[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Lou Martuneac's Misrepresentations of Zane Hodges and Misunderstandings of Free Grace Theology

by Antonio da Rosa

Lou Martuneac has written a critical piece about Zane Hodges on his blog. Please read this very short article before continuing with this rejoinder to him.

Here is the link:

Teachings of Zane Hodges


Lou,

Have you ever read one of Zane Hodges books?

You refer to three of them in your article and I guess, therefore, in your book. Have you read those three from cover to cover?

Have you read Zane's book on repentance? It is called "Harmony with God: A Fresh Look at Repentance"

You write:
----------
Hodges contends that repentance is merely a mental acknowledgement, and not necessarily a change of mind.
----------
Do you back this up with substantiation, with a quote from Zane?

Zane Hodges understands repentance to be a change of mind concerning sin that should be expressed in a turning from sin and the production of works in line with that repentance.

You bring James 2 up. Have you done any exegetical work there? James 2 says anything but "good works are an inevitable result of true saving faith." James 2 is an exhortation to SAVED PEOPLE to be careful to add works to their faith.

Lou, you write:
----------
Hodges also leads one to believe that saving faith is mere mental assent to the facts about Christ
----------
Please refer us to any works from Zane Hodges that would substantiate this baseless claim about his theology.

You are taking your understanding of Zane Hodges from the footnotes of John MacArthur's "The Gospel According to Jesus"!!!

Zane has never taught that saving faith is "mere mental assent to the facts about Christ".

Zane Hodges teaches that saving faith is 100% entrusting one's eternal destiny to the Lord Jesus Christ. Zane teaches that saving faith is complete confidence in the ability of Christ to impart eternal life to the believer. Zane Hodges teaches that saving faith is certainty in the promises of Jesus Christ as expressed in passages such as John 3:16; 5:24; 6:35-40, 47; 11:25-26, etc.

Lou, you write:
----------
[Zane teaches] that a man can be saved and never reveal any fruit.
----------
Let's represent Zane fairly. Here is Zane in Zane's own words.

Zane Hodges writes:
"Of course, there is every reason to believe that there will be good works in the life of each believer in Christ. The idea that one may believe in Him and live for years totally unaffected by the amazing miracle of regeneration, or by the instruction and/or discipline of God his heavenly Father, is a fantastic notion—even bizarre. We reject it categorically." (Zane Hodges: We Believe in Assurance Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society) (Emphasis mine).

Zane further writes:

"Finally, we must add that there is no need to quarrel with the Reformers' view that where there is justifying faith, works will undoubtedly exist too. This is a reasonable assumption for any Christian unless he has been converted on his death bed!" (Absolutely Free, pg 215).

Lou, you say that you do not like the label "no-lordship" or "cheap grace". I would wager that you do not use those labels for yourself. Have you ever heard Zane Hodges use the designation "mental assent only" in reference to his theology? It is a pejorative term and would not be a designation he would choose to use. He uses the term "Free Grace Theology". Please refrain from perpetuating myths concerning Free Grace theology.

You next refer to Zane as "Dr. Zane Hodges". This makes me wonder about you, Lou. You are willing to stick your neck out and critique this man, but you do not know that he does not hold a doctorate. Have you read any of his books from front to back?

I get the impression from many different considerations, that you do not know that which you attack. You are not careful to represent Zane as you claim to represent John MacArthur. You ought to get your stuff down before you engage in this type of criticism that will now go into a book.

Let me ask you a question.


Let us say that Srinivas has no knowledge of Jesus WHATSOEVER. He lives in INDIA and has never heard the name of Jesus before.

Someone gives him the gospel of John. As he reads the gospel of John, he starts to read about Jesus. When he gets to John 3:16, he puts his trust, his faith in this Jesus for eternal life. He has not yet got to the part where Jesus died on the cross or rose again from the dead. Yet he has entrusted his eternal destiny to Jesus! Why is Srinivas not saved!?

He has faith alone in Christ alone, believes Christ's promise of eternal life!

It is abundantly absurd to relegate such a person to hell because, although he believes Jesus' promise to give eternal life to all who merely believe Him for it, he is lacking in knowledge of some historical facts concerning Jesus.

Are you gonna say that Srinivas is going to hell even though he has put his trust and committed his eternal well-being to Jesus Christ as told in John 3:16? Is his unacquantence with the death and resurrection and the deity of Christ precluding him from salvation even though he believes in Jesus for eternal life?

