leads them if they are indeed a son of God. Certainly if one is being led, then this means he is following.

I will be by your side in denoucing lordship justification by anyone who attempts to add merit to their justification by their deeds of sanctification.

Danny said...

Hi Jazzy,

This comment is unrelated to this post, but I saw the interaction over 2 Peter 2:18-22 at Jim's blog and posted a reply, before realizing the post was made in early June. I'm not here to argue. I just thought I'd clarify on the proper FG view of 2 Peter 2:21 in particular, because no one presented the proper FG view of that verse. So I'll post my comment here too. Thanks!

Hi Jazzy,

I understand your confusion on the FG view of 2 Peter 2:21, so I'll go ahead and explain it. To start, Peter is NOT saying that it would have been better for them to remain unsaved, than to become saved and go back to carnality. Let me explain. There are essentially 3 states in 2 Peter 2:18-22.

1. Believe in Jesus, but have not yet escaped the pollutions of the world.

2. Growth time - new believer escapes the pollutions of the world.

3. Reversion state - After maturing, the believer falls back into a state of carnality because of the unsaved false teachers of 2 Peter 2:1-17.

With these 3 states in mind, Peter is saying it would have been better for the dupes to remain carnal/baby Christians (state 1), rather than grow (state 2) and then revert back to carnality (state 3). The shame at the Judgment Seat and loss of reward will be much worse for those Christians who actually escaped the pollutions of the world and returned to them than it will be for those who never grew. I know you're going to reject the view, but I just thought I'd clarify. Essentially, the way of righteousness in 2 Peter 2:21 refers to post-eternal life discipleship, not to saving faith. It would have been better to remain a carnal Christian than to experience post-salvation freedom FROM sin only to return to sin. Tell me if this helps clarify the issue.

jazzycat said...

Danny,
Thanks for bringing that here. Yes, that clarifies your view.

I would like to ask the following question if I could: (You have stated that the false teachers in this passage are unsaved.) If the carnal Christians of this passage also started teaching and preaching what they had learned from the false teachers would they be saved or would it be that they had never been saved in the first place, but were merely false professors that were never regenerated or indwelt by the Holy Spirit? As we know many people profess Christ for a while and escape the defilements of the world only to return to the world and it's defilements.

Some are even former pastors as the fellow who started the debunking Christianity blog. This is a real situation and a real person. Would this fellow be saved if he debunks Christianity for the remainder of his life or would he have really just been an unsaved false professor of Christ?

Lou Martuneac said...

Jazzy:

I am all for expecting the genuinely born again Christian to live (at varying degrees) in obedience to the Lord’s commands. However, I also understand from the Scriptures the inevitable existence of “carnal” believers/Christians that we will always have in the church.

As for “Lordship Justification,” I would need more detail on exactly what you mean by definition of that term to comment on it specifically. I will, however, say this much: I reject any theology that suggests “commitment, surrender or submission” to the “good works” (Eph. 2:10) and/or obedience expected of a born again disciple of Christ is necessary from a lost man for justification (the reception of eternal life).

This week I posted a review of John MacArthur’s newest and third edition of The Gospel According to Jesus. There is the link for your consideration. In my brief review I expand on some of the notes I shared in this comment.

It might interest you to know that after the initial storm my book raised among men who were sympathetic to MacArthur’s LS interpretation of the Gospel I have received a number of calls and e-mails from men in the Reformed camp. Many of these conceded they had initially misjudged my arguments and have come to find that I was much more right on LS then they had at first given me credit for. They took the time to read my book, mediate on my arguments from the standpoint of Scripture.

My revised and expanded edition will build upon the good foundation the original established.

Kind regards,


LM

GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

I think that this movement, as articulated by the proponent here, will produce even more weird interpretations of Scripture as time progresses. It certainly would be helpful to their cause if some of the Fger's in his camp within the FG movementwho frequent these pages could put clear blue water between themselves and these comments.

Regards,

mark pierson said...

Colin says, "It certainly would be helpful to their cause if some of the Fger's in his camp within the FG movementwho frequent these pages could put clear blue water between themselves and these comments."

Colin, not gonna happen. I've noticed the rabid hatred the GES has for "perseverance theology" (Calvinism). The most bombastic proponant of the GES position in the blogsphere provides these people that you wish to see distance themselves from this "stuff" a certain safe-haven from the clear and obvious teachings of the Bible concerning the DoG.

