Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:13-14)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

An Email Synopsis from a Reader of Free Grace Theology Blog

Dear faithful readers of Free Grace Theology Blog,

I was refreshed to take a vacation with the family where we went beach camping at South Carlsbad State Beach for a week. We went with 3 other families and their children. It was beautiful, relaxing, and fun for the kids and the adults. Unfortunately for me, on the last night of our trip that as I was helping prepare dinner for the troops I sliced a portion of the tip of my left index finger off. The Lord be praised that although I was out of work for one week after the trip, my finger has been miraculously healing and will be 100% within a couple of weeks. I am back at work and have no pain.

I have been reading all of the excellent comments, questions, and answers from you all found within the meta of my posts. They have been pleasant and informative, and have been raising pertinent considerations. I do hope to jump into them soon.

There will be some very provocative posts coming up, so stay tuned.

The following is an email I received from a reader of Free Grace Theology Blog. It has been edited somewhat. This friend has been in the loop of some of the happenings since my blog asked poignant questions concerning Dr. J.B. Hixson. Here is his synopsis for your consideration and discussion.

Dear Antonio,

I read through every last detail late last night. I completely agree with [name witheld] regarding the excellent way you have not only defended yourself but poor Dr. Radmacher as well. You have done a great job... of nailing J.B. [Hixson] to the wall. Dr. Radmacher is looking more and more like the unfortunate victim of Hixson’s conspiracy to conceal by withholding critical additional information in order to get the endorsements he wanted and further his personal goals and aspirations. It is obvious that Hixson is only out for himself, his own agenda and he has no regard for Radmacher’s feelings or his relationships with Zane, Bob and GES in general. Hixson appears to have been deliberately deceitful and conspired to place Radmacher in a very uncomfortable place (to put it mildly) regarding his allies and friends in the FG movement – making him look very bad to the uninformed friends of Zane, Bob, GES and FG in general. I'm not sure Radmacher has the backbone to oppose what has taken place and is occuring...

Hixson obviously is no fan of yours and is angry that you have called attention to his devious plot and he lashed out at you accusing you judging his intentions. Well just let him know that you are simply calling attention to his actions and as the old saying goes – actions betray intent. ...And let the chips fall where they may. As you have so accurately said – this is not a man who has conducted himself in a manner worthy of this kind of leadership – or any leadership frankly, and especially spiritual leadership. His “scholasticism” seems to be severely lacking for someone who either has or is in process of getting a PhD. He bears an uncanny resemblance to our Lordship adversaries when it comes to his skills at mishandling scripture (sloppy as you put it) and misrepresenting certain FG views! His logic is riddled with nonsequetors when he makes a weak attempt to use Paul to establish his case…

In contrast Antonio, you have proven yourself to be a faithful, loyal and exemplary friend through this difficult ordeal. You are a good soldier and relentless warrior for the cause of Christ and I pray that God will continue to strengthen your hands for the spiritual battle that we’re in . The effect of what is happening through the current FGA "leadership" will ultimately neuter the FGA and convert it from a force for cohesion and strength with regard to God's grace to just another religious “country club” spewing more fog and ultimately weakening the FG movement.

I was very disappointed with Charlie Bing’s conduct in all this but honestly not surprised. He is proving himself to be a better politician than a gracious and ethical leader… and friend.

Thanks for sharing what you have been going through these many months – you’ve had a heavy burden but you have born it well my friend!

May God be gracious to you and give you peace Antonio.

Never give up – you’ve picked the right battle and you have many strong allies…

23 Comments:

Blogger Mike said...

Have any of you asked Dr. Radmacher what he thinks about the way he is being used here?

Does he support Dr. Hixson as the Executive Director of the FGA?

You may want to ask him.

Mike

August 11, 2008 4:53 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Mike, I have spoken at length with Dr. Radmacher on 3 different occasions. He was upset with the circumstances.

There is alot of posturing and politics going on behind the scenes. There are many financial considerations behind decisions that have been made.

But the bottom line is that Dr. Hixson did not provide the objectionable material to Dr. Radmacher (and others) to view before they endorsed his book. Furthermore, Dr. Radmacher was disappointed (to say the least) both with the added material and Dr. Hixson himself. He does not at all agree with Dr. Hixson's assessment of Bob Wilkin and Zane Hodges.