Let me also share another thing, Lou. When I was a Catholic in my younger years, I believed that Jesus was God, that He died on the cross for my sins, and that He rose bodily from the dead. Yet I remained unsaved. Do you know why?

I did not believe Christ in His promise whereby He guarantees eternal life to the believer in Him for it. I did not entrust my eternal destiny to Him.

The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ paid for the gift that Jesus Christ now offers, namely, eternal life, eternal security. It was necessary for Christ to die on the cross for our sins and to rise from the dead. Both Zane and I exalt this message and preach it every time we present Jesus as the Guarantor of eternal life to the believer in Him for it. Yet we do not employ an orthodox doctrinal checklist on any potential convert that if he assents to each, we would then consider him saved!

If someone expresses that they believe that Jesus gave them eternal life by faith in Him, we consider that person saved, regardless of the blind spots in their theology! While alive on this earth, we will only have a rudimentary understanding of Christology, and we grow in this knowledge as we pursue sanctification. But to require men, women, and children to be as theologically savvy as you are, Lou, would be requiring more than Jesus Christ did.

Once a Christian, we are to grow in the faith and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is sufficient for one to receive eternal life if they believe Christ's promise to guarantee the present possession of eternal life to the one who takes Him at His word for that gift.

The gospel of John is the only book in the whole of the Bible that has as its purpose that of evangelism (John 20:30-31). Can you point to me once verse in the whole of the gospel that plainly declares one must have as the conscious content of saving faith the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in addition to believing Christ's promise to impart eternal life to the believer in Him for it?

Antonio da Rosa

46 Comments:

  • Antonio,
    I have never heard of Lou Matuneac before. I will take your word that he misunderstands some of Mr. Hodges statements. I don't agree with everything Zane Hodges believes either but I would try to keep from misquoting him to prove a point.

    I decided to check Lou out further. He is without a doubt no Lordship Salvation advocate. I tend to agree with most of what he says in critizing MacArthur's views.

    Check the link below. He has as much a problem with MacArthur's gospel as most of do. He is even critical of Piper

    For the most part I really like what Lou Martuneac says.

    I understand your concern about believing in Jesus being God without believing in Him for everlasting life, I believed this also until I had faith alone in Him for my eternal destiny. I just don't want to be so critical of another brother in Christ who has seen and is critical of the false gospel of MacArthur.


    http://indefenseofthegospel.blogspot.com/2006/10/macarthurs-costly-salvation.html

    By Blogger Kris, at Thursday, June 07, 2007 9:08:00 PM  

  • Kris,

    Thank you for your commnet.

    I am critical of Lou because of his misrepresentation of Free Grace theology.

    I applaud Lou in his efforts to reveal the errors in Lordship Salvation.

    You write, Kris:
    ----------
    I just don't want to be so critical of another brother in Christ who has seen and is critical of the false gospel of MacArthur.
    ----------
    Tell this to Lou. Tell him to stop criticizing what he doesn't represent fairly, nor understand.

    In his efforts to sound diplomatic, he mediates between Lordship Salvation and Free Grace theology, distancing himself from the faith alone doctrine of Free Grace theology. To make him look good to the Lordship Advocates, he has made their enemy his enemy, so to speak.

    Does he preach faith alone? Or does he preach faith plus? Faith alone is not sufficient in his theology. He says that repentance must accompany believing.

    Let me ask a question. In the world around us, when we believe something or someone, do we exercise repentance at the same time?

    Either we have a different consistency to faith in the things around us distinguished from religious faith, or people who say that repentance is a part of faith are attaching baggage to the concept of faith that does not belong there.

    I am happy that Lou has engaged Lordship Salvation. I have been pleased with several of his efforts as I have read them on his blog and on John MacArthur's Pulpit blog.

    Let Lou keep to criticizing Lordship and lay off a theology that is just as opposed (or actually more) as he is to Lordship thought. Unless he can fairly represent Free Grace theology, and characterize it the way we do, without the use of pejoratives, he ought not engage in rhetoric against it.