Lou Martuneac said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jazzycat said...

Lou,
You said.....
As for “Lordship Justification,” I would need more detail on exactly what you mean by definition of that term to comment on it specifically. I will, however, say this much: I reject any theology that suggests “commitment, surrender or submission” to the “good works” (Eph. 2:10) and/or obedience expected of a born again disciple of Christ is necessary from a lost man for justification (the reception of eternal life).

I agree. Justification is by faith alone.

jazzycat said...

Lou,
You said....
However, I also understand from the Scriptures the inevitable existence of “carnal” believers/Christians that we will always have in the church.

Do you consider 100% of regular church goers to be true Christians?

Lou Martuneac said...

You asked, “Do you consider 100% of regular church goers to be true Christians?”

I suspect we can find “church-goers” in most every evangelical church who were never born again. As far as I am concerned the more unsaved “church-goers” attending Bible-believing churches the better. This way they will be under the preaching of God’s Word.

That will most certainly result in some of them being saved, unless of course they are subjected to the Lordship or Crossless gospel.


LM

Lou Martuneac said...

Jazzy:

You wrote, “I agree. Justification is by faith alone.

I’m glad to read that because then there is no way you can agree with the error of John MacArthur’s LS gospel.

For example he wrote, “Forsaking oneself for Christ’s sake is not an optional step of discipleship subsequent to conversion; it is the sine qua non of saving faith.” (TGATJ)

Sine qua non defined means: an indispensable condition. Dr. MacArthur says “forsaking oneself for Christ’s sake” is not subsequent to, does not follow conversion. Therefore, the “sine qua non” (indispensable condition) of saving faith is “forsaking.” Dr. MacArthur requires an upfront commitment to this for salvation.

He also wrote, “That is the kind of response the Lord Jesus called for: wholehearted commitment. A desire for him at any cost. Unconditional surrender. A full exchange of self for the Savior. It is the only response that will open the gates of the kingdom.” (TGATJ)

Lordship Salvation frontloads faith with conditions for salvation that the Bible does not force on the lost.

MacArthur’s LS is a non-saving, works based message that calls on man to offer “commitment,” “surrender” and “forsaking” in “exchange” for salvation.

Again, I am very pleased to read that you have not bought into this erroneous teaching.


LM

donsands said...

"MacArthur’s LS is a non-saving, works based message that calls on man to offer “commitment,” “surrender” and “forsaking” in “exchange” for salvation."

"Then He [Jesus] said to them, " ... repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations" Luke 24:46-47

Repentance is to be preached, no doubt about it.
It's a strong Greek word I believe. It surely includes committing oneself, godly sorrow, turning from idols, and forsaking our sinful desires.

" .. I [Paul] ...declared .. to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance." Acts 26:20

Lou, it seems very, very simple to me. God demands this. God grants the grace. Amen.

Danny said...

Hey Jazzy! Good questions. I'll answer both parts, so this post may be a little long, but please bare with me. To start it, yes, because I believe that those who are duped in 2 Peter 2:18-22 are believers, in contradistinction to the unsaved false teachers of v. 1-17, I would say that if the dupes started teaching what they learned from the false teachers, they would obviously still be saved. If the dupes got into preaching ministry, then they would be *saved* false teachers. I think the key is in verse 18 where Peter tells us that the false teachers would dupe those who had actually escaped the pollutions of the world, which as I stated before, refers to post-eternal life discipleship, going beyond saving faith. Verse 20 also applies to the dupes, since the same word for "knowledge" refers to believers at the beginning of epistle (1:2,3,5,6).

The false teachers of 2 Peter 2, in conjunction with the Book of Jude, had obviously come from the outside, and hadn't actually believed the Gospel. They probably articulated the clear Gospel in order to infiltrate the church, but they didn't actually believe the Gospel. They turn the grace of God into licentiousness, but they don't actually believe the message of God's grace as found in Jesus and His Finished Work. They said they did to get a pass into the church and wreck havoc on believers. And some believers fell for it. The only difference is that these dupes had believed the Gospel in its simplicity, whereas the false teachers did not. Because I'm FG, I'm sure you know that what marks the unsaved false teachers as unsaved was not their lifestyle, but the fact they didn't even believe the Gospel in all its simplicity. They understood it, rejected it, but said they believed it in order to get into and ruin the Church. The other possibility is that they didn't even articulate a clear Gospel. We know that some believers in the NT, especially those in 1 John, were allowing Gnostics, some of whom clearly denied even having a sin nature, into the church without a problem. We know that works-salvation Judaizers infiltrated the Galatian church, and it seems the Galatian church fell for it right away!