There will be more on this later.

Thanks for your participation.

Antonio

August 11, 2008 1:45 PM  
Blogger Peggie said...

Antonio,
Thanks for this latest update.
Glad your finger is on the mend.
God is good.

August 11, 2008 3:05 PM  
Blogger Sanctification said...

Antonio,

Well, I am excited to see what more Dr. Radmacher would permit you to publish on his behalf. I have witnessed him express his opinion on those interested in fractioning free grace in person, even in public, but I've withheld myself from sharing it. I can't explain why I feel this is wise. I guess I believe it is better to let a man come to realize something for his self rather than be told the answer. I trust the Spirit being sufficient to teach.

I personally am interested in promoting the concept of a refined free grace gospel because I believe in it. But I am interested foremost in ending the rift. Communication is essential, but so is grace and forgiveness. The proverbs say it is good to cover over another's offenses. I may not trust a man but I do trust God, who is working and alive in free grace.

The only reason why it is taking so long for people to figure out what is right is because of the degree of stubbornness and over-confidence of some of its members. Do you agree?

Michele

August 11, 2008 3:56 PM  
Blogger David Wyatt said...

As much as I appreciate everyone in the Free Grace "movement" there is no one that I appreciate more than Dr. Radmacher. I consider him one of teh finest brothers I know of anywhere, even though I also hold bros. Wilkin & Hodges in high esteem as well. I certainly don't agree with them in everything & actively disagree with them on a few things, but I highly appreciate them for theor work's sake. That goes for you too bro. Antonio. Also bro. Alvin & the ladies in the movement as well. Rose, Diane, Peggie & if I left any out it is due to my incredibly shrinking brain! The Lord will use even this to glorify His name. May the Lord bless you all.

August 11, 2008 7:40 PM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

Antonio,
it is terribly disturbing and I think the devil is just delighting in this trouble.
I appreciate you, brother. I see your passions flair, but I always come to understand your reasons for them when we talk... and so I can appreciate the way you have handled this thing.

God bless.

Your poor finger! I am so sorry for it.

August 12, 2008 7:38 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Antonio,

I am not at liberty to give you Dr. Radmacher's answers to my questions concerning you and what you have written here. I just assumed you had his permission.

Did Dr. Radmacher's give you permission to speak for him? Did you submit a copy of what you posted, for his approval?

Most, if not all the FGA leaders have great respect for Pro. Hodges & Dr. Wilkin, but that doesn't mean they are in agreement with the new teachings. What Dr. Radmacher communicated to me (that he has made public) is in agreement with his doctrinal statement (which is the same as the FGA), and with this message from Dr. Charlie Bing:

"...the FGA leadership has realized that there are different views of the content and the condition of the gospel within the grace movement. This is a more substantial issue. Our position has always been to reiterate our original statement in Affirmation #3: "Faith is a personal response, apart from our works, whereby we are persuaded that the finished work of Jesus Christ has delivered us from condemnation and guaranteed our eternal life." I think it speaks for itself about the content of what must be believed for a person to be saved.
   
As discussions took place, a few have discovered that they do not agree with this statement and have graciously departed from the FGA. Others are interested in further discussion and need more time to process the information. We encourage members to have good honest discussion about the content of the faith that saves. If at the end of the day a member disagrees with Affirmation #3 and chooses not to remain with us, we can salute his or her integrity and part in a loving way..."

Do you have any plans to resign your membership from the FGA?

Mike

August 12, 2008 10:53 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Mike,

Here is a short answer.

When Dr. Radmacher resigns from the FGA, then I will. For in more than one occasion to me, he has most forcefully denied that the conscious understanding and assent to the substitutionary death of Christ and His bodily resurrection are God-mandated requirements to recieve everlasting life in addition to simple faith in Jesus. I put this assertion upon everything I love as both the Lord and Dr. Radmacher are well aware of its veracity.

Bluntly,

Dr. Radmacher does not agree with Bing and Hixson that the assent to the death and resurrection are necessary conscious objects of saving faith.

Furthermore, I am in agreement with the statements of the FGA, and have stated my agreement publicly and privately to the board of the FGA. But assent to affirmation #3 does not preclude my understanding of saving faith.