    He seems to be fair in quoting MacArthur and representing him. Let him do the same for Zane Hodges.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Thursday, June 07, 2007 9:50:00 PM  

  • Antonio, I read Lou's book. I cannot say I was that impressed and I do not like his dismissals of Free Grace theology.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, June 08, 2007 12:14:00 AM  

  • Antonio writes of an Indian man who hitherto has neve rheard the gospel. The following scenario takes place:

    *Someone gives him the gospel of John. As he reads the gospel of John, he starts to read about Jesus. When he gets to John 3:16, he puts his trust, his faith in this Jesus for eternal life."*

    *"Is his unacquantence with the death and resurrection and the deity of Christ precluding him from salvation even though he believes in Jesus for eternal life?"*

    Has he not already met with the Deity of Christ in John 1:1-3/14, the affirmation of the historical fact of the resurrection in John 2:18-22 and the Cross (althuogh not the narrative) in John 1:29 and John 3:14?

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Friday, June 08, 2007 3:17:00 AM  

  • This is funny. Early on when Lou came on the scene, you Free Gracers were on his side when he attacked John MacArthur. Now you are attacking him!

    By Anonymous John Lee, at Saturday, June 09, 2007 12:30:00 PM  

  • Antonio, Matthew, or Rose,

    Concerning this post, would one or each of you please try to unravel my confusion. I am being serious.

    http://mdpmusings.blogspot.com/2007/06/free-gracers-i-am-confused-cause-is.html

    Thanks in advance if you feel led to, and if you don't, then I thank you for considering.

    By Blogger Gojira, at Saturday, June 09, 2007 2:58:00 PM  

  • Antonio/All:

    Just by happenstance I found you (Antonio) posted your one reply from the thread at my site, and that is fine.

    I am grateful for the various comments from folks who appreciate my taking on the errors of Lordship Salvation, which are many.

    At the outset, I want to make clear that if I have misrepresented Hodges, and it would have been a genuine mistake, I will make it right. There are, however, some concerns I have and am reading right now in regard to his position on repentance, which I believe are legitimate concerns. Plus the JOTGES article I quoted has some definite issues, for me anyway.

    Now to Antonio in particular, may I say it might helpful for you (and those who visit here) come back to the thread at my site. You (Antonio) left some unfinished business. I did address several of your concerns and left some follow up for you to address. Just by chance I noticed that you came to this site instead, which is fine, but you have left some holes back where you posted at my site.

    In the thread I have expanded on my notes from Hodges’ Harmony with God. I put a little meat on the bones from Hodges and encouraged you to comment. Maybe you have not been back to notice I did leave those notes for your attention and comment. If you have not had that opportunity, please feel free to visit at your earliest convenience.

    Now, if you prefer not to interact at my site, I am fine with that. Maybe you feel more at ease or safer here. But if you are going to post a strongly worded piece, please be considerate enough to return for follow-up. I am teachable and I trust you are as well. It could be mutually beneficial, in my opinion.

    Thanks,


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Saturday, June 09, 2007 3:33:00 PM  

  • Antonio:

    You wrote, "In his efforts to sound diplomatic, he mediates between Lordship Salvation and Free Grace theology, distancing himself from the faith alone doctrine of Free Grace theology. To make him look good to the Lordship Advocates, he has made their enemy his enemy, so to speak."

    I have to honest and tell you that I don't appreciate that one very much. If there is one thing I have never been and will never become is a political animal.

    You and many others have read in public forums how I have been spoken ill of, ridiculed, my character and motives brought into question for having written and spoken in response to Lordship Salvation. What you have not seen, by way of privates to me, are even harsher. When I released In Defense of the Gospel for publication I knew I was in for it, but the cause and need to deal with LS outweighed the concern I had about the “hot-lead” that I knew would come flying in from every direction.

    In all honesty, do you think there is anything I could say pro-MacArthur or Anti-Hodges that would change my critic’s personal opinions of me and what I wrote? IMO, not a chance. They might appreciate my transparency, but I will always contend that LS, as I understand, it is a false, works based, man-centered gospel. Because of that there is no way the staunch LS advocate is going to warm up to me.

    So, I have no problem with you being concerned and critical, where I touch on Hodges, but please understand I am not trying to be “diplomatic,” or make new enemies to make me “look good” to some other faction.

    Thanks, and I am not mad at you. OK?


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Saturday, June 09, 2007 3:53:00 PM  

  • Hi Kris:

    "I don't agree with everything Zane Hodges believes either but I would try to keep from misquoting him to prove a point."

    I don't agree with Hodges on everything either.

    In the article at my site you may notice that in the opening, where I post a revised portion of my book, I did not directly quote Hodges, but shared some strong impressions I took away from what I read years ago.