But as you know Jazzy, 2 Peter 2 has been a doozy for most of Christendom. The historic view has always been the Catholic and Arminian view that the false teachers themselves were saved and then lost again. The problem has always been in 2 Peter 2:1 where we are told that the Lord had "bought" the false teachers. The only two explanations that make sense to me are:

1. the unlimited atonement view (bought doesn't mean saved)

2.)Calvinist view that the Lord had bought ( = saved) the church that the false teachers were part of, and not the false teachers themselves.

I obviously believe in unlimited atonement, but even I think that view #2 makes sense and may be the right view. This view is compatible with unlimited atonement in my opinion - all are savable, bought only those who believe are bought, and bought in this verse refers to the believing church, not to the false teachers who infiltrate it.

As a quick note, there are Free Gracers like Thomas Constable who agree that the dupes in 2 Peter 2:18 are saved, but that verses 19-22 refer to the unsaved false teachers - these Free Gracers believe that knowledge of the Lord and Savior refers to the false teachers, and is nothing more than knowing about Jesus without actually having believed in Him for eternal life.

To sum up, I think Peter assumes that the dupes of 2 Peter 2:18-22 have actually been washed, and that the phrase knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ applies to believers who have matured, since Peter uses the word "knowledge" throughout the epistle solely of believers, and mature ones at that. But here's where we get to the second part of your question. I apologize for the length. This next part will open up the discussion on ex-Christians.

Today, in the 21st century, we're having a serious problem articulating the Gospel proclaimed by Jesus, Peter and Paul. The commands to believe in the NT have been replaced with phrases like "Give your life to Jesus", "Put Jesus on the throne of your life" and so on and so on. Plenty of Non-FG presentations are actually crossless. So many times I see Arminian preachers who don't actually intelligently tell people about Jesus' Death and Resurrection. They actually just tell people to repeat a prayer, and then the people repeat the prayer where they are telling Jesus that they believe He is the Son of God and so on, but the preacher didn't even explain those things! He actually assumes that people are going to believe those things as they go on in prayer. Great mogley ogley! And prayers don't save. Just articulate Jesus' Finished Work and the free gift of eternal life that it brings, and answer all the questions you can.

That's the thing. There's plenty of Non-FG people who will neither preach Jesus' Finished Work nor the free gift of eternal life. They'll make passing mention of Jesus' Death/Resurrection, and then go on to have people dedicate their hearts and service to Jesus in some contrived prayer. So, in light of all this, I'm sure that many atheists who consider themselves ex-Christians were never saved in the first place - Not because they are now atheists, but because they probably didn't hear or believe a clear Gospel about Jesus' Finished Work and the eternal security it brings - thanks to 21st-century biblical confusion.

However, if any of them did happen to believe the message as stated by Jesus and Paul, and are now atheists, of course I would say they are saved. But again, it's so hard to find people who actually heard or understood a clear Gospel.

I also think the phenomenon of atheism wasn't so prevalent in 1st century Palestine. Believers in the NT period who forsook faith in Jesus probably still believed that the God of Israel was One - they just rejected Jesus. Or perhaps they believed that Jesus was still fully Divine, but forsook the faith by believing Jesus would save them by their works. We're now living in the post-enlightenment period where atheism reigns. But I must say, no Free Gracer is satisfied with such people. All is not well for those atheists who once believed in Jesus. Real Christians who become atheists are not the only ones who fall from faith. Like I said before, the people in the NT who stopped believing did not become atheists - they either rejected all orthodox knowledge of Jesus or they held on to most of the orthodox points but rejected salvation by faith alone. Some added works to the mix ala Galatians. Atheism is a newer problem.

Getting off topic a bit, I've noticed that atheists love to say that Chrisianity is nothing more than indoctrination. We can easily fire back that teaching humanism or atheism is also a form of indoctrination.

mark pierson said...