As for permission from Dr. Radmacher, what exactly is the content of that which you suppose I ought to have recieved his permission?

Antonio

August 12, 2008 2:22 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Michele,

you wrote:
----------
I have witnessed him express his opinion on those interested in fractioning free grace in person, even in public, but I've withheld myself from sharing it.
----------
I, too, have heard him speak as to the Duluthian Antagonists (Rokser and Stegall), as he has contacted them on more than one occasion to take issue with their contentions and methods.

But this must be a double-edged sword for him, Michele, as he has his written endorsement and foreword to a book that provides material that has been used to continue to fracture the Free Grace Community. Furthermore, it seems that there is some activity in the FGA that has intensified a schismatic effort on the part of some in the free grace movement.

It appears that he needs to seek if his stance against the Duluthian Faction and his silent stand with men such as Dr. J.B. Hixson, who are perpetuating a factionistic attitude, are consistent with one another. It seems to me that there some inconsistency here.

You write:
----------
The only reason why it is taking so long for people to figure out what is right is because of the degree of stubbornness and over-confidence of some of its members. Do you agree?
----------
There is so much posturing and politics going on. I would say that the reasons you give are in the mix but they do not give the whole picture. There is financial considerations, personalities, pride, attitudes, and other considerations.

Dr. Bing told me that he does not side with the Duluthians nor with the GES. He told me he was somewhere in the middle.

The following is my reasoning and not from Dr. Bing:
But I am afraid if he does not take a stance against Consistent Free Grace theology which has been misrepresented by the straw man arguments of the Duluth types and their pejorative, innacurate, erroneous, and malicious attacks, he fears that the Lou Martuneac types and Duluth types would stir up trouble in GraceLife and FGA friendly churches and donors and his ministry would suffer shipwreck.

There will be some articles coming up soon concerning Drs. Hixson, Bing, and others.

Thank you for your comments, Michele. The Lord bless you!

Antonio

August 12, 2008 4:49 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Peggie,

thanks for the encouragement!

August 12, 2008 4:50 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Rose,

thanks for dropping in! There is alot of crazy things happening behind the scenes. I really appreciate your vote of confidence.

Your forever brother,

Antonio

August 12, 2008 4:51 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Antonia,

You asked me, "As for permission from Dr. Radmacher, what exactly is the content of that which you suppose I ought to have recieved his permission?"

It has to do with ethics (one's character, integrity, and conduct...). On several occasions you have "shared" personal conversations with your readers. I wonder (now) if permission was granted for you to "share" it with us.

I don't want to speak for Michele, but she assumed you had permission to speak for Dr. Radmacher. Notice what she wrote, "Well, I am excited to see what more Dr. Radmacher would permit you to publish on his behalf. I have witnessed him express his opinion on those interested in fractioning free grace in person, even in public, but I've withheld myself from sharing it. I can't explain why I feel this is wise. I guess I believe it is better to let a man come to realize something for his self rather than be told the answer."

I'm still having trouble with following your reason to remain in the FGA as a member. It does not make sense. It is obvious that you don't agree with FGA.'s beliefs and covenant. The covenant says, "In agreement with these affirmations, we covenant to work together graciously and enthusiastically to advance this Gospel of Grace, and to communicate with a positive and gracious tone toward all others, both inside and outside the Free Grace Alliance."

Your statement of future attractions to come, ("There will be some articles coming up soon concerning Drs. Hixson, Bing, and others") proves that a "good honest discussion" is not going to take place.

Dr. Bing stated it this way, "...If at the end of the day a member disagrees with Affirmation #3 and chooses not to remain with us, we can salute his or her integrity and part in a loving way.

Mike

August 13, 2008 7:28 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

After posting the topic (An Email Synopsis from a Reader of Free Grace Theology Blog), Antonia says, "Here is his synopsis for your consideration and discussion."

You can re-read it, but here is a few comments to begin your consideration and discussion...

Antonia's Friend say... "...regarding the excellent way you have not only defended yourself but poor Dr. Radmacher as well..."

Excellent way & poor Dr. Radmacher ???

"...Hixson’s conspiracy..."