    It was not until I cite to his article in the JOTGES that I quote Hodges directly, link to Zeller, and share a brief remark. In the thread I expand.

    I offer this so that the impression is not given that I have misquoted Hodges to "prove a point."

    Thanks,


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Saturday, June 09, 2007 5:19:00 PM  

  • Anthony:

    I wrote, “There is, however, a serious problem in that Hodges drastically minimizes repentance in the conversion experience. Hodges contends that repentance is merely a mental acknowledgement, and not necessarily a change of mind.”

    You directed this question to me: “Do you back this up with substantiation?”

    Here is Hodges from Harmony with God, “I myself once held the ‘change of mind’ view of repentance and taught it. But the Scriptures have persuaded me otherwise.”

    I have just backed it up. Now, may I ask you: Did I misrepresent Hodges?


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Sunday, June 10, 2007 3:24:00 PM  

  • Yes.

    Hodges maintains that repentance is more than a change of mind, not less. Repentance in his view is a process beginning with a change of mind, but involving a turning away from sin. While repentance is commanded of all mankind it is not a condition of redemption.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Monday, June 11, 2007 12:12:00 AM  

  • From Lou's blog:

    ***Antonio left one woman with the impression I may have been deliberately misquoting Hodges to make a point. This was my note to her.***


    Hi Kris:

    You wrote, "I don't agree with everything Zane Hodges believes either but I would try to keep from misquoting him to prove a point."

    I don't agree with Hodges on everything either.

    In the article at my site you may notice that in the opening, where I post a revised portion of my book, I did not directly quote Hodges, but shared some strong impressions I took away from what I read years ago. 

It was not until I cite to his article in the JOTGES that I quote Hodges directly, link to Zeller, and share a brief remark. In the thread I expand.

    I offer this so that the impression is not given that I have misquoted Hodges to "prove a point."

    Thanks,


    LM
    ----------------------------------
    My Response:

    Lou,
    Maybe you are not intentionally misquoting to "prove a point" but considering you didn't even click on my profile(at unashamed of grace site) before you assumed that I was a woman....it's hard to think that you are as diligent as you claim.

    Like I said I didn't, don't want to be critical of you or anyone that exposes the false gospel of MacArthur. Keep up the good work and no one is perfect, even Hodges, Antonio, Kris, and Lou.

    Kris

    By Blogger Kris, at Monday, June 11, 2007 6:45:00 AM  

  • Hi Kris:

    Sorry about that.

    At the other site, your name (at top of your post) where I could click on to direct link to yuor site is obscured by the site owner's title/address. Somehow it is blended. It is some tech issue I was not able to get past.

    Please give me a direct link to your site.

    Anyway, as you say, we all have our shortcomings. My main concern has been with the Lordship interpretation of the gospel.

    I am going to spend just a little time and effort with Hodges, but not a great deal.

    Thanks for visiting.


    Lou

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Monday, June 11, 2007 8:16:00 AM  

  • Dear Kris:

    I wanted to keep this separate, because it is a side bar issue.

    You wrote, "...but considering you didn't even click on my profile (at unashamed of grace site) before you assumed that I was a woman....it's hard to think that you are as diligent as you claim."

    May I make a friendly suggestion?

    Some of you well-meaning Free Grace folks, should consider giving the benefit of the doubt when you initially react to those with whom you have an issue. I have noted a harshness, and tendency to make snap judgments in some posts at various sites.

    What happens is you lose credibility with, and respect from peers and those with whom you are contending. When I see some guys (and I have one particular man in mind) getting his posts deleted, and being banned at other sites, he has crossed a line, hurt his testimony, and credibility is lost.

    You can disagree, disagree sharply, but there needs to be a cautious, well-thought approach, and it should be articulated in ways that will not give the appearance of a personality clash. It can be difficult to keep from getting your feelings hurt, but we must not allow our room for the flesh to get energized in these discussions and debates.

    It is a difficult balance to reach, especially in the written forum, but it can and should be done.

    Thanks for listening.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Monday, June 11, 2007 8:17:00 AM  

  • Two things:

    1. Zane Hodges says "Of course, there is every reason to believe that there will be good works in the life of each believer in Christ. The idea that one may believe in Him and live for years totally unaffected by the amazing miracle of regeneration, or by the instruction and/or discipline of God his heavenly Father, is a fantastic notion—even bizarre. We reject it categorically." The correlate seems to be that good works are the necessary result of "the amazing miracle of regeneration". How does that fit in with Free Grace theology especially given the last few entries prior to this one?