Lou,
Question #1- Did Mark 8:34-38 happen in an evangelistic setting or no?

#2 - On a timeline stretching from the Reformation; where on that timeline did your views originate?

#3 - Could a holder of Covenant Theology or New Covenant Theology, using their hermeneutic, arrive at your conclussions, conclussions wherein MacArthur's TGATJ is a works salvation, or "front-loaded" as you say?

Please answer my questions carefully. I believe that you are holding MacArthur's work up to a standard that was born in and of a certain strand of dispensational thought - Chafer, Ryrie - and hope you'll understand that if that is the case, you views would be regarded as irrelevant to those of us outside of Dispensationalism.

jazzycat said...

Danny,
Thanks for your response. Since we at True Free Grace believe in justification by faith alone, we certainly have no argument on that point. I am glad to see you advocate a clear and complete explanation of the gospel without fearing too much (true) information. I think our difference is most pronounced in the area of false professors of Christ, and lordship sanctification. I believe there are false professors who end up denying Christ and were never really saved to begin with. I also believe Christ sanctifies those he saves. This does not mean perfection but it does mean victory over sin.

The site of atheists I referred to is actually a group blog of 13 former pastors who have left the Christian faith (their words). I would be interested in your checking it out and giving your thoughts as this is a real case rather than a hypothetical. The blog title is debunking Christianity. In discussing their eternal status let us assume (fairly safely) that they will remain atheists the rest of their lives.

I would also like to see how they would react to the news that they are still saved (in your view) if you wouldn't mind leaving such a comment. I don't mean that jokingly, as I have seen atheists say some strange things such as fighting God with a passion even if they found out by direct proof that He exists.

I will be gone for about three days so I may not have a chance to respond any further before Sunday.

jazzycat said...

Mark left a post at Bluecollar that had the following statement by Spurgeon:

We must teach plainly that the faith which saves the soul is not a dead faith, but a faith which operates with purifying effect upon our entire nature, and produces in us fruits of righteousness to the praise and glory of God.

Great point to the so called lordshop debate. True free grace is power from God. It saves with power by giving the gifts of faith and repentance. This is truly free. Saved by faith alone that is wrought by God with power. This power continues after justification and adoption as Romans 8 makes clear. I have not read the MacArthur books, but I think this one sentence by Spurgeon sums up what regeneration produces in believers.

There is not a crossless gospel and there is not a powerless gospel. Did I mention POWER?

Lou Martuneac said...

Mark:

I may come back later with more, but I am at work and very busy at this time. You might find me more receptive to addressing your questions if you asked in a less militant tone. Furthermore, why not interact with the statements I posted from JM?

I bring no presuppositions of any kind into my reading of MacArthur’s Lordship Salvation. I am holding MacArthur’s soteriology up and comparing it to the eternal Word of God. His LS view simply fails the test of Scripture.

His call for the lost man to make a “commitment” to the “good works” expected of a mature Christian is a false, works based, non-saving message.


LM

mark pierson said...

No sir, he merely considers ALL of the information from all 4 gospels when he considers what a gospel presentation should include. Even Ryrie lightly hints at the idea that the Gospel of John is THE book to look at for evangelistic purposes - a "Dallas Doctrine" distinctive???

I shall awaite your responses to ALL of my questions from the previous comment I left to you.

I'm off to my second shift job shortly.

Lou Martuneac said...

Mark:

It does not matter how MacArthur arrives at his LS interpretation of the Gospel. His statements articulate very clearly what is a false, works based message.


LM

Lou Martuneac said...

Like Jazzy wrote to me earlier in the thread, "I agree with you if, by the term lordship salvation, you mean anything to do with justification. This is a blog dedicated to the true free grace of eternal life by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone."

MacArthur teaches (which I have documented) faith, plus "commitment" of life in "exchange" for the reception of eternal life.


LM

mark pierson said...

I am sure your book does/will resonate with those who hold to "Ryrian Theology". But those of us who hold to the Biblical view of regeneration - that being that the regeneration experience ALWAYS results in conversion, a new creation with a new nature, with new desires - will see your book as simply one side firing on another side within Dispensationalism.

Unfortunate for you that your system does not let you interpret passages like Mark 8:34-38 properly, that is that that passage is indeed taking place in an evagelistic setting. Many people in that passage were hearing Christ for the very first time. Why didn't Christ run after the departing rich young ruler?

mark pierson said...

