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)

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Bob Wilkin Exposes the Exegetical Flaws of J.B. Hixson's Book

Dear Free Grace Theology Readers,

You may remember back in June of 2008 that I posted an article called:

Disturbing news concerning the new book by Dr. J.B. Hixson, Director of the Free Grace Alliance

In this article I discussed how in conversations with both J.B. Hixson, the director of the Free Grace Alliance, and Dr. Earl Radmacher, the founding President of the Free Grace Alliance, I found out that Dr. Hixson kept Dr. Radmacher in the dark concerning some very controversial content to his book that Earl was going to endorse.

Since the time of the writing, I have discussed this once again with Dr. Radmacher at Zane Hodges' funeral. He likened the experience to a 'ticker tape parade' that was thrown for someone or some cause and then soon afterwards trying to pick up all the individual 'tickers', as if trying to take them all back. It is basically now impossible for him to do, at least while the first printing of this book (which will probably be the only printing) is in circulation, for his name adorns the book that speaks falsely about his now decesased friend and exegetical mentor, Zane Hodges.

Now we have an in-depth article, written by Dr. Bob Wilkin of the Grace Evangelical Society, exposing many of the errors of J.B. Hixson's soteriology book. It is somewhat lengthy, but gets to the core of the exegetical errors committed in the Checklist Evangelism of the Traditional Free Grace propopents. He furthermore documents the very sloppy nature of the book, and low calibre of its scholarly content -- the book is essentially Hixson's doctoral dissertation done at Baptist Bible Seminary in Clarks Summit, PA, completed in 2007.

When constructing a dissertation for a Th.D. degree, I believe it is imperative to offer something to the scholarly community which is an addition to knowlege. Such is not the case with J.B. Hixson's book. There is essentially nothing new that has not been plumbed and discussed elsewhere in Christian literature by either Free Grace proponents more qualified then himself or Reformed and/or other Evangelical authors.

In the coming weeks we are going to discuss some of the issues that Bob Wilkin raises in his very well done, reasonable, and Christ-honoring review of J.B. Hixson's book, including J.B. Hixson's plagiarism of Bob Wilkin, as taken from the Grace Evangelical Society website.

Now submitted for your review and consideration:

A REVIEW OF J. B. HIXSON’S GETTING THE GOSPEL WRONG: THE EVANGELICAL CRISIS NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT BY BOB WILKIN

WJC made a very insightful and relevent comment concerning Bob Wilkin's excellent expose of J.B. Hixson's book:

I read Wilkin's review last week and it is a well done analytical look at Hixson's book. It's hard to imagine that this is a Th.D. - and as such it sounds like it is an embarrassment to the "scholasticism" of evangelicalism and the FG movement more specifically. Forgive me if I'm a bit blunt but with sloppy work like this being published to promote Free Grace - who needs enemies? It is amazing what is allowed to pass as a doctoral dissertation in some quarters these days. I am however not the least bit surprised given what has been transpiring at the top echelons of the FGA under the leadership of Hixson. Somehow the lack of scholasticism and the poor support for some of his assertions in the book fit with what we have seen of Hixson's conduct as the FGA Executive Director. What does amaze me are some of the individuals who have chosen to align themselves with Hixson - men who I thought had much more going for them scholastically than is apparent in this "leader"...

32 Comments:

Blogger wjc said...

Antonio, - I read Wilkin's review last week and it is a well done analytical look at Hixson's book. It's hard to imagine that this is a Th.D. - and as such it sounds like it is an embarrassment to the "scholasticism" of evangelicalism and the FG movement more specifically. Forgive me if I'm a bit blunt but with sloppy work like this being published to promote Free Grace - who needs enemies? It is amazing what is allowed to pass as a doctoral dissertation in some quarters these days. I am however not the least bit surprised given what has been transpiring at the top echelons of the FGA under the leadership of Hixson. Somehow the lack of scholasticism and the poor support for some of his assertions in the book fit with what we have seen of Hixson's conduct as the FGA Executive Director. What does amaze me are some of the individuals who have chosen to align themselves with Hixson - men who I thought had much more going for them scholastically than is apparent in this "leader"...

January 03, 2009 5:15 PM  
Blogger JoW said...

Antonio, I know that the section of Hixon's book that was critical of Zane Hodges was not in the original dissertation because, when he first finished it, it was available on his web site in .pdf format and I downloaded it and read it. How this man could do such a thing is beyond belief. I have now deleted the file from my computer.
Jo Ann

January 06, 2009 7:19 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

Dear Friends,

Bob Wilkin is a man who exhibits both grace and truth. I thank God for his commitment to both.

Diane

January 07, 2009 9:11 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

Dear Friends,

I just read some exciting news on the GES blog. Sounds like they're going to have a wonderful conference the end of March and into April. Here's what Bob Wilkin has to say about it on his blog.....