    2. Zane Hodges says, "Finally, we must add that there is no need to quarrel with the Reformers' view that where there is justifying faith, works will undoubtedly exist too." This is consistent with the above quote from Hodges and, once again, seems to rub against Free Grace theology. Does Hodges say elsewhere that some faith other than justifying faith is able to save? If not, then does Free Grace theology categorically accept what Hodges has rejected in the previous quote?

    By Blogger jared, at Monday, June 11, 2007 8:44:00 AM  

  • Thanks, Lou. I appreciate your defense of the gospel.

    By Blogger Kris, at Monday, June 11, 2007 12:29:00 PM  

  • I STRONGLY encourage everyone to visit Shaper Iron to read Dr. Bauder's article, Thinking About the Gospel, Part 1.


    This is the link address to the article...

    http://www.sharperiron.org/2007/06/12/thinking-about-the-gospel-part-one-the-gospel-itself


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Tuesday, June 12, 2007 6:13:00 AM  

  • John Lee said...

    This is funny. Early on when Lou came on the scene, you Free Gracers were on his side when he attacked John MacArthur. Now you are attacking him!


    NOTE: This is not me!

    By Blogger Jon Lee, at Tuesday, June 12, 2007 7:43:00 AM  

  • Antonio,

    In light of Lou's comments, would you recommend his book In Defense of the Gospel?

    By Blogger Robb, at Tuesday, June 12, 2007 6:00:00 PM  

  • Robb:

    This is obviously biased coming from the author, but I noted you recommend Ryrie's So Great Salvation. My work on LS is very similar to Ryrie, but more comprehensive. If you appreciated Ryrie you'll be pleased with my book.

    My comments on Hodges does not necessarily negate my treatment of LS. You may know that until my Hodges comments last week, the men were pretty much behind my work on the LS issue since the realese of my book in April 2006.

    Sorry for the plug, but I have not seen or heard from Antonio for several day, here or at my site.

    You can go to Amazon and read portions through the Search Inside feature. Click on my name at top of this post, that will take you to my site. Click on the book cover and you'll be at Amazon's Search Inside.

    KInd regards,


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Tuesday, June 12, 2007 7:20:00 PM  

  • Jon:

    I am sorry that I have their tails in a knot, but I had to share some observations from what I have read by Hodges in recent days.

    I'm not going to make a career of dealing with Hodges. LS is my main concern, and continues to be.

    I understand they are disappointed, especially after my having been a help in the debate over the LS interpretation of the gospel. Some may feel a little betrayed.

    Anyway, just wanted to let you know I saw your comment here.

    Take care,


    Lou

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Tuesday, June 12, 2007 7:25:00 PM  

  • Robb:

    I see you are from Pensacola. FWIW, I taught at PCC 1987-1992.


    Lou

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Tuesday, June 12, 2007 7:26:00 PM  

  • Lou:

    How do you define the word "believe" or its cognate "faith"? What does faith consist of? Describe it for us.

    What do you believe the basis for assurance of eternal life is? Cna someone know certainly, for sure, beyond the shadow of a doubt that he is eternally saved? Why or why not?

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Tuesday, June 12, 2007 8:35:00 PM  

  • To all:

    I will restate:

    I am pleased when Lou takes on LS. Many of his arguments are sound and persuasive.

    Do I agree with his soteriology? In many points I do not. Some of his doctrine is comparable to LS.

    Free Grace theology, as I expound it, believes:

    1) Faith plus nothing into Jesus Christ is the intermediate agency that apporpriates eternal life.

    2) The content of the faith in Christ is believing Jesus in His promise, taking Jesus at His word, whereby He guarantees the present and eternal possession of eternal life to the believer in Him for it.

    3) Absolute and certain assurance of irrevocable eternal life is of the very essence of saving faith.

    4) Assurance is certainty and depends not on subjective elements as fruit-inspection or emotion. Assurance firmly rests solely upon the objective word of God in the promise of Christ.

    5) Endurance and perseverance in the Christian life is neither inevitable nor automatic. Failure and apostasy is sadly possible.

    6) God demands holiness and application of the life to growth subsequent to receiving the free gift of eternal life. God does not trifle with sin. Disobedience may result in severe temporal discipline and even God's wrath. Unfaithfulness will be strictly accounted for at the Judgement Seat of Christ, and met with significant eternal loss.

