The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Puddy's Propositions:#4 Gospel of refuse/Gospel of grace

Did you know there were two different gospels concurrent during the Acts period? Yes, this is taught in the scriptures.

“But, on the contrary, perceiving that I have been entrusted with the evangel of the Uncircumcision, according as Peter of the Circumcision (for He Who operates in Peter for the apostleship of the Circumcision operates in me also for the nations), and, knowing the grace which is being given to me… give to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we, indeed, are to be for the nations, yet they for the Circumcision…” Galations. 2.7-10

Notice the preposition ‘of’ in the above passage? Versions such as the NIV and NASB have changed ‘OF’ to ‘TO’
What a difference that makes to the sense of the passage. Here is what Peter Feddema says on this preposition

“The use of the preposition “to” would have indicated a mere territorial arrangement of operation for Paul and for the twelve, with one and the same evangel; but, the preposition"of” makes it abundantly clear that Paul is speaking here of two distinct evangels, each with it’s own character and content, and shows to whom they belong and pertain" Read his whole article here; … angels.htm

With the gospel of the circumcision, there must be personal righteousness, in order to enter the Kingdom of the heavens (Matt 5.17-20)

With the gospel of the uncircumcision, personal righteousness plays no part, and is deemed as refuse (Phil. 3.7-9)

Here are some of the differences between the two Gospels (listed below)

Gospel of the Circumcision. Gospel of the Uncircumcision.

To reconcile those on the earth… To reconcile those in the heavens

In accord with prophets (Acts 3. 24-25) A secret until Paul. (Eph. 3. 8-10)

Reign on earth (Rev.5.10) Reign among celestials (Eph. 2.6-7)

Peter called in Israel (Mt. 4.18) Paul called outside Israel (Acts 9.3)

Proclaimed among Israelites (Js. 1.1, 1 Pet. 1.1) Proclaimed among the nations (Eph. 3.8)

Salvation because of Israel (Acts 10. 30-32) Salvation in spite of Israel ( Rom.11.15)

Bride of the Lambkin (Jn. 3.29, Rev. 21.9) Body of Christ (Eph. 5.30)

Glory of the terrestrial (1Cor. 15.40, Jn. 3.12) Glory of the celestial (1 Cor. 15.40, Jn. 3.12)

Racial distinctions important (Mt. 19.28, Rev. 21.12) Racial distinctions irrelevant (Gal. 3.28)

Water baptism required (Acts. 2.38) Water baptism not required (1 Cor. 1.17, 12.13)

Will keep law (Micah 4.2) Not under law (Rom. 6.14)

Pardoned of guilt – forgiven – (Lk. 11.14) Not even guilty – justified-- (Rom. 5.1)

The irreverent are condemned (2 Pet. 2.5-6) The irreverent are justified (Rom. 4.5)

Must have works, or faith is dead (Js. 2.20) Must not be working, only have faith (Rom. 4.5)

Expecting grace (1 Peter 1.13) Standing in grace (Rom. 5.2)

Exhorted to remain in him (1 Jn. 2.28) Died with him, cannot deny himself (2 Tim. 2.11,13)

Difficulty apprehending Paul (2 Pet. 3. 15-16) Tend to apprehend both gospels (2 Cor. 12.11)

Must be watching (Lk. 12.37, Heb. 9.28) Watching or drowsing (1Thess 5.10)

Can be put to shame at his presence (1 Jn. 2.28) Changed at his presence (1 Thess. 4.15-17)

Will go through indignation (Rev. 7.1-17) Not appointed to indignation (1 Thess. 1.10)

Will receive Christ on earth (Acts 1. 11-12) Will meet Christ in air (1 Thess. 4.17)

Saved left, unsaved taken out (Mt. 24.38-41) Saved taken out, unsaved left (1 Thess. 4.17)

To be priests over nations (Rev. 2.26-27) Allotment among celestials (Eph. 2.6)

Fill earth with knowledge of God (Hab. 2.14) Dispense wisdom among celestials (Eph. 3.10-12)

Will judge twelve tribes of Israel (Mt. 19.28) Will judge angels (1 Cor. 6.3)

Will have access to temple courts (Rev.7.15) Have access to the Father himself (Eph. 2.18)

Will respond later – just checking in here so I can subscribe.