I would appreciate your prayers that we have an outstanding national conference March 30-Apr 2 in Fort Worth (at SWBTS’s Riley Conference Center). We have an excellent line up of speakers including Drs. Tony Evans, Jody Dillow, John Niemela, Steve Lewis, Lon Gregg, Bob Bryant, and me. Plus we’ll be hearing from Zane via his past messages, both audio (with pictures) and video. And about 8 of us will be sharing memories about what Zane taught us.

My husband and I plan to attend Lord willing. Hope many of you can come too. I would love to meet you in person. I consider some of you here on Antonio's blog some of my best friends even though we've never met personally. That's what Jesus' love does.... bonds us together as friends around HIM.

Hope to see some of you there.

All because of His great love,
Diane
:-)

January 07, 2009 8:37 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

I think I remember Bob Wilkins saying once that when Zane was asked one time why he didn’t ever go for a Doctors Degree he said he didn’t want to because it might make him prideful.
I often heard Zane say, the three most important words they taught us in seminary was “I don’t Know.”

To give you a little taste of Zane:
When asked the question ‘When are believers names written in the book of life?’
Zane said: I don’t know! Next question!

Bob Wilkin when cornered said the person made it so that either way he answered he would be wrong. So he said no I don’t have a full understanding of Scripture but I don’t have to because I know what John 3:16 does say.
That’s what I love about Zane Hodges and Bob Wilkin they both start with the childlike Scripture and go from there. There starting premise is that eternal life is “Absolutely Free” just like Scripture says (John 3:16; 4:10; 5:24; 6:47; Rev 22:17).

I believe the problem at the core of this controversy is pride!

Knowledge puffs up, love edifies!

There are ones who can start with the most difficult Scriptures and interpret the simple childlike ones by them. All they have to do is change the words in the childlike ones so they read like this:
For God so loved the ELECT that He gave His only begotten Son that the ELECT shall not perish but have everlasting life.
And since God really only loves the ELECT enough to die for them He can hate all the rest like Esau.

But if you take John 3:16 like a child would you KNOW God loves the world and proved it by giving His Son to die on the cross for everyone even Esau!
This Hixson, only believes that the Scriptures prove that ELECT babies go to heaven (response to Tony Evans)
Hixsons words concerning Tony Evans:
At the conclusion of his appendix Evans cites several passages as proof-texts that children go to heaven when they die ( 2 Sam. 12:1-23; Matt 18:1-3; 19:14; Mk 9:36; Heb 1:14). While this disussion is helpful in that it demonstrates that some children do go to heaven when they die, Evans fails to acknowledge that it does not necessarily prove that all children go to heaven when they die.
(emphasis mine)

I see just what I’m talking about in this statement starting with the difficult Scriptures to interpret the childlike ones. Only one who looks at the Scriptures this way would question God's love for His creation.

And what more of a childlike thought that a child can simply believe Jesus promise to give them eternal life, like that little three year old girl that Diane was telling us about.
My point is it doesn’t matter how MOST people get saved, what matters is what is the condition for eternal life?
I believe it’s just a simple promise that Jesus makes to the one who believes in Him for it. And a child can understand that and take it freely, and that’s more then I can say for these Scribes.

alvin

January 07, 2009 11:00 PM  
Blogger JoW said...

Alvin, Where did you get that quote from Hixson that he gave in answer to Tony Evans. Is it available on the internet? And what was the article by Tony Evans that he was criticizing?

January 08, 2009 12:56 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Jo Ann

I just went to J.B. Hixsons site to get the address for you but it was blocked now.
The article that Tony Evans wrote was concerning the salvation of those who had never heard the gospel.

alvin

January 08, 2009 6:51 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

Jo Ann

Here is the address:
http://www.hixson.org/docs/Soteriology/A%20Response%20to%20Tony%20Evans.pdf

I sent it to Diane to read quite awhile ago. I don't know if she has a copy of it or not. If I had one I can't find it but will keep looking.
alvin :)

January 08, 2009 7:34 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Jo Ann and ALL

I went back again to Hixsons site and was able to open that article.
A couple things that caught my attention were these statements by Hixson entering heaven and also his belief that ALL sin is NOT removed. (check out John 1:29)
the standard to enter heaven -- faith in Christ alone for forgiveness of sins and eternal life.

Hixson said:
Evans believes that "Savior of all men" refers to the fact that "the death of Jesus Christ removes the guilt of original sin for all people

I know that all of you that have read Zanes book "Harmony With God" understand the difference between forgiveness of sins and eternal life. I know now that both are given at the moment of faith but that was not always the case (John 20:23 thats not free gift language). Those ones who had heard John the baptist and Jesus and His disciples call to repent for the forgiveness of sin did NOT receive forgiveness of sins until they were baptized and believed in the coming One (The Christ). And those who had rejected "The Christ" before they were given the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit had to repent and be baptized (Acts 2:38). And that was not the case for the gift of eternal life that has always been given the moment one believes in "The Christ."
I don't believe Hixson understands this at all. And I can tell by his article that he believes not all sin has been taken away by Jesus but only of those who believe.
So SIN to Hixson stands in the way of anyone getting LIFE,even babies unless they are elect. Other words he doesn’t believe the clear teaching of Scripture. (John 1:29; 2 Cor 5:19; 1 John 2:2). To clarify forgiveness of sins, is personal. Even though all the ones in hell had their sins ALL paid for and the reason they are there is because they don’t have LIFE (Rev 20:15) they still are unforgiven.
As Luke stated in Acts 20:21b repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
Repentance as forgiveness is concerning sin and is personal with God who is the One we have offended. To bring harmony with God repentance is toward God but faith is toward the Lord Jesus Christ.
A verse which proves this is a fact, anyone can take of the water of life freely without any reference to repentance or sin (Rev 22:17). also repentance is not found in the gospel of John as Zane has also showed.
HERE is a very good article by Zane.

