Zane Hodges

Theology Thursday – Faith Alone?

The Grace Evangelical Society (“GES”) explains the organization “was founded in 1986 to promote the life-giving truth that God offers man the free gift of everlasting life through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, apart from works done before or after the new birth (John 3:16; 5:24; 6:35, 47; 11:26).”

The organization is often associated with the late Zane Hodges, a former professor at Dallas Theological Seminary who co-authored an edition of the Majority Text with Art Farstad in the early 1980s. Hodges infamously published a book entitled Absolutely Free! in 1989, which helped spark the “Lordship” controversey with John MacArthur. 

In this excerpt from GES’ website, we see the organization’s position on salvation. The most significant thing to note is that it does not believe repentance is part of the Gospel at all:

Salvation

The sole condition for receiving everlasting life is faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died a substitutionary death on the cross for man’s sin and rose bodily from the dead (John 3:16-18; 6:47; Acts 16:31).

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Theology Thursday - Zane Hodges on Lordship Salvation

In 1988, John MacArthur released The Gospel According to Jesus and the phrase “lordship salvation” rocketed into popular evangelical vocabulary. Of course, the debate had been simmering long before MacArthur published his book, but he helped turn the simmer to a rolling boil. Charles Ryrie published So Great Salvation, in 1989. And, that same year, Zane Hodges finished Absolutely Free! MacArthur and Hodges represent the two opposite sides of the spectrum in this war of words and theologial systems.

Here, in this short excerpt from his book, Zane Hodges introduces the issue from his perspective:1

It would be difficult to imagine a conversation like this between a father and his son:

Son: “Dad, am I really your son, or am I only adopted?”

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