    7) Entrance into the kingdom of God is a free gift. Sharing in Christ's inheritance and rulership is not, but is a reward for faithfulness in service and endurance in public Christian confession. Jesus endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him. This joy is His supreme glorification in kingship, and inheritance of the nations in the kingdom. Jesus offers to share this same joy, the joy He won by His suffering, to those who who suffer for/with Him. Only these will be co-inheritors with Christ and glorified with Him in same manner. The intimacy that we have with Christ now, displayed in our confession and deeds, will be commensurate with the intimacy that we share with Him in the kingdom.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Tuesday, June 12, 2007 8:38:00 PM  

  • Hello Antonio:

    I posted several replies to the single long post you left for me at my site on June 5. I followed with a few thoughts and observations for your attention and reply. Those are both at my site and I posted them here for you in this thread above. Now, that you are back, you return with more questions.

    Anyone (such as yourself) who has observed my interaction in the Lordship discussions at Sharper Iron, Pulpit Magazine and numerous other sites know I don’t have any problem dealing with questions. I answered several private e-mails this week, and made two personal phone calls to talk to men with good questions.

    I think everyone would agree that there should be a two-way street when a discussion such as ours is underway. I want to encourage you to backtrack and address what I drew to your attention.

    That said, you asked how I, “define the word ‘believe’ or its cognate ‘faith’? What does faith consist of?”

    Over six pages of my chapter on Romans 10:9 are dedicated to answering your question above. It goes much further, however, by defining the Lordship’s misuse and misinterpretation of “believe,” to suit the Lordship gospel. I quote MacArthur and Gentry to demonstrate their problem with “believe.” Then I have four more pages in the chapter on Acts 16:30-31 discussing how LS confuses “believe” with submission.

    So, TEN pages on the question you just asked. Ten pages, plus another 17 pages on “faith” in the chapter What is Saving Faith?

    Not trying to be unkind here, but I am uncomfortable with the thought of posting on your blog what is in print in my book. If I post a portion, that will raise calls for further explanation.

    May I encourage you to take a moment, return to my blog and take care of some unfinished business there. Then we can address your next series of questions in more detail.

    Thanks,


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Tuesday, June 12, 2007 9:55:00 PM  

  • Can someone know certainly, for sure, beyond the shadow of a doubt that he is eternally saved?

    Yes, because the Bible says so. From John’s gospel, his first epistle and Romans, we read:

    “Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life,” (John 6:68).

    “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand,” (John 10:28).

    “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God,” (1 John 5:13).

    “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,” (Romans 6:23).

    Genuinely born again, the Bible way, is genuinely and definitely eternally secure.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Tuesday, June 12, 2007 10:08:00 PM  

  • Dyspraxic:

    Earlier in the thread I posted this to Antnio from Hodges' Harmony with God,

    I myself once held the ‘change of mind’ view of repentance and taught it. But the Scriptures have persuaded me otherwise.”

    Dyspraxic, You wrote, “Hodges maintains that repentance is more than a change of mind, not less. Repentance in his view is a process beginning with a change of mind, but involving a turning away from sin.”

    It appears we have a contradiction. You say Hodges believes repentance is “…more than a change of mind.” I have just posted a quote from Harmony with God, which is what I have been told, is the document that lays out his current position on repentance. In it, Hodges says, he has changed his position.

    I have to ask you for what Antonio asked me for: “Substantiation” of what you just claimed on behalf of Hodges.

    The second part of your statement is, “…involving a turning away from sin.” Defining repentance as, “turning from sin,” is the Lordship Salvation definition of repentance for salvation. Read the article at my site titled, How Does the Lordship Advocate Define Repentance? It is in my (current month) June archive.

    http://indefenseofthegospel.blogspot.
    com/2007/06/to-all-nathan-busenitz-is-personal.html

    There is another observation/question I am going to pose for you and Antonio that flows with this repentance discussion and will better define and focus the area for discussion. For now, you men tackle what I have already asked you to consider.

    Thanks,


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Wednesday, June 13, 2007 4:18:00 AM  

  • “I myself once held the ‘change of mind’ view of repentance and taught it. But the Scriptures have persuaded me otherwise.”

    Lou, I have not read that particular work by Hodges, but knowing what I know of his position, it appears that you have misunderstood this quotation.