alvin

January 09, 2009 12:55 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

Here was J.B. Hixsons summary:
Evans attempts to solve two problems with the same solution. That is, those who cannot believe (infants, children, and mentally handicapped) are covered by the atoning work of Christ until such time as they explicitly reject the gospel. And those who have never heard the gospel are likewise covered by the atoning work of Christ, provided they “sincerely seek God and desire to know Him (p. 361).’
His solution is based on improper theological linking and a transparent, though presumably unintentional, disregard for the literal-grammatical-historical hermeneutic.

Tony bases his belief on these Scriptures (John 3:18; 1 Tim 4:10; 2 Cor 5:19; Heb 2:9; 2 Sam 12:23; Matt 18:1-4; 19:14; Mk 9:36-37; Heb 1:14; Heb 11:6; Jeremiah 29:13; Acts 17:26-28

We know one thing ALL sin HAS been paid for in FULL and taken out of the way nailing it to the cross!!! Praise God for that!!! Hixson doesn’t believe that! And I believe that’s why he is so adamant against taking the living water freely by simply believing in Jesus as the Christ the One who guarantees you’ll never thirst because you have eternal life!

alvin

January 09, 2009 1:53 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi, this is my last post :) Really! For a few days anyway. I want you all to look at Hixsons articulation in this following statement. The emphasis are mine.

Hixson:
Thus, the problem still remains: How can those who are under the penalty of sin, be forgiven AND GAIN eternal life?

Is it just me or does something stink? Didn't Jesus take the penalty for the sin of the world? Didn’t Paul say that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself NOT COUNTING THEIR SINS AGAINST THEM? And that is why He is able to offer eternal life as a GIFT? I know forgiveness and eternal life are not automatic just because Jesus took away the sin of the world but when one simply believes Jesus promise they have forgiveness of sins and eternal life. They don’t have to GAIN anything, that sounds like “what good does it do if you gain the whole world but lose your soul” or “to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” that’s rewards language.

I think I need to go to bed, to much thinking for one night . . . . :)
Gary where are you? I miss you!

alvin

January 09, 2009 3:17 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

Hi Friends,

I've been thinking a lot about the discussions going on here at the blog. We're all at different places in our understanding of God's truth. Where some of you are is where I use to be. But the key for me is not that we all understand the same truth at this moment. The key is that we all seek truth at this moment. I want to hear from God. I'm not interested in believing something that my favorite Bible teacher says if he's wrong. I know that God's going to be correcting me when I see Him in eternity. He will make everything clear at that time. But He wants me to hear Him now and He does reveal what He means when we are open to hearing Him. That takes lots of prayer and study and time. But God is faithful.

I have many Christian friends who see things differently than me. But they have been saved the same way I was saved..... by faith in Jesus Christ alone to save them (given eternal life). In my mind there is a difference between those Christians who differ with me because they don't understand what I've come to see, and those Christians who understand what I've come to see but reject it because their purpose in life is to destroy..... bring down those ministries (or people) who disagree with their long held beliefs. Some in this 2nd group do NOT understand what I've come to see because they don't want to. They won't even take an honest look. The first group are those whom God delights in and is growing. The second group are those God does not delight in, and they are in danger of His judgment here and now and at the Judgment Seat of Christ because they were closed to His instruction and purposely hurting those who are doing God's work.

It is OK to disagree with one another, but don't stop there. Be a Berean. There's no fear in that. God's Word is our safe guard. God wants us to check things out there in His Word.

Regarding what Zane Hodges taught about forgiveness of sins and receiving eternal life...... I have come to see what he is saying, and I agree with him, but it took a lot of study to see it. I didn't just accept it because he wrote it. If a person isn't interested in trying to understand, then I agree that that particular teaching sounds crazy. But it's not. Be open and look.