What happen when the notes in the "Nelson Study Bible" was changed without Dr. Radmacher approval? All he has to do is make it public, that he no longer endorses Dr. Hixson's book.

"...I'm not sure Radmacher has the backbone to oppose what has taken place and is occurring..."

Do the rest of you agree that Dr. Radmacher may not have the backbone?

"...His (Dr. Hixson) “scholasticism” seems to be severely lacking for someone who either has or is in process of getting a PhD. He bears an uncanny resemblance to our Lordship adversaries when it comes to his skills at mishandling scripture (sloppy as you put it) and misrepresenting certain FG views! His logic is riddled with nonsequetors when he makes a weak attempt to use Paul to establish his case…"

This statement about one's "scholarship" written on a blog is a little much, don't you agree?

"...I was very disappointed with Charlie Bing’s conduct in all this but honestly not surprised. He is proving himself to be a better politician than a gracious and ethical leader… and friend..."

Dr. Bing is not gracious, but what is written here is?

A lot of things are written here for our consideration and discussion - - Who will be the next scholar in the group to "pick up a rock" and throw it?

I really hope we stop throwing rocks at each other. Here is what I said on my first post here (June 10) and this will be my last.

"It may be time for us to move on and support the free grace organizations that best represents our views. The Lord used both, Paul and Barnabas when they could no longer work together. My prayer is that it would be true of us in free grace. Reconciliation may be in our futures, but not at this time, just read the blogs representing free grace theology. Lord help us to move on as we present the message of, faith alone in Christ alone.

Mike

August 13, 2008 12:32 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Mike,

Is there some reason you are being offensive by calling me Antonia? That is as if I were to call you mikala instead of mike. Please desist.

August 13, 2008 5:23 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Mike,

What I have stated concerning Dr. Radmacher is his beliefs that he made known to me. Are you telling me that his beliefs concerning saving faith should be kept secret? Are you proposing he live a double life? Is there some reason that his theology ought to be kept to himself when he is affiliated with a ministry that has a theological emphasis?

Furthermore, I did recieve his permission to state his view on saving faith by his own word when we talked.

He was most passionate to defend his belief that saving faith is simply believing in Jesus Christ for eternal life. He gave several good arguments to substatiate his claim as well.

You wrote:
----------
I'm still having trouble with following your reason to remain in the FGA as a member. It does not make sense. It is obvious that you don't agree with FGA.'s beliefs and covenant. The covenant says, "In agreement with these affirmations, we covenant to work together graciously and enthusiastically to advance this Gospel of Grace, and to communicate with a positive and gracious tone toward all others, both inside and outside the Free Grace Alliance."
----------
Sir. If I were to email you some of the correspondence that I had with Dr. Hixson and read it, you would have him disagreeing with the FGA's covenant. Furthermore the discussions that we have had on the phone would give you the same impression.

So much so that Dr. Radmacher called me and told me that Dr. Hixson was going to email me an apology, something that Dr. Hixson has yet to do.

I have not been convinced of sin. I raised issues concerning some of the dealings of Dr. Hixson and was then demonized by him and others on the FGA board, accused of false things and brought into disrepute. These issues have not been addressed! I will continue to press the point until they are.

I agree with Affirmation #3, and have stated my agreement both publicly and privately.

And remember, something that you have failed to address, Dr. Radmacher believes that minimum saving faith is simply believing in Jesus Christ for eternal life, period.

When are you going to ask him when he is going to resign from the FGA?

For my blog's consideration, here was my answer to Dr. J.B. Hixson concerning my agreement with Affirmation #3 in the FGA covenant:

----------
I agree to each one of the 7 affirmations as stated. I believe that #3 is an accurate description of saving faith. A person is saved eternally when they "are persuaded that the finished work of Jesus Christ [has] delivered [them] from condemnation and guaranteed [them] eternal life." Nevertheless, this does not preclude someone being saved by simply trusting in Jesus of Nazareth as one's Savior. As far as the wording and the statement is concerned, I can wholeheartedly agree that it describes saving faith. Furthermore, I preach the cross and the resurrection. I herald them far and wide. I do not fail to preach these things when I do evangelism!
----------

I am sure that Dr. Radmacher would agree to my words here, as his understanding of saving faith parallels mine.