    Hodges is saying, not as you seem to think, that repentance is less than a change of mind, but rather that it is more than this, a turning away from sin.

    Yes, you are correct. This is almost identical to the Lordship Salvation position on repentance.

    The crucial difference is that Hodges, unlike the LS advocates holds that this process of turning away from sin is not a condition of receiving eternal life.

    Hodges holds that a person may be redeemed without repentance.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, June 13, 2007 5:10:00 AM  

  • Matthew:

    Thanks for the reply.

    You wrote, “The crucial difference is that Hodges, unlike the LS advocates holds that this process of turning away from sin is not a condition of receiving eternal life.”

    Very good, agreed there. I am reading, and if I have it right, Hodges (Free Grace theology) sees repentance as active and necessary for a believer, post-conversion. Do I have that right?

    You wrote, “Hodges holds that a person may be redeemed without repentance.”

    Not good, there. Here is the ironic part. In the article at my site, I wrote,

    Hodges correctly identified reformed theology as the root of Lordship Salvation. There is, however, a serious problem in that Hodges drastically minimizes repentance in the conversion experience. Hodges contends that repentance is merely a mental acknowledgement, and not necessarily a change of mind. Understanding that faith and repentance are the two sides of the same theological coin is crucial in this matter.”

    In follow-up, after reading the opening pages of Harmony with God, I suggested that I may have understated the case. You are verifying what I have been reading this week. When I wrote, “Hodges drastically minimizes repentance” I did indeed understate the facts. Hodges completely eliminates repentance by any definition for the reception of salvation.

    This is wrong! Examining repentance from the whole of Scripture does not lead me to the conclusion Hodges arrives at.

    For Hodges, and I assume this would be the “official” position for the Free Grace movement: Repentance, by any definition is not a part of or necessary for salvation. Is that a fair statement?

    Please advise.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Wednesday, June 13, 2007 8:45:00 AM  

  • Lou,

    Thanks. Before reading Antonio's post I had planned to purchase your book at Amazon. Indeed, I still plan to do so. I originally heard of your book at BaptistBoard within one of the Evangelical Roman Catholicism (Lordship) VS Free Grace threads.

    Yes, So Great Salvation is one of my favorite books and I am glad to know that your material is very similar to Ryrie's. I've never read anything by Hodges but I have learned to be cautious of people who willfully misrepresent another Christian (not that you, Lou, or Antonio have done this...not at all).

    Thanks again and God bless you both!

    Robb

    By Blogger Robb, at Wednesday, June 13, 2007 11:46:00 AM  

  • Hi Robb:

    Thanks for the kind remarks.

    I do visit the Baptist Board site from time to time.

    Once you read my book, let me know if you found it helpful.

    Yours faithfully,


    Lou

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Wednesday, June 13, 2007 12:25:00 PM  

  • Lou, there is no 'official' position in the Free Grace movement.

    Writers in GES journals differ over the issue of repentance.

    The position of Bob Wilkin and Zane Hodges is that repentance is not a condition of receiving eternal life, however, in many or possibly most cases, the process of repentance may be a preparatory step in coming to salvation.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, June 14, 2007 1:06:00 AM  

  • Matthew:

    Thanks for clarifying on the "official" position question.

    You wrote, “The position of Bob Wilkin and Zane Hodges is that repentance is not a condition of receiving eternal life, however, in many or possibly most cases, the process of repentance may be a preparatory step in coming to salvation.”

    Repentance for salvation must either be necessary or unnecessary. So, which is it? Repentance cannot be both. I understand you men in the Free Grace movement probably vary on this.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Thursday, June 14, 2007 7:16:00 AM  

  • Necessary for what?

    It is not necessary for appropriating eternal life. A person may believe in Christ for eternal life without it.

    However, some persons only come to trust in Christ for eternal life once they have come to see the reality of their sin and their need to be delivered from it. For such persons, repentance is a necessary logical step in coming to the point of faith.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, June 14, 2007 7:32:00 AM  

  • Matthew:

    Just so there is no misunderstanding.

    You wrote, "It is not necessary for appropriating eternal life. A person may believe in Christ for eternal life without it."

    Are saying repentance is not part of and is not necessary for a lost person to be born again (that moment in time when a lost man is converted, justified and adopted)?

    Do I have that right for yours and Hodges position on repentance for salvation, the reception of eternal life?