In that transitional time when Jesus died, rose, and ascended to the Father..... there were a group of sinners who came to believe in Jesus for His free gift of eternal life. At that moment they were born again (given LIFE... God's life). They were now children of God. YET these people (a particular group that lived and took part in some way with Jesus' crucifixion) needed fellowship with God AFTER they were immediately saved (had eternal life). This forgiveness of sins is talking about fellowship forgiveness. It is not referring to judicial forgiveness (which may not be a correct term since forgiveness has to do with fellowship here on earth). By judicial forgiveness I just mean...... their sins no longer kept them from God. Jesus paid the price to take sin out of the way. I now understand that forgiveness is a term for fellowship here on earth now, so I don't normally use the term "judicial forgiveness" like I use to.
Anyway, this special group of people needed to repent and be baptized (water) for the "forgiveness of sins" AND to receive the Holy Spirit. That was God's requirement for them to be in harmony (sweet fellowship) with Him. It was only true at a particular time (the transitional time from the Old to the New Testament) and only for a certain group of people. You never see it among Gentile believers even at that time in history. This was not strange at that time because O.T. believers did not receive the Holy Spirit when they first believed. The Holy Spirit would come upon them and depart. Not true today. Please take another look at what Zane Hodges is saying in his book, "Harmony With God." Check out the particular verses that he will show you. You will see that there were exceptions where people needed to first repent, be baptized (water baptism), laying on of hands to receive the Holy Spirit..... all AFTER they already believed in Christ for eternal life. Eternal life was received the moment they believed, but the Holy Spirit was received only AFTER they did what they were instructed to do for the forgiveness of sins and receiving the Holy Spirit. Eternal life was by faith and fellowship took more than that. This is hard to understand at first, but check it out with an open mind before God in His Word. You will find Him faithful to show you. You will see it for yourself and not have to take my word for it or Zane Hodges'.

BTW, I do not break fellowship over our differences as long as we agree on how to be saved. That to me is a big issue and can't be compromised. Faith in Jesus Christ alone as the giver of eternal life!!!

Let's use these blogging places to learn and grow in Jesus Christ. When we differ, lets be Bereans and check it out in God's Word. That pleases the heart of God and we can love one another around Him.

Rejoicing in my Savior alone,
Diane
:-)

January 09, 2009 10:24 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

CORRECTION... CLARIFICATION

Friends, I wanted to try to clarify something that I said about "judicial forgiveness" in my last comment.
First of all I don't think that "judicial forgiveness" is the right term. I sometimes use that term to distinguish between "heavenly forgiveness" and "earthly forgiveness" (fellowship forgiveness). But I'm not sure that I should do that because forgiveness of sins has to do with being in fellowship (perfect harmony) with God.

All BELIEVERS today are "forgiven of their sins" when they first believe in Jesus Christ for eternal life. That means that they not only have eternal life (God's LIFE) when they first believe, but also are in perfect harmony with God immediately (sweet fellowship).

Unbelievers sins have been paid for by Jesus also. 1 John 2:2. But unbelievers aren't forgiven of their sins until they believe. In other words, they need to be in *fellowship* with Him. Only by faith in Him can that happen.

Today every believer has eternal life, forgiveness of sins (fellowship forgiveness), and the indwelling Holy Spirit the MOMENT they believe.
Back in the transitional period (the beginning of the church age) that was true for MOST believers, but there was an exception to that
fellowship forgiveness for SOME..... as I explained above. There were SOME who received eternal life by faith who didn't yet have fellowship forgiveness and the Holy Spirit. God told them what they must do to have that. I explained that in my previous comment. Today and early on after Pentecost everybody receives the Holy Spirit and has "forgiveness of sins" (fellowship forgiveness) the moment they first believe.

I probably have you more confused now than I did above. The bottom line is this......
Don't confuse forgiveness of sins with the truth that everybody's sins are already paid for. Everybody doesn't have forgiveness of sins but they do have their sins paid for and moved out of the way as far as going to heaven. Sin is not the issue that keeps a person from going to heaven. The issue is LIFE. You must have God's gift of LIFE.
Forgiveness of sins is a personal issue between you and God. It's a fellowship issue. If you want sweet fellowship with Him, first believe in Jesus Christ and you will have eternal life AND have sweet fellowship with Him.
:-)

Diane

January 09, 2009 3:13 PM  
Blogger Revitus said...

Antonio,

What confounds me more than Hixson's vituperative book is why the FGA folks picked him? They knew he was a Calvinist when they hired him on, so there's no surprise here. A friend of mine, since gone on to the Lord, told me at the time that there would be trouble with this guy.

January 10, 2009 6:25 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

Revitus I believe there is a fox in the hen house!!! That explains to me how this man can use someone like Earl Radmacher as a means to his own ends in complete disregard for Earl Radmacher.

If you read Hixson’s response to Tony Evans book “Totally Saved” you will be convinced that he reasons just like a five-point Calvinist. Here is just a little taste of his reasoning.

Hixson said:

It is not theologically accurate to say, “God must act in accordance with fairness,’ for after all, there is no other way that God can act. When God acts, by definition He does so fairly. Whatever God does is fair. It is not that God acts justly. God is just. One concedes the point that from man’s perspective it seems unfair to require belief from those incapable of expressing it. But in reality, fairness must be judged by God’s demands, not the other way around. By making those without the ability to respond in faith to the gospel exempt from this requirement, Evans claims to have resolved the problem…at least partially.

That reminds me of Calvinism's argument that God can demand everyone to repent and believe but doesnt have to give the ability, and is still just.