Sounds a lot like Classical Dispensationalism to me. Although most Dispensationalists would be unwilling to suggest that there is more than one way of Salvation, they generally see the nation of Israel and the Church as distinct and separate entities with distinct and separate destinies.

My take, for what it’s worth, is that, while there is only one Gospel, the differences between Jews and Gentiles at that time in history was such that “tailoring the message” to one’s particular audience was important to it’s being properly understood. The issues that weigh heavily on the hearts and minds of one group won’t necessarily be of such weightiness to the other, and so, in order to reach everyone, the Gospel presentation is done differently for one group than it is for the other.

Not a different Gospel, but the same Gospel, described differently.

Thank you for your response.

It is to the great credit of dispensationalists that there is at least a partial grasp of Paul’s gospel. Charles Ryrie and
Zane Hodge have been strong advocates for ‘faith alone’ (what I remember, anyway)

The turning away from Paul’s gospel happened in his lifetime. Most Christians cannot grasp pure grace, and must mix works in with Paul’s teachings.

I did a quick Google search, and on another Christian forum a person asked this question

“Why do John F. MacArthur, Jr. and Charles C. Ryrie teach two different gospels? Which one is right, or are they both wrong?”

I would say this person was observant, since most evangelical’s seem unaware that there is more than one gospel being preached today.

Most are oblivous to this controversy, and cannot distinguish between the different gospel messages being preached.
Why then should it be surprising if they cannot distinguish between the two gospels meantioned in the scriptures?

John MacArthur teaches ‘faith-works’ which simply is not the gospel for today. It may resemble the ‘gospel of the circumcision’ but essentially it is no gospel at all.

Only the ‘gospel of the uncircumcision’ is in effect today.

The turning away from Paul, occurred in his own day. Just read 2 Timothy. (Very sad)

There have been a few partial recoveries of Pauline truth. Martin Luther, and Darby (for example)

Essentially, with the teaching of ‘faith-works’ and that of the ‘free-will’ we are paving our road back to Rome.

I would be interested to know your gospel message. What does a person need to do in order to be saved?

Before I became a Christian Universalist, I was a rather staunch Pauline Dispensationalist. In fact, I still retain a rather dispensational perspective in many arenas, although I must admit that I’m becoming much more skeptical of the eschatological pronouncements made by certain dispensationalists these days, particularly those characterized by a rather…manic quality of presentation, if you catch my meaning.

Be that as it may, I also feel that dispensationalism has, to it’s credit, traditionally been very strong on the position that salvation is by faith alone. The men that you mentioned, Hodges and Ryrie, have been, and still are, heroes in my book. (I’d also include Chafer, Newell and Stanford in my heroes list.) When I first started my theological studies roughly 5 years ago, their writings were truly a breath of fresh air to me, and their strong stance on the free grace perspective was, I tend to think, a rather logical stepping stone to Christian Universalism for me.

As you well pointed out, it is rather strange that so many evangelicals these days are not aware of the differences between the various gospel presentations being made today, and how many of them mix law and grace, completely unaware that that is what they’re doing. I personally imagine it is at least in part due to the obvious problems that happen when you take either full blown Arminianism or full blown Calvinism to their logical conclusions. I think most preachers these days, probably without even realizing what they’re doing, borrow from both systems as the occasion demands, basically hopping back and forth between whichever system makes the most sense at the moment. Problem is, the overall message becomes confused and oftentimes even outright contradictory.

You ever heard the expression, “We are saved by faith alone, but if faith is alone, it is not faith.”? Not only is that statement linguistically incoherent (just replace the word “faith” with almost any other noun, and it becomes even more apparent), but it also mistakenly implies that we are saved by our faith, rather than by Christ!

