Friday, August 11, 2006

Since the Gospel of John Includes the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, Aren't They Necessary to be Understood for Saving Faith?

Here is another question and answer that followed Professor Zane Hodges' speech on How to Lead People to Christ, Part 1 at the Grace Evangelical Society’s 2000 conference.

Question from the audience: Zane, whatever problems lordship people had with you have just quadrupled after this presentation. I’m not sure that they won’t call a church council to discuss this.

It would seem that one of the retorts that you would get to your thesis today is that since the Gospel of John includes the entire life of Christ and since that life also included His death and resurrection (even alluded to earlier, “God gave His only begotten Son”), that even in John’s thinking, the concept of the cross was not something that was just contributory so that it became support for this minimum level of faith, but that John may have viewed it as necessary to be understood. That’s why those events were included in his Gospel. Therefore, if those events, the death and resurrection, are not included in the presentation, then the message that is to believed has not been fully communicated either. How would you respond to that?

Answer from Professor Hodges: Well I think I would say, first of all, that yes, John obviously presents a lot of material that is supportive of his call to faith in Christ. But, also, against this is the fact that he makes it clear that people did believe in Him without understanding these realities.

What I have said today is basically that the full gospel message is an effective and by far the best tool to bring people to faith in Christ. But if we are asking the theological question, “What is the bare minimum that a person could believe and still be born again?” then I think the Gospel of John would support the idea that the person who believes in Jesus Christ for eternal life is the person who is saved.

I admit the lordship people might have some problems with me, but all I can say is I’ve got a few with them. [Tape 1 ends at this point].