Hixson said:

However, Evans’ interpretation of Paul’s statement “Savior of all men” is contrary to the traditional evangelical understanding of this statement. The classic understanding of this passage is that God is the Savior of all in the sense that He has provided a salvation that is available to all (cf. 2:2, 4,6).

Look at the verses he puts as explaining how Jesus is the Savior of all men: 1 John 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

1 John 2:6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

Sound to me he is confusing what it means to believe in Jesus as Savior with Jesus as Lord of ones life.

Also through his whole response is the assumption that Jesus blood is ONLY applied to those who believe which is in direct contradiction to Scripture!

1 John 2:2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours ONLY but also for the whole world.

2 Cor 5:19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

The reason God can offer the free gift of eternal life simply by faith alone is that sin has been taken out of the way (John 1:29).


alvin

January 12, 2009 7:31 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

Also look at Hixsons false reasoning here, he is mixing apples and oranges! There is a difference between ignorance and inability. Remember this is in the context of those who cannot believe (babies, children, and mentally handicapped).

Hixson said:

Evans’ argument regarding the salvation of those incapable of believing is based more on human reason than sound biblical support. He states, “God would not be just if He held people accountable for that which they cannot do, and for knowledge they do not posses. It is a sin not to do right only if a person can choose between right and wrong (p.355).” With all due respect, Dr, Evans seems to have forgotten that in civil/criminal law as well as spiritual law, ignorance is no defense. Whether or not one possesses the knowledge necessary to make proper choices, he is still held accountable for a failure to do so. For example, consider one who is traveling in the United States from a foreign country. If he exceeds the speed limit, is his offense overlooked simply because he could not read the speed limit sign? Similarly, the standard to enter heaven –faith in Christ alone for forgiveness of sins and eternal life –is the same for everyone regardless of whether or not one can read (or has access to) the Bible.

But inability is an excuse! If it can be proven that a person is unable no court of law will find them guilty. They will be sentrather to get help but would not be fined.
Alvin :)

January 12, 2009 8:08 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

I believe that GES has let a fox into the hen house also!
This man is called over and over in Dave Hunts book “What Love Is This” as a staunch Calvinist!
And during his message last year spoke of a man that believed that Jesus teaches salvation by works. This man also does not believe a person can have assurance until they have endured to the end (Matt 10:22). He believes that initial justification is by faith alone but final is by God-produced works. That salvation is not an event but a process.
Then at the Q&A time he says this about the man: I do not in anyway want to suggest that Alan is not a believer. In fact I’m in correspondence with him now, my best take on is he is a fine guy, loves the Lord, and were exchanging e-mails right now. I sense that he has a sincere heart, and he’s not hostile. And his book has a lot of commendable qualities, he’s clear on a lot of issues we would agree upon.
The DVD he is on is with a five-point Calvinist who sang the praises of John Calvin, if he could but immolate him he would be pleased.
I’ve marked this DVD as bad.

alvin
P/S He is again this year a key speaker.

January 18, 2009 4:24 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

Some things to check out in "Reign of the Servant King"
Page 22,23 speaking of the Experimental Predestinarian postion

Furthermore, if you did not hold to his view that faith was commitment, this, in his thinking, meant that you believed all that was necessary for salvation was that you pray a prayer or intellectually accept some facts. In addition, this meant that you actively taught that there were two optional classes of Christians, carnal or spiritual, and that it was all right to be either one!
For those who may assume that this is either the direct teaching or the logical implication of the Partaker position, please withhold judgment until you have finished these pages! Like our Experimental Predestinarian friends, we would have serious doubts about the salvation of a man who claims he is a Christian and gives little or no evidence of it in his life. We would not give assurance of salvation to such an individual. We, too, are concerned about those who seem to think they can pray a prayer and live indifferently to Christ’s claims and yet maintain the fiction that they will go to heaven anyway.
Calvinist would be very happy with this statement!
page 35 That is why repentance can be used by itself, and when it is, it is virtually a synonym for faith.
Page 248
Saving faith
If Calvin were to be asked, “Where do we get faith?” He would answered that its source is the intercessory prayer of Christ. We receive the gift of faith because Christ prayed to the Father and asked Him to give it to us. Faith is thus located in the mind and is not an act of the will or an initiative which we take in order to become a Christian; it is passively received. With unusual insight this towering theologian of the Reformed faith put his finger on the heart of the matter. Faith and assurance go together and are God’s gift to His elect, and neither are the product of human will.
page 540,541 "The Intent of the Atonement"
It is either a satisfaction for sin in all respects or a satisfaction for sin in some limited respect. It cannot be a satisfaction in all respects because then all men would be saved. If the claims of justice have truly been satisfied in all respects, then surely no man should have to satisfy again those same claims himself by suffering the penalty of hell. But men do go to hell. Therefore, the atonement must be a satisfaction for sin in a special sense.
Page 312
Such people, of course, may theoretically enjoy a “carnal assurance.” But they cannot enjoy biblical assurance. They may or may not be saved. If faith is a looking to Christ for forgiveness of sin, then a life of sin is psychologically and ethically contradictory to such faith. Since faith includes assurance, such people can have no biblical assurance of their destiny. Therefore, to assert that the Bible teaches the existence of the carnal Christian is not the same thing as “giving assurance” to a man who has professed faith in Christ but has no evidence of such faith. The only way one can know externally if a man is saved is by his claim that he has believed in Christ and by the evidences of such belief in perseverance. Many who say they are saved are not.
Calvinist would love that! Notice he defines faith just like Hixson does “looking to Christ for forgiveness of sins.” Good Catholics would say that but still don’t believe in Jesus for eternal life.
Page 38
It was Calvin who first formalized the science of theology. He insisted that interpretations had to have a scientific justification. The allegorizing of the Middle Ages was rejected, and sound canons of hermeneutics were embraced for the first time since Augustine. By scientific justification we mean, first of all, that, in order for an interpretation to be true, it must be grounded in the objective data of history, lexicography, culture, grammar, and context. But secondly, it must submit to a “falsifiability criterion.” If contray data invalidate it, it must be given up.
Ha!Ha! That’s really funny! Augustine was the one who came up with the “Horrible Decree of God” and infant baptism and a whole bunch of other false teachings. Killing people who didn’t agree like Muslims do!
This man is either really confused or he's a good Calvinist.