So then, I am an advocate of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

Yes, I think I may know what you mean about ‘manic quality of presentation’. I do have an interest in prophecy, and the book of Revelation, but it is secondary to really trying to have a good grip on the Pauline letters. Still I think you will agree that the prophecies relating to Christ’s first coming were fulfilled literally. Also, regardless of the accuracy of the eschatological announcements, at least there is a value placed on the book of Revelation. For many Christians the book is a nuisance, and one wonders if they would even miss it, if it disappeared from the cannon.

I became aware of the confusion of gospels at quite a young age. It is possible, I first assumed it was my own ignorance. It was a great struggle for me, so that when I happened upon Ryrie’s book ‘So great Salvation’ and began reading it, you can imagine my great relief. A breath of fresh air.

Yes, it is amazing how law and grace are mixed together into a mash of gobbledygook. It is as Paul said in his letter to the Galations “I am marveling that thus, swiftly, you are transferred from that which calls you in the grace of Christ, to a different evangel, WHICH IS NOT ANOTHER…” (1.6)

Ironically this passage is used by some to show there was only one gospel at this point of time in the Acts, however a mixture of gobbledygook, is not another gospel.

A plain reading of Galations shows two gospels in existence, and Paul first takes time to show the distinctiveness of his Apostleship “Paul, an apostle (not from men, neither through a man, but through Jesus Christ and God, the Father, Who rouses Him from among the dead), and all the brethren with me, to the eccleasias of Galatia:” (1.1-2) and then the very distinctiveness of his gospel “For I am making known to you, brethren, as to the evangel which is being brought by me, that it is not in accord with man. For neither did I accept it from a man, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ” (1.11-12)

When Paul was severed by God, he emphasizes the fact (to show his distinctiveness) that “I did not immediately submit it to flesh and blood, neither came I up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I came away into Arabia, and I return again to Damascus” (1.17)

Many years later “after the lapse of fourteen years” he went up to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and Timothy. Why? “Now I went up in accord with a revelation, and submitted to them the evangel which I am heralding among the nations… But not even Titus, who is with me, being a Greek, is compelled to be circumcised” (2.1-3)

A strange statement, “We are saved by faith alone, but if faith is alone, it is not faith.” I like your own words “it also mistakenly implies that we are saved by our faith, rather than by Christ!”

Indeed having faith in ‘faith’ itself is a serious problem. It is one reason why I am against the teaching of the ‘free will’ Man has nothing to do with his salvation, not even having ‘faith’ This is a gift from God.

Paul’s teaching leaves no room for boasting, other than in the cross of Christ.

Gobbledygook… reminds me of a article my friend Charles Slagle wrote:

Thanks, my friend E.T.82

While I do not agree with every point made, there were quite a few gems in the article.
For example;

"He created human beings because He is a Great Gambler that delights in chancing the lives of His human offspring in His grand cosmic game of “Winners and Losers”.

“we believe that we cannot save ourselves, since the original sin of Adam and Eve renders us utterly depraved and powerless. Yet on the other hand, God has given us a free will so we can choose to rise above our depraved and evil state–and submit to him in obedient faith before it is forever to late”

“You shouldn’t say “Good luck!” to people. That dishonors God. There’s no such thing as chance or luck, for HE IS SOVEREIGN AND RULES OVER ALL AFFAIRS. On the other hand, many people will be lost for all eternity because they failed to recognize their “chance” to receive Jesus”

What is free will? It is humanism in religious garb. It makes us ultimately responsible for our own salvation. I call it Superman salvation. It is like Christ abolished kryptonite, but we still have to pull ourselves out of the dangerous situation and be a hero.
What are free-will testimonials? “I was saved in 1952, when I listened to the gospel at a tent meeting” (etc)
Is this not brag-a-thon hour? It’s as if they think they were not saved 2000 years ago, but only when out of themselves they choose Christ.

I went to your friend Slagle’s website, and really want to comment on his article ‘Once saved always saved?’ This will give me the opportunity to highlight the importance of not mixing the two gospel messages. I am afraid some see my belief in ‘the 2 evangels’ as some type of pet doctrine, or hobby horse, when in reality to not distinguish between the two is doing serious harm. However I will not go into detail in this particular article, but only highlight it’s problem.