I was distracted while writing the above comment. The rich young ruler question should have been in an new paragraph.

mark pierson said...

Besides all of this B.B. Warfield took apart Chafer's "Ye which Are Spiritual" within two years of its publication. That whole idea of a state of carnal Christianity was popularized in that work by Chafer and was soundly refuted by Warfield and many others since then. Even other dispy's would not agree with Chafer's views there.

mark pierson said...

I have taken this conversation over to Bluecollar blog.

Lou Martuneac said...

Mark:

Charlie Bing’s dissertation, which MacArthur is familiar with, thoroughly refutes Lordship Salvation at every level. Lordship Salvation: A Biblical Evaluation & Response contains a discussion of Mark 8, which you questioned. The section on Mark 8 and its parallels in Matt. 16 and Luke 9 is on pp. 131-140.

Here are a few thoughts on Bing’s discussion of Mark 8 (provided by a close associate of Dr. Bing) for your consideration.

1) The cross that is mentioned in the passage is clearly not Christ’s cross, but our own. So what they’re really saying is that the work done by Christ on His cross PLUS our cross = salvation. That screams WORKS!

2) The parallel in Matt. 16:27 makes it very clear that the issue in the saving of one’s life is receiving a “reward” based on one’s “works.”

3) Thus in this context, the saving of the “life” is referring to one’s post-regeneration life not being wasted but having eternal significance in terms of eschatological reward and position of service for Christ in eternity.

4) One point that is often missed with this passage is that, not only in Mark 8, but also in Matt. 16 and Luke 9, the Lord’s instruction on carrying our cross is and not denying Him is immediately preceded in context by Peter’s confession of faith and subsequent denial that Jesus should go to Jerusalem and die, followed by Christ’s famous “Get thee behind Me Satan” statement. This means that the Lord was looking prospectively to the disciples’ future denial of Him when the Shepherd was struck and the 11 were scattered at Calvary. In other words, they DID deny Him and were ashamed of Him . . . for a while. It is possible for genuine believers to deny Him and not take up their crosses.

5) Luke 9:23 adds in some texts the word “daily” to the admonition to carry our cross. Does this mean that in order to get to heaven we must do something every day? Even many perseverance advocates wouldn’t go that far.

6) The Luke 14 parallel talks about “counting the cost” --the exact opposite of “free” salvation (Rom. 3:24; Rev. 22:17).

7) In Matt. 16:24, Mark 8:34 and Luke 9:23, Christ prefaces His comments by saying “if anyone desires to come AFTER (opiso) Me. . .

Eternal life, justification, forgiveness, salvation, etc. is never predicated in any other passage of Scripture in “coming after” Christ but in “coming to” Christ, ie, by faith (Matt. 11:28; John 6:35, 37). In Luke 14:26, there are two conditions/descriptions stated, “coming to” Christ (all who are born again) and following “after” Christ (for obedient discipleship).

8) Mark 8 and the other parallel passages all talk about the possibility of being ashamed before Christ at His coming. This is a distinct possibility for genuine but carnal and sleeping believers! (1 John 2:28; 1 Thess. 5:4-10; Rom 13:11-14).


If you have any reaction- focus on the theological views of Lordship Salvation advocates such as John MacArthur that are under scrutiny.


LM

Lou Martuneac said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mark pierson said...

Later today I shal print out here Ryrie's comments on Mark 8:34-38 from his study bible. Then we'll see just how far off Bing is in his theology when compared to Ryrie.

mark pierson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mark pierson said...

From the RYRIE STUDY BIBLE, page 1499, notes on Mark 8:35 -

>The verse means this: Whoever would save his life (by renouncing the gospel and thus avoiding the risk of martyrdom) will lose it (eternally, because he has not believed the gospel);but whoever is willing to lose his life (as a martyr for Christ) will save it (i.e., will prove that he is a follower of Christ and an heir of eternal life).<

There, now let us compare Bing and Ryrie. Which is more in keeping with the historic interpretaion of these verses?

mark pierson said...

"1) The cross that is mentioned in the passage is clearly not Christ’s cross, but our own. So what they’re really saying is that the work done by Christ on His cross PLUS our cross = salvation. That screams WORKS!"