alvin

January 19, 2009 1:33 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

Dillow gave a plug for a commentary on Romans by Thomas Schreiner. Jody back peddled a bit after saying it was excellent. This will give you a little insight on Schreiner, and you can read more on the site. But you can see Calvinsim plays a larger role with him.

Schreiner said:
John Piper’s focus on the glory of God in both his writing and preaching have been an inspiration to me.
Schreiner in an interview:
I would not identify myself as a covenant theologian or a dispensationalist. I slightly lean toward amillennialism, but I am not completely sure on this point. Revelation 20 gives me pause, so that I often wonder if historic premillennialism is correct. Still, my reading of Revelation as a whole is compatible with approaches that are amillennial.

17. You have written other works that defend Calvinism, complementarianism, and Baptist ecclesiology. How prominently do your views on these issues feature in your NTT?
Complementarianism and Baptist ecclesiology are there, but they are not terribly prominent given the scope of the work. I think my Calvinist reading plays a larger role. Soteriology is a major theme in the NT, and hence one’s decision on this matter affects the interpretation of many texts!
You can find this Q&A here http://theologica.blogspot.com/2008/08/interview-with-tom-schreiner-on-nt.html

January 19, 2009 4:58 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Alvin,

You may have issues with Jody Dillow. I do so myself. But I see him as a fellow Free Grace advocate whose book is a storehouse of wisdom. He is roughly on the same pages that Bob Wilin and Zane Hodges are.

Even Zane Hodges and Bob Wilkin hold to a form of unconditional election and irresistable grace (albeit they are different than classic Reformed unbderstandings on them).

I praise God for Joseph Dillow and his continued study defending Free Grace theology and exposing Lordship Salvation in all its forms.

I thoroughly enjoyed his message at last year's conference, and enjoyed my time of questioning of him, both in his message itslelf and afterwards in person.

He is of great benefit to Free Grace Theology!

I everywhere recommend his book, as it has been of great benefit to me.

Antonio

January 19, 2009 2:43 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Antonio

I don't believe it can even be called unconditional election that they believe. They simply see believing as illumination so it's not a choice in that sense. But they believe in free-will and a person must seek God to find Him. They KNOW that the five-points of Calvinism is a man-made LIE!

alvin

January 19, 2009 3:11 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

The difference between someone like Dillow and Hodges or Wilkin is Dillow is looking through rose colored Calvinist glasses. Even the commentary that he said was excellent was from another Calvinist point of view. Zane and Bob KNOW that Calvinism is false and look at Scripture clearly without that starting point. That is why God has shown them and us so many WONDERFUL TRUTHS! Hopefully Dillow will see the truth and turn away from the lie, but until he does he can do much damage to baby believers sending them to such books where a man doesn't even believe in a literal Millinium Kingdom and that babies are not under grace. Also I was going to show where Dillow is ripping Scripture out of context just to prove his point.
Bob said if you do a study on "the will of the Father" always when concerning people, it's to believe in the Son. And Scriptures like "he who endures to the end." Is speaking of the tribulation period and not final salvation concerning rewards like Dillow is saying. And the narrow way Zane has explained in his book "Grace In Eclipse" page 19,20. But Dillow is disregarding all this. And if you listen to that DVD again you will hear him say what they believe is SLIGHTLY different then how he sees it.

off to work :)

January 19, 2009 3:28 PM  
Blogger wjc said...

Alvin, - I have had several cyber conversations with Dillow some time back and he has a deterministic view of God's sovereignty however he does have some doubts about it... So even though he might have some Calvinistic tendencies, I agree with Antonio - he is a wonderful man and solidly free grace in his message of salvation. even though I don't always agree with him he has always been very open to dialogue and very thoughtful in considering what others have to say. Zane had a significant impact on him and on his ministry around the world in closed countries. For me, Dillow is a perfect example of someone who you can disagree with but be perfectly happy working side by side in God's harvest field. He is definitely a true and devoted friend of Free Grace...

