LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Robert Wilkin's Latest Attack On The Gospel

Mark asked me to post this here...


The latest attack on the Gospel from the Robert Wilkin/Zane Hodges led Grace Evangelical Society (also known as Free Grace Theology) is found in their newest newsletter. In it, he offers a critique of The Way of The Master, a ministry of Rey Comfort and Kirk Cameron (see here) Apparently, Mr. Wilkin takes exception to, and is offended by, Christians telling non believers that they are sinners, or that they will be judged for their sins. It is an insult to the cross, Wilkin writes. In the article, Wilkin makes a number of incredible statements. One of the more audacious is this:

Jesus often never even brought up the issue of sin when He evangelized. Look at what He told Nicodemus in John 3. He never even mentioned sin there.


That is a very incredible statement that leaves one wondering if Mr. Wilkin has actually read the chapter in question.

Before going on in the text, let’s sum up Mr. Wilkin’s thinking on this: John 3 does not have anything to do with sin because sin is not mentioned there. Roman Catholics use this same type of thinking – since nowhere do you find the words “Mary sinned,” Mary was therefore Immaculately Conceived and lived a sinless life. Where does such thinking stop? We could go on: there is nowhere in scripture that mentions Nicodemus eating food, and since we do not find those words, then Nicodemus never ate. That type of thinking always leads to foolishness.

It should be quite obvious to all but those caught up in the extremism that pervades the Free Grace movement (if one would even want to call their “society” a movement) that the assertion made by Wilkin is completely ludicrous. Jesus equates His being lifted up to that of the lifting up of the bronze serpent in the wilderness in Numbers 21. Perhaps Mr. Wilkin is either a) unaware of the events of Numbers 21, or b) does not understand that the raising of the bronze serpent had to do with the judgment of God on sin. We all know the story, and how that fits with the theme of John 3. We are all under judgment due to our sin just as the ancient Israelites were under judgment, and it is to the Lord Jesus lifted up who we are to look to so that judgment on us for our sin may be removed.

Yet this is what Mr. Wilkin doesn’t understand – the very basics of God’s wonderful salvation. To him, there is nothing in the passage that speaks of sin. May God open his eyes.

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26 Comments:

Blogger mark pierson said...

Doug, thanks for this post. False paradigms is all the cross-less gospel is built on. It is hard to argue with them because they have their own standards, and judge matters from their own, misguided vantage point. As you've brought up in the post their arguments are based on ludicrous assumptions. Arguing with them is as fruitless as arguing with a JW due to the fact that, as a JW uses a different translation, they use a different system, one foreign to orthodox Christians.

August 09, 2007 6:56 AM

 
Blogger donsands said...

Sad to hear Christians say things like this.
I don't understand why.

It is impossible to share the Gospel without speaking of sin. Impossible.
As well as grace, repentnace, and faith.
Of course God opens the heart, and this heart will ask for mercy, and turn from it's wickedness, and the dark into the light and righteousness.
God does it all, begining to end. he is the author of each and every lost sheep He brings home.

This is very dangerous theology. Zane hodges believes, and a believer, can actually become an unbeliever, and therby you have an unbelieving believer.
He also believes we need not love Christ in order to be a believer.

"The scriptural revelation knows nothing of a doctrine in which Christian love for God is guaranteed by the mere fact that one is a Christian". -Zane Hodges

August 09, 2007 8:48 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Doug,
Isn't it amazing that he misses what Jesus teaches about in this passage (regeneration) and yet extrapolates meaning into a subject Jesus does not mention. The irony is if he understood the monergistic regeneration that Jesus teaches here, his veil would be lifted concerning sin.

The logic used by this sect is curious. Very curious.

August 10, 2007 8:11 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

If not saved from sin, why does a person even need Christ?

If not saved from sin, where's the good news? Where's the 'gospel'?

Perhaps Free Grace should not be called a false 'gospel' at all. If in FG one can be a 'believer' without being saved from sin, that's no gospel or good news at all.

August 10, 2007 9:25 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

If you think the lordless FGracers are confused, check out the following post at an emergent site:
How Does Jesus Say We Are Saved?
http://emergingpensees.blogspot.com/

check out their comments to the post
Doug, you may want to link to this over at the stomping ground!

