Not Arguing from Silence, Johnny Cash
The Hodges/Wilkin Free Grace position is that John left repentance out of the offer of eternal life.
But, hey, the devout and intelligent Christians who disagree with our premises have also rejected this one! They say it is an argument from silence.
There are two ways to teach people how to do something. You can teach what to do and you can teach what not to do. John does the former. He teaches his main audience, both unbelieving Jews and unbelieving Gentiles, those miracles and words of Christ they need to understand in order to believe in Christ and receive eternal life.
He also shows that receiving eternal life has a purpose, and that is to know the Father richly through an abiding that only comes through obedience.
But he never routes that obedience back through the offer of eternal life. He insists that eternal life comes from believing that Jesus is the One Who raises on the last day all that the Father has given Him.
Another clarification is that the good news is not summed up by its doorway. The Gospel may be understood as everything good for us coming out of the atonement and the resurrection, but the entry door is not 'everything'. The doorway is simply receiving the gift of eternal life. The rooms it leads to are both difficult and rewarding and are accessed by faith and works. The righteous shall live by faith.
If you can see there is a difference between receiving the gift of eternal life and following the Lord in a discipleship relationship there is zero tension between the other NT writers and John. There is no synoptic problem, or better, there is no synoptic tension with John.
All men are obliged to repent. God's wrath is being revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness. All men are called to change course and obey Christ. He is the judge, obey Him.
So with this said I turn again, and whether to Zane Hodges' understanding of John’s silence on repentance is an argument from silence.
Goofy But Important Johnny Cash Hypothetical
Let's say Johnny Cash had once published an article called, 'My Five Favorite Christian Songs'. Now let's say that the songs were all Gospel Songs and Traditional Hymns.
Let's say that someone we'll call Christian #1 reads it and says that this article shows that Cash thought Alternative Christian Rock was of the devil.
Then Christian #2 says the article shows Alt Christian songs weren't among Johnny Cash's top favorites of Christian songs.
Can’t you see how Christian #1 is arguing from silence but Christian #2 isn't??
The difference is that Christian #2 noticed and respected the parameters set down by Cash himself, while Christian #1 made up his own parameters!
In his Gospel, John tells us his parameters more clearly than probably any other NT writer.
He was a disciple of John the Baptist who kept mum on repentance, not to branch out from the other disciples' teaching, but to teach the agreed upon apostolic teaching just as all the Apostles were doing.
Repentance is a NT message that is diluted by making it into a silent partner to belief. The Grace position allows repentance to have the impact it was meant to have.
Where John discusses discipleship it is in perfect rapport with Luke and the other NT writers.
John’s Gospel is comprehensively authoritative on how to receive eternal life because John explicitly claims to be writing for that purpose and no other NT writer makes a similar claim to that topic.
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:30, 31)