January 19, 2009 8:30 PM  
Blogger wjc said...

Alvin, - I have had several cyber conversations with Dillow some time back and he has a deterministic view of God's sovereignty however he does have some doubts about it... So even though he might have some Calvinistic tendencies, I agree with Antonio - he is a wonderful man and solidly free grace in his message of salvation. even though I don't always agree with him he has always been very open to dialogue and very thoughtful in considering what others have to say. Zane had a significant impact on him and on his ministry around the world in closed countries. For me, Dillow is a perfect example of someone who you can disagree with but be perfectly happy working side by side in God's harvest field. He is definitely a true and devoted friend of Free Grace...

January 19, 2009 8:31 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi WJC

If I'm wrong I'll apologize! But there seems to be too many red flags to me to be wrong. That commentary that he was promoting was from a heavey Calvinistic view point. That tells me he wants to spread Calvinism in the free-grace ranks. Also he believes faith is a gift, which is really bad! When I get my Dave Hunt book back from my car-pool buddy I'm going to look at it again. Hunt had some pretty strong words about Dillow being a very stauch Calvinist.
I trust you guys and Diane though, so I don't know what to think. You all have to admit Dillow is confused on alot of things!

alvin
goodnight :)

January 20, 2009 7:45 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

To make clear Zane Hodges belief concerning all points of Calvinism:
Dave Hunts book “What Love Is This” published 2002 page 80, 132
Concerning the five points of Calvinism, Hodges writes,
“None of these ideas has any right to be called normative Protestant theology.
None has ever been held by a wide cross-section of Christendom.
Most importantly, none of them is biblical…all of them lie outside the proper parameters of Christian orthodoxy.” (Zane C. Hodges, “The New Puritanism, Pt. 2: Michael S. Horton: Holy War with Unholy Weapons” (Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, Spring 1994), 6:11.

Zane Hodges writes,

The result of [Michael S.] Horton’s theology is that non-elect people are hopelessly bound for hell because God declines to regenerate them. Thus they are unable to believe. Yet they are condemned for that unbelief! The picture of God that emerges from this is a hideous distortion of His loving character and nature. It is not surprising, therefore, to find Horton also writing: “He [God] cannot love us directly because of our sinfulness, but he can love us in union with Christ, because Christ is the one the Father loves.”Quoting from Michael S. Horton, ed., Christ the Lord: The Reformation and Lordship Salvation (Baker Book House, 1992), 111.
Zane: What this amounts to is that God does not “directly” love anyone unless first He regenerates him or her, since “regeneration is the commencement of union.” In other words, God does not love the elect until they are regenerated, and He never loves the non-elect at all.

Dave Hunts book quotes Zane five times pages 80,133,140,241,378 and Bob Wilkin once page 379 as clearly against Calvinism.
Jody Dillow is quoted seven times as a defender of Calvinism, Hunt calls him a STAUNCH Calvinist twice page 323,381.
my opinion:
Hunt uses Dillow I believe as a morderate Calvinist to contrast against Calvinist who are more consistant in their Calvinism. He sees Dillow as one who contradicts himself page 404.
This will be my last words on this, unless I have more words

January 21, 2009 7:21 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:20).

Most interpreters of this statement overlook the Book of Romans. Of course, one cannot enter God’s kingdom apart from a righteousness superior to that of the religious models of that day! (Jesus had not yet begun to denounce them publicly.) But what kind of righteousness is that? There is only one biblical answer to this question –the Pauline answer. No righteousness of any kind is sufficient except the very righteousness of God which is imputed to men on the basis of faith alone (Rom 3:21-26).
The words of Jesus are pre-Pauline!
(Grace In Eclipse page 26 Zane Hodges) emphasis mine

My comment: Remember here Jesus is speaking in the context of the law, and no one can keep the law. So the righousness that is required here to enter into the kingdom is a perfect rightousness. And whether you are least in the Kingdom or great you got there ONLY one way and that is through the narrow gate which is faith alone in Christ alone for eternal life. There is only ONE gate therefore there is ONLY one entrance.

alvin :)

alvin :)

January 22, 2009 5:28 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

Just as Dillow ripped “But he who endures to the end shall be saved” out of it’s context of physically being saved to go into the Kingdom (24:3,6,13,14 the end cf. 22). He makes Matt 24:18-20 to mean two kinds of entrances, when in fact Jesus is talking about those who are already in the Kingdom and are least or greatest there by if they keep the law. Because the law will be in effect there: Zane
Thus, when the kingdom appears, anyone within it who disobeys even its smallest demand and teaches others to do likewise, will have the lowest possible status therein (Matt 5:19). Here, of course, it should be remembered that disobedience to the King will not be unknown during the Kingdom’s first one thousand years, that is, during the Millennium (cf. Zech 14:16-19). In fact, this initial thousand years will be climaxed by a Satanically inspired rebellion (Rev 20:7-10). (Grace In Eclipse p.28)
If your like me and were completely confused by Dillows teachings on that DVD this is the book to read to clear it all up! Even the commentary that Dillow was promoting on Romans by Thomas Schreiner, he believed that were now already in the Kingdom!
This will be my last post on Dillow I believe I have established his errors, back to Hixson!
Alvin :)

January 22, 2009 7:26 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Alvin,

I was there for the presentation given by Dillow, so was Zane. I appreciated very much Dillow's defense of Free Grace theology against the errors of what he called neo-nomism. By the way, he places Schriener and Canaday into that category of errors.