August 10, 2007 10:09 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Jazzy,
Wow.
I first of all couldn't believe the post. I mean, looking up each Scripture in its own context, the premise of the post is all wrong to begin with - the question has an error in it.
Then, the varying answers. Phew! Perhaps the blog host will want you to explain your own comment (masters of deconstruction).
Thanks for pointing that out. I didn't know such blogs existed. But then again, my time is better spent on blogs that proclaim truth, not error.

August 10, 2007 10:39 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

One of the tenents of the EM church movement is what they call deconstrucion. Pyro had a good graphic of the concept a few days ago.

August 10, 2007 10:51 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Pyro's Aug 7 post, "TWO WORDS"

August 10, 2007 10:53 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

I didn't even know that :
1. the Emergent Church identified itself as such; I thought it was just a loose movement, and
2. the EC had/has tenets.... (I imagine it has many tenants ;-).

August 10, 2007 12:03 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Ouch, the girl brigade give no quarter on spelling!

August 10, 2007 4:40 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Jazz,
Ain't it da truth?

You think *we're* rough?
My mom was once an English professor. I remember having a few of my letters from college to mom returned back to me, red-lined.

August 10, 2007 4:48 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

"Isn't it amazing that he misses what Jesus teaches about in this passage (regeneration) and yet extrapolates meaning into a subject Jesus does not mention. The irony is if he understood the monergistic regeneration that Jesus teaches here, his veil would be lifted concerning sin.

The logic used by this sect is curious. Very curious."

Amen, Wayne. That was an excellent post.

August 10, 2007 8:00 PM

 
Blogger Lou Martuneac said...

All:

The positions Hodges and the GES have taken on the Gospel and repentance are completely antithetical to Scripture.

Here are some samples from Hodges:

“In recent years I (Hodges) have become aware of a way of presenting the gospel invitation that troubles me. I believe I have heard it from my earliest years, and I admit it didn't really bother me for a long time. Now it does. I have heard people say this: 'In order to be saved you must believe that Jesus died on the cross.' . . . . usually implied is the idea that Christ's work on the cross is sufficient to provide for our salvation. Thus they mean to say that we are trusting in the sufficiency of his work of atonement. Let me be honest, I don't like this way of presenting a gospel invitation.” (JOTGES 14:1, Spring 01, p. 11)

“The simple truth is that Jesus can be believed for eternal salvation apart from any detailed knowledge of what He did to provide it.” (JOTGES 14:1, Spring 01, p. 13).


The comments in the two above are how the new position with Hodges, Wilkin and the GES came to be known as the "Crossless" gospel

More:

“The whole problem we are discussing is due to a false premise. The false premise is this: repentance is necessary for eternal life.... No text in the New Testament...makes any direct connection between repentance and eternal life. No text does that. Not so much as one!” (Harmony With God

Not just "weak" repentance, it is now NO repentance.

Mark, you wrote, "False paradigms is all the cross-less gospel is built on."

You are 100% correct! You might like to know that a contributor to my site just opened a series on The False Paradigms of the “Crossless” Gospel.


LM

August 10, 2007 9:24 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Well, it makes sense to me, Lou.

August 11, 2007 5:17 AM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

Hi Matthew, If I may, what makes sense to you?

August 11, 2007 7:40 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Jazzy,
I should have also mentioned in my last comment to you that I had to look up the word (tenet) in a dictionary before typing in my comment. I wasn't sure if it had a second n or not ... :-) As far as I knew, you had spelled it correctly, but I wasn't sure.
Having an English/business professor as a mother, looking up words is just one of those things.
Good thing, cuz once I started reading Reformed blogs, I needed both a Bible in one hand and dictionary in the other.

August 11, 2007 9:31 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

The Hodges/ GES position.

August 11, 2007 11:36 AM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

"The Hodges/ GES position."

I would agree that it makes sense to you, since otherwise you wouldn't agree with it. Do you also think, along with Wilkin, that the theme of sin is not part of John chapter 3? What, would you say, is the strongest point of the Hodges/ GES position?

August 11, 2007 12:02 PM

 
Blogger Lou Martuneac said...

Matthew:

Are you saying it makes sense that a lost man who does know or believe he is a sinner; does not know or believe Christ died to pay the penalty for his sins can be born again by believing ONLY that Jesus is the Giver of eternal life?