Your friend says this, “Does the “once saved always saved” doctrine bring security to struggling Christians? For me, it did. For a few months after I first embraced it, it seemed to give me a sense of security in God’s love I had never known before.”

He goes on to say, " Wow…! What a relief, and what a discovery! Or so it seemed. I felt that God REALLY did love me and was guarding all my tomorrows. So for awhile I experienced a love for Him I had never known. Of course I also discovered some measurable degrees of freedom from my bondages, which I had never experienced. That was because —-for a season—-believing in “once saved always saved” helped me to cease focusing on MY performance. For awhile I could focus instead on resting and rejoicing in God’s grace."

So even according to your friend there is a great benifit to the ‘once saved, always saved doctrine’. Yet sadly he goes on to say .

"I had been brought up in a tradition of harsh, legalistic Pentecostalism. In that tradition I had been taught, in so many words, “once saved hardly saved”.
Further he notes “That legalistic ideology had become deeply entrenched in my brain. But would you believe it had had softened to a large degree over the years? Yep. I had actually reached the place where I knew God’s grace somehow HAD TO BE the governing factor in our relationship with Him. By the time I had reached my late thirties I was inclined to believe it was “next to impossible” to be lost forever if one had been born again”.

“Problem was, I could find NO BIBLICAL BASIS for my more mellowed out version of “God loves you, but, bottom line, it’s up to you.” I was caught in a quagmire of contradictions.”

Many of these so-called contradictions are based on not recognizing the 2 gospels. Yes, I hope to base one of my propositions on this issue, and I hope your friend will not mind if I use his article as it’s basis.

His website is listed above by Edward 82

It seems that Paul himself was one of those Christians who “could not grasp pure grace and must mix works in with Paul’s teachings.” Paul wrote:

**For He will render to everyone according to his works.

To those who by perseverance in well-doing seek for glory and honour and immortality,
He will give eternal life, but for those who are self-seeking and are not persuaded by the truth,
but are persuaded by unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.

Affliction and anguish for every person who does evil, but glory and honour and well-being for
every one who does good… for God shows no partiality. (Romans 2:6-10)**

Man’s judgement is according to his own standards, God’s judgement is according to truth. In Romans 2.3 we see that man, and specifically the hard hearted Jews, will judge others but not apply the same standards to themselves. We excuse ourselves while judging other people. If the same standards we apply to others, were placed on ourselves we would be found to be hypocrites. Indeed we are!

“Yet are you reckoning on this, O man, who art judging those committing such things, and art doing the SAME, that you will be escaping the judgement of God?”

In fact Paul in verse 1 makes it clear that “everyone who is judging” are “committing the same things”

Remember that from Romans 1.18-3.20 Paul is attempting to show we are all under sin. He brings all of us into court (as it were) and shows we are all guilty. “…we previously charge both Jews and Greeks to be all under sin, according as it is written, that “Not one is just”–not even one.”

This includes all those mentioned in Romans 2.6-10. It is possible that in these verses, God is showing us that there is a righteous foundation to his judgement. If no one can claim the reward, this does not alter the fact that God is ready to reward both GOOD and bad. This helps us to understand God’s righteous character, even before him in judgement.

Indeed in verses 11-13 we read “For there is no partiality with God, for whoever sinned without law, without law also shall perish, and whoever sinned in law, through law will be judged. For not listeners to law are just with God, but the doers of law shall be justified”

So do some actually keep the law, and are justified by the law? Let’s see Paul’s concluding words to this section “Now we are aware that, whatever the law is saying, it is speaking to those under the law, that every mouth may be barred, and the entire world may become subject to the just verdict of God, because, BY WORKS OF LAW, NO FLESH AT ALL SHALL BE JUSTIFIED in his sight, for through law is the recognition of sin” 3.19-20.

Now Paul brings us to the Gospel "Yet now, apart from law, a righteousness of God is manifest… yet a righteousness of God through Jesus Christ’s faith, for all, and on all who are believing, for there is no distinction, for all sinned and are wanting of the glory of God. 3.21-23

This is infinitely higher than receiving a pardon of sins. This is the gospel of the uncircumcision.