Dillow has a perspective on texts that keep him squarely in the Free Grace theology camp. I welcome new exegesis and arguments in the text, which I will consider. He did not persuade me to all of his teachings in the Sermon on the Mount. But I appreciated them as bonafide and legitimate free grace positions.

I am thankful for thinkers in the FG camp and do not fall into the category of Zane being the pope on matters concerning theology (not that I am saying you do).

You need to seriously consider saying another unkind word about this man. He is a friend to free grace theology, and an able exegete. His book is a must read, and pretty much as close as FG has as a magnum opus on its positions.

Zane Hodges believed in Unconditional Election, Alvin. In this I vehemently disagree. I even pleaded with him as he wrote his commentary on Romans to prayerfully consider and prepare himself with a wide range and variety of resources on Romans chapter 9. I gave him some resources that I thought would be beneficial for him. He thankfully responded to my concerns, stated that he had already read and considered the materials I had suggested for him, and stated that there were texts in the bible that were too strong for him to deny unconditional election.

Alvin, brother. I am asking you in a spirit of love. Please refrain from this course you are taking. We need to have some charity here. I am discouraged by your last phrase, "back to Hixson!" It ought not to be about people, but about ideas, positions, and issues.

I don't like the way that Hixson put Radmacher in the position that he did. This was unethical. But I do not dislike the man. I actually met him and took him out to lunch here in San Diego. He was gracious, intelligent, and passionate for Free Grace Theology.

Let us right now and here put to rest the attack mode, and become gracious positive proclaimers of the grace message, as I know that you are so able to do, as I have read it time and again from the computer screen from your keyboard.

You are a bright and unique thinker with so much to share. Let your message be heard by sharing it in a way that becomes a man of God, as you are, in love with the Lord, seeing our proclamation of the truth as an act of worship to Him in spirit and truth.

There has been enough division, bitterness, and infighting. It needs to stop now.

I love you as a brother, and agree with you on theology and the way you articulate it. But I do not wish this blog promote rancor. Please be prayerful and considerate while you post here. Re-read your statements before you publish, and make sure that they are honoring to God.

Please take this in the spirit it was given: as a brother who loves you and seeks your blessing and well-being.

sincerely,

Antonio

January 22, 2009 8:04 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

I'm VERY disappointed! That means Zane contradicted himself and what he said was'nt true!
Zane:
Most importantly, none of them is biblical…all of them lie outside the proper parameters of Christian orthodoxy.” (Zane C. Hodges,

January 22, 2009 8:27 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

Antonio YOUR WRONG!!!!
If Zane would have interpreted Romans 9 the way unconditional election is understood there by the five-point Calvinist it would contradict so much of what Zane taught. So you HAD to be wrong, and misunderstood him, or you caught him at a low point! Because if God literally hated Esau like the Calvinist believe that would contradict John 3:16. That would contradict the analogy of faith by which you ALWAYS start with the child like Scriptures first!
I expect to meet Esau in heaven, and I remember reading an article at GES that stated the same. Esau was used as an example for chastisement for the believer in Hebrew 12:16-17.
Concerning Romans 9:10-13
I believe it is talking about those two individuals there but the hate is in contrast to choosing Jacob as the Godly line. So it would be like Jacob's love for Rachel in comparison for Leah, the Scripture says that Jacob hated Rachel. But we KNOW he didn't literally hate her but in comparison to his love for Rachel it would seem like hate.
Also Zane was clear on the free-will of man and that God loves everyone and paid for all their sins and commanded them to believe in Him for eternal life. Zane was crystal clear on ALL this, so what you say would contradict SO MUCH of what he taught and believed IF he believed the second point of the TULIP. Remember Antonio all five points flow together, I think I remember ZANE SAYING SOMEWHERE IF ONE POINT FALLS THEY ALL DO!
I hope your humble enough to take this in the right way!

BROTHER ALVIN

for you to imply Zane as a Pope is ridiculas!

January 23, 2009 1:42 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Alvin,

You have gone too far. Please desist from this liine. I am asking politely.

Taken from Zane Hodges' article, The New Puritanism"

"Denying the doctrine of unconditional election (“this tragic error,” Hodges calls it) and the effectiveness of God’s grace in granting faith, the author adds. . . [p. 17; italics added].

This is also an untrue statement. I say nothing in Absolutely Free! about the doctrine of unconditional election (the so-called second point of Calvinism). As a matter of fact, I hold to that doctrine"

Antonio

January 23, 2009 4:29 AM  

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