Antonio

August 13, 2008 5:42 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

August 14, 2008 6:43 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

i have deleted Mike's last comment as I found it offensive.

Farwell, Mike.

August 14, 2008 2:21 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Hi Antonio,

So sorry to hear about your finger, but thankful that it is healing well.

We're heading out to Colorado on vacation now, but will keep you in our prayers.

Diane

August 20, 2008 12:49 PM  
Blogger Ron said...

Antonio,

First, I am sorry to hear about your injury. It is my prayer it heal quickly.

Sorry for the long discussion on a previous post, but for the most part I was at least able to see common ground with Diane and Alvin on the issue of continuing beyond eternal life to discipleship.

I had a question that has not yet been answered, and I am hoping you can shed some light. My question is at what point did the focus switch from making disciples, as Jesus commanded us, to focusing on believing Jesus for eternal life? If we do what He said and make disciples, we will know that those that become disciples believe by the fruit they produce. Apart from that, we do not know who believes.

This is not an argumentative question; I am simply trying to see if anyone knows the origin of this issue. Thank you.

August 21, 2008 2:02 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Antonio

I know what it's like to cut a finger or two. I could tell you some of my real horror stories as a lathe operator who had to hone and change knives that weighed up to 70 lbs a piece. When I got through with them you could shave with them. Cut the tip off my one finger, and falayed two others. . . ouch!!!
I will be praying along with Diane for your fingers recovery!

alvin

August 21, 2008 2:05 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

This is primarily for Ron if he's still reading the blog, but might be helpful to others. I think Ron and I are at an impasse, but thought of him as I read this message. This is a "LINK" from our daughter's website as they (family of 5) sailed the Atlantic for 2 years on their catameran. Their prayer was that many would click into this link....
http://www.cypressvalley.org:80/ourmessage.php

Here's what it says....

OUR MESSAGE..............
An eternal relationship with God is entered into as a free gift received by believing Jesus Christ for it. As Jesus proclaimed: "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life."

Everlasting life in the Bible is life with God forever! Because it is everlasting, it will never end-- not for any reason. Thus, in guaranteeing everlasting life by believing in Him for it, Jesus is also saying that nothing we do on our part-such as good works, church attendance, baptism, etc.-could have any part in obtaining or in losing our eternal relationship with God. If we have believed in Jesus Christ for it, we have it--forever!

Because God tells us in the Bible that we have all sinned and fallen short of His standards of perfection (as in Romans 3:23), we cannot reach God. But God reached down to us by sending His own Son, Jesus Christ, into this world in order to pay for all of our sins by His death upon a cross. He became our substitute, paying the penalty for all of our sins, so that He could offer an eternal relationship with God as a free gift. That free gift is received at the moment a person believes in Jesus Christ for it.

So if living with God forever is a free gift, received simply by believing in Jesus Christ for it, then why should we obey God? God gives us several motivations to obey Him. For example, if we obey Him, we can experience more fulfillment and happiness in this life; but if we disobey Him, we will experience more problems and less happiness. And if we obey Him, we can experience eternal rewards from God in His kingdom; but if we disobey Him, we will experience less eternal rewards from Him.

God calls us to enter into an eternal relationship with Him by believing in Jesus for it. But He also desires for us to have the greatest experience of that eternal relationship by obedience to Him. Everyone who believes in Jesus for eternal life has it from the moment he or she believes. But the greatest experience of eternal life belongs to those believers who live obediently to God. Believing in Jesus is how we enter into that life; obeying Him is how we experience it in all its abundance.

August 30, 2008 9:44 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

P.S. Praying for you tonight, Antonio!

August 30, 2008 9:48 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Friends,
I just read an EXCELLENT article by Zane Hodges in the latest "Grace in Focus" publication... Sept/Oct, 2008.
The name of the article is...
"THE HYDRA'S OTHER HEAD: THEOLOGICAL LEGALISM"
He makes it so clear what the saving content is and WHY it is ERROR to teach anything else.
If you don't get that publication, you can receive it free just by asking.
ges@faithalone.org
or phone...
972-257-1160

Rejoicing in Jesus always,
Diane
:-)

September 17, 2008 3:00 PM  

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