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Thursday, June 14, 2007 8:04:00 AM  

  • Matthew:

    Still, however, your notes seem confusing and contradictory.

    "It is not necessary for appropriating eternal life.... For such persons, repentance is a necessary logical step in coming to the point of faith."


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Thursday, June 14, 2007 8:07:00 AM  

  • Repentance may help some people understand their need for eternal life.

    A person does not need to repent to be receive eternal life. I say that categorically.

    However, a person needs to look to Christ for eternal life.

    Some people may not see their need for Christ until they have begun the process of repentance by recognising their sinfulness.

    Again, I repeat that repentance is not a condition of receiving eternal life.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, June 14, 2007 11:39:00 AM  

  • Matthew:

    Thanks, I want to be fair and careful, which is why I pressed for clarification.

    I have read the same you wrote from Hodges in Harmony With God.

    So, now when I say that the Free Grace position, as espoused by Hodges, completely eliminates repentance from the conversion experience, this will not be a misrepresentation.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Thursday, June 14, 2007 12:04:00 PM  

  • You wrote:

    "Hodges contends that repentance is merely a mental acknowledgement, and not necessarily a change of mind."

    This statement is not accurate.

    Hodges did not say that repentance is a mental acknowledgment.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, June 14, 2007 12:32:00 PM  

  • I would also question that Hodges completely elimates repentance from the conversion process. As I have said, it may for some people be a preparatory step.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, June 14, 2007 12:33:00 PM  

  • Matthew:

    Which part is not accurate?

    "Mental acknowledgement?" From what you are sharing and I am reading from him it appears that Hodges has reduced repentance to being virtually insignificant for conversion. The way you are referring to repentance as a “preparatory step,” it does give the impression of mere acknowledgement, short of the “change of mind.”

    Here is Hodges from Harmony with God, “I myself once held the ‘change of mind’ view of repentance and taught it. But the Scriptures have persuaded me otherwise.”

    From this it appears he did at one time take some form of the “change of mind” view. Evidently he has abandoned that previously held opinion.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Thursday, June 14, 2007 2:08:00 PM  

  • Matthew:

    You wrote, “I would also question that Hodges completely eliminates repentance from the conversion process. As I have said, it may for some people be a preparatory step.”

    Again, based on what I am reading, Hodges has eliminated repentance. To clarify- he does not believe repentance is necessary to be born again.

    You are alluding to repentance as a step in a process, but absolutely not necessary to be born again.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Thursday, June 14, 2007 2:11:00 PM  

  • To All:

    On Monday morning I am posting a final in the series of articles on the theology of Zane Hodges.

    BTW, I have recently been interacting with Antonio da Rosa in the thread under The Teachings of Zane Hodges.

    Antonio is very passionate in his defense of Free Grace theology, especially as it is presented by Zane Hodges. After his initial entry you have to go pretty deep in the thread to find where Antonio picks up the discussion. There are several others who interact in that thread as well.

    Antonio also posted a few comments under Free Grace Follow-Through.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Saturday, June 23, 2007 12:06:00 PM  

  • Dear Friends,

    I've just been reading over your comments. I can't really add anything that hasn't already been said. I just wanted to express in simple language what a child can understand. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
    None of the arguments change that promise. Believe in God's Son (Jesus) and you have everlasting life. Object of your faith..... Jesus. He said it. That settles it! The one who believes that promise, believes in Jesus for everlasting life..... and thus possesses everlasting life with God. End of argument!
    :-)

    By Anonymous Grace, at Tuesday, July 17, 2007 5:34:00 PM  

  • Excellent, Grace! You are certainly aptly named!

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at Friday, July 20, 2007 7:42:00 PM  

  • First of all this is an absolutely excellent blog! Thank you Antonio =)

    My pastor made a good comment when we had a debate with someone who leaned towards a lordship position: If you were to go and live with a tribe of people who have never been exposed to the west, to Christianity, to the Bible at all, and you translated the GOSPEL OF JOHN into their language, and then for some reason you were no longer there with them, and ALL they had was the Gospel of John, and by reading this they would have the knowledge needed to believe on Jesus and be saved, receive eternal life, could they be saved?

    Mind you, John's Gospel is THE quintissential evangelistic Gospel, as John himself said, and, not once does it use the word "repent". I would like your responses.

    By Anonymous Erin, at Friday, July 27, 2007 8:22:00 PM  

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