Please let us go on to remember the fact that MacArthur is examining what is authentic faith in TGATJ. What does authentic faith look like? If I am working out in the yard, and become hungry, and I hear my wife call out that dinner is on the table, how will the fact that I believe her statement manifest itself - here knowing that what she has prepared will fill my hungary stomach? It will manifest itself in my running to get to the table. So it is when a person believes Christ to be his only hope of salvation. That faith will manifest itself in becoming a follower. Christ is calling for THAT kind of faith in Him.

jazzycat said...

Mark,
Great analogy. James also talks about the importance of authentic faith in James 2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? This rhetorical question makes it clear that a claimed faith does not save.

The point is that justification is by faith alone and a truly authentic born again believer is led by the Spirit to willingly follow Jesus Christ as a disciple. True free grace not only saves, but it also sanctifies. Jesus did not say, “most of my sheep follow me.” No, he said, “My sheep know my voice and follow me.” This is certainly not perfect as even Peter denied Jesus for a short very short period and immediately was convicted, repented, and again became a devoted disciple.

Lou Martuneac said...

Mark:

I seem to recall posting this in your thread previously, maybe I’m mistaken. In any event, here is how I wanted to reply to your comment above.

We are discussing the “Gospel.” MacArthur is writing LS books on what he believes is the saving message of the Gospel.

There certainly should be genuine results of genuine, authentic saving faith in Jesus Christ, but what is the faith that saves?

If MacArthur were ONLY teaching what should be the results of salvation, what should look like the new life in Christ following a genuine conversion, he would be much closer to a balanced biblical position.

What we must remember, however, and that which is obvious to any objective reader, is that MacArthur, especially in all three editions of TGATJ, is teaching that the lost must make an upfront commitment of submission to perform the “good works” (Eph. 2:10) expected of a genuinely born again Christian. That does indeed scream, “WORKS!”



This is what must be remembered, because LS is a non-saving message, being portrayed as though a lost man’s commitment to future performance is the way to receive the gift of eternal life.


LM

mark pierson said...

No, what screams "works" is yours and Bing's straw man and the amazing gymnastics display that you and he put on in your way of interpreting Mark 8:34-35. As I have provided even Ryrie is more "traditional" in his handling of that portion of scripture. That makes you and Bing to be in left field some place.

mark pierson said...

These exchanges plus those that I remember that took place at Pulpit Magazine back in November, 2006, where the staff there did a very good job in trying to correct your mischaracterization of MacArthur's position, make me wonder if you are any more honorable than a certain other fg proponent.

jazzycat said...

Lou,
You said…………
There certainly should be genuine results of genuine, authentic saving faith in Jesus Christ, but what is the faith that saves?

I think my difference with you comes down to this one word, “should”. Change it to “will” and we are on the same page as we agree that saving faith is a free gift of God. TRUE FREE GRACE is a work of God through regeneration and the indwelling Holy Spirit that gives spiritual life to a spiritually dead sinner. When there is no spiritual life given by God, then you see exactly what you see in the comment of the atheist and former pastor, John Loftus, in the June 30 post here. Just as a crossless gospel doesn't save, neither does a powerless gospel and Mr. Loftus is an example.

Jonathan Perreault said...

Jazzycat:

You may be interested to know that I have been writing a series responding to another "strange view" from the reductionists. This series of articles in defense of the Gospel is called "The Tragedy of the Groundless Gospel".

You can read the various articles using the links below:

The Tragedy of the Groundless Gospel, Pt. 1 (Introduction, The Glorious Gospel Delivered, The Groundless Gospel Deficient)

The Tragedy of the Groundless Gospel, Pt. 2 (The Groundless Gospel Disproved, I. Christ's Burial Prophesied in the Old Testament)

The Tragedy of the Groundless Gospel, Pt. 3 (II. Christ's Burial Part of the Gospel, The Context of the Glorious Gospel in 1 Corinthians 15, The Centrality of the Glorious Gospel in 1 Corinthians 15)

The Tragedy of the Groundless Gospel, Pt. 4 (The Content of the Glorious Gospel in 1 Corinthians 15)

Jonathan Perreault
General Editor, FGFS

jazzycat said...

Jonathan,
Thanks for the visit and I will give these posts a look very soon....