In spite of 1 Cor. 15:3-4; Romans 10:9-10 does it makes sense that the message of the cross can be unknown to a sinner and he can still be saved?

That is the GES/Wilkin/Hodges position. Is that what makes sense to you?


LM

August 11, 2007 2:15 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Doug

'Do you also think, along with Wilkin, that the theme of sin is not part of John chapter 3?'

I cannot comment on this article, as I have not read it. I would say that sin is not explicitly dealt with in John 3, though it does appear implicitly in that text.

'What, would you say, is the strongest point of the Hodges/ GES position?'

It provides a coherent understanding of the nature of saving faith.

Lou

'That is the GES/Wilkin/Hodges position. Is that what makes sense to you?'

Yes. What of it?

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

August 11, 2007 2:45 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

"I cannot comment on this article, as I have not read it."

Hopefully they will post it online soon. Since you haven't read it, I won't ask you any further about it.

The nature of faith....hmmmm....It would seem, on the surface of things, at least, that Hodges/GES would say that faith is primarily along the lines of mental assent to a propisition, as opposed to trust (or confidence) in a person, or, in this case, in a Person. In Absolutely Free, Hodges seems to make that argument. Wilkin seems to also make that argument in his article "Beware of Confusion of Faith" I think the title is.

If faith is primarily a mental assent, what exactly would there be to say concerning the nature of a mental assent?

August 11, 2007 3:42 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

The content of that mental assent.

What exactly a person needs to believe.

August 11, 2007 5:09 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

Would you say that would be a "Who" or a "what"? Or do you divide the Who from the what? Personally, I do not divide the Who and the what. Faith, itself, though, I would say is not what saves to begin with. Just curious, though, what would lead you to hold that faith is a mental assent? Do you see it as something more?

August 11, 2007 6:38 PM

 
Blogger Solifidian said...

Gojira,

Not to interrupt your discussion with Dyspraxic, but have you read much by Reformed writer Gordon H. Clark, i.e., What Is Saving Faith?

Here's a review:

http://www.trinitylectures.org/WISF_Ampress.htm

August 13, 2007 1:25 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

Hi Solifildian,

I personally try to stay away from Gordon H. Clark and John Robbins, who is a student of Clark. Clark was a borderline hyperCalvinist who practically deified logic. To him, faith was nothing ***but*** logic applied, which is why he saw faith as nothing more than mental assent to propisitions. Now, to be sure, there is nothing wrong with creedal propisitions. For example, as soon as you say that Jesus is the Son of God, you have just said a creedal propisition. Whenever an athiest says that there is no god, he himself has just stated a creedal propisition. But to just stay with propisitions, one has to make faith into mental assent to a certain content of knowledge (and when one leaves it there, they have just stepped into gnostic thought). Mental assent does not give hope or assurance, as mental assent is often just another word for indifference. So do creedal propisitions play a large part of the Christian faith? Yes, they most certainly do. But they are propisitions about a Person one can know intimately, about a Person you express trust or confidence in (faith), about a Person one can have assurance in. But to do what Clark did, what the Trinity Foundation does in the way they articulate faith as mental assent and nothing more? That is a sure fire way to know about God without ever ***knowing*** God. And of course, Clark wedded that to high high view of logic, which of course led him into the rivers of hyperCalvinism......sad....anyway, you will find that that group does not like words like trust, or confidence for faith. For them, that is waaaaaaaaaay too much mystery ... and of course, illogical. None of this means that I think all in that group are lost or anything like that, but for me atleast, 90% of what they serve is better left alone.

August 13, 2007 5:17 PM

 
Blogger Solifidian said...

Gojira,

Thanks for the reply. I think you would enjoy Clark's book, What is Saving Faith? For Clark (if I understand him correctly), all faith is in understood propositions. For Clark, faith is knowing something and agreeing that it is true. There is not some "unexplainable" third element called trust. To "trust" or have "confidence" in a Person is to understand and agree with what that Person says. Should you read the book, I am confident that you would find his arguments quite compelling.

It would be inaccurate, in my estimation, to characterize mental assent as "indifference." As you are no doubt aware, to mentally assent to a proposition means to agree with it. Agreement is not the same as indifference.

Cordially.

August 14, 2007 10:54 AM

 

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