Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Almost Nothing is Free

Zane Hodge is our "Free Grace" hero! Zane Clark Hodges (June 15, 1932 - November 23, 2008) was an American pastor, seminary professor, and Bible scholar. He was reared in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and came to Dallas, Texas in 1954 after receiving a bachelor's degree from Wheaton College. He received master of theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary in 1958. He then taught New Testament Greek and Exegesis (1960–1987) at Dallas Seminary and was also chairman of the New Testament Department. Hodges also served as pastor at Victor Street Bible Chapel, formerly The Old Mission in Dallas, for almost 50 years. Zane Hodges was also the founder and president of Kerugma Ministries.

Some of the views that Hodges is known for include: (1) "Free Grace Theology," a view which holds that eternal life is received only as a free gift through belief in Jesus Christ for eternal life (a person cannot "lose" their salvation), (2) "Eternal Rewards" a view that various passages in the New Testament are not dealing with eternal salvation but addressing Christians and the opportunity to earn eternal rewards or to caution against their loss and (3) his position on the Majority Text.

In the 1980s, Hodges and John F. MacArthur presented differing views over the gospel through various books, generally known as the "lordship salvation" controversy. Hodges defended the Free Grace Theology position, which teaches there is a distinction between salvation, which is accepting Jesus Christ as one's savior for the remission of sins and receiving eternal life with God, and "lordship", which is becoming an obedient disciple. Free Grace teaches that once a person accepts Jesus Christ as their savior, they cannot "lose" their salvation. MacArthur replied with a defense of the traditional Reformed view of salvation, and argued that because the faith that saves invariably results in works, works can be seen as necessary, though not a condition, for eternal salvation. (MacArthur, The Gospel According to Jesus, 1988, pp170–176). MacArthur viewed faith as including notions of surrender or commitment, while Hodges' viewed "faith" as a belief or a conviction that something is true.

We put Zane's Free Grace theory to the test. We went to a pawn shop in Las Vegas made famous by the tv show, "Pawn Stars." We were determined to sell our soul to the "Old Man."

Old Man: Hello, what can we do for you today?

Wheatie: Well I was digging around my attic and discovered my soul and wanted to come down here and see if it was worth anything.

Old Man: Hmmm, what do want to do with it? Sell it? Pawn it? Or trade it?

Wheatie: I'd like to sell it to test the theory that one cannot lose their salvation.

Old Man: Ok, let's see it.

It's a little roughed up and it's seen better days. Overall though, I think it's in pretty good condition. For the most part I've used it to pray daily, meditate on God's word, and listen the voice of the Holy Spirit. I'll be honest, there's been some times when it has been neglected. You might notice that there's a few broken pieces where I tried to glue on the "Olsteen Prosperity Gospel" and "Prayer of Jabez" pop theology. If you look under here, there's a bit of tarnish from something called a "Gothard Seminar." Also one little crack here - when I was into post-modern emergent drum circles and pot.


Wheatie: Did you fall asleep?

Old Man: Just resting my eyes. Son, I have seen lots of these in my days since the Navy, but never one that went to Wheaton College and practiced free grace. Maybe I should call Jud Wilhite to give me his expert opinion on it's value. So how much do you want for it?

Wheatie: Well it is my soul. I think as the Charlie Daniels song says, it's at least worth a gold fiddle. How about $1 million dollars?

Old Man: Better just put it back in the suitcase, son. I think you are in the wrong shop. I could maybe give you $2 for it.

Wheatie:  Ok, how about $10,000?

Old Man: Remember, I've got to be able to resell this for a profit. How about $2.50.

Wheatie: I don't know. I guess I haven't used it much lately, so that better than nothing. I did drive here all the way from Illinois, so Yes, I'll take $2.50.

Old Man:
Ok, shake on it. I'll have Chumley write it up and get you your silver coins.

Chumley: Whoa, this think is pretty cool. Maybe I will buy it. How does it work? Hey, now that you don't have a soul you can go catch Cique Du Soleil's Zumanity.

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