So you’re saying that God won’t freely pardon you if you’re of Jewish descent? That you have to keep the Mosaic law? Bummer. It’s one thing to keep the feasts, traditions, and as much of the law as you can do because that’s your cultural context. It’s quite another to be judged for your law-keeping ability. That’s sure damnation. Yet Paul says later that all Israel will be saved. I read that as ALL. I think there is one gospel and that we are all one in the Lord.

No offense intended, Puddy and I’m not targeting you or belittling you at all. I value you. I just think you’re mistaken about this. And it’s not because you’re presenting it badly. It just seems to me that it contradicts the whole of scripture for the sake of a few proof texts.


Glad you got something out of Charlie’s article :slight_smile:

Well, I think he was talking more about the contradictions within Calvinism and Arminianism than he was about anything else in that article, so I’m not sure if it would apply to what you’re talking about or not. But I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if you used any of his articles as a springboard for discussion. :slight_smile:

I highly recommend you read his article Heavenly Dog. That’s a more personal one, and I think it will speak powerfully to you. After I read that, I felt a kindred spirit in Charles there, so I contacted him, and we’ve become good friends. :slight_smile:


I’m not sure what this is all about, or if that’s what Puddy is saying (I haven’t been following along on this thread very much, to be honest :blush: ) but if that’s what it’s about then I’d have to disagree as well.
I do think that’s okay though if someone wants to follow the Torah (or the Mosaic Law), or within reason anyway (no stoning people, as that will land you in prison, plus I think forgiveness and grace are the order of the day now, or sacrificing animals, as that will bring PETA down on your head for animal cruelty, and Jesus nullified any need for that anyway :wink:), if that is within someone’s conscience to do so.
There’s a lady I know who’s been on this forum before, Kelly Montgomery-Shepherd, who, along with her husband and family, seek to follow the Torah, or rather the spirit of the Torah, excluding things like stoning people and sacrificing animals and such of course.
And she is one of the coolest, sweetest, and most down to earth people that I know, definitely not a Pharisee, so maybe it’s not all as bad as it sounds. :wink: But then again, I don’t think Kaylyn would let me get away with growing out a full beard, and I don’t think I could give up bacon. :laughing:
Well anyways, hopefully this doesn’t turn into too heated of an debate. Blessings to you :slight_smile:


Hi Puddy -

I wonder how mnay of us here have been influenced by dispensationalism or even understand it. I’m aware of it’s origins (Darby Socfield and Irving) and some of it’s current manifestations. I was not aware until i met you tha tthere is a univeralist barch of dispensationalsim - so you’ve tught the old dog something. I’m not a dispensationalist myself (but I am a univerlsiast and I am your friend, and I am fond of you and wish many blessings :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: ). I think that some involved here in discussing you propositions won’t be too clued up on dispensationalism - the three ages, the seven dispensations etc. It would be good to have a little overview of core beliefs/principles of dispensationalist biblical interpretation and how these developed to see how everythign fits together- and I’m interested to know about how universalist dispensationalist differ from their ECT brethren (are differences wider than arguements about the nature of aeonian punishment?). Och well - just a thought :slight_smile:

But what matters to me is that you are a universalist Christian, and you wellbeing as a fellow creature made in the image of God! :slight_smile:

Hi, Dick

I guess I would consider myself somewhat of a dispensationalist. There are many different flavors, you know. :wink: I know the prophecies’ most important fulfillments are spiritual, but I also believe I see prophecy being literally fulfilled in the past and present and expect to see it in the future. And yeah . . . I lean toward believing in the rapture and the tribulation and the whole thing. But in my experience most dispensationalists don’t believe there’s a different gospel for the Jews and the Gentiles. I’ve heard some say that all the Jews will be saved whether they believe in Jesus during this life or not. :laughing: So for those of Jewish descent, apparently those particular dispensationslists are ultra-U. :laughing: I find that hilarious.

But Puddy,

from Matt’s and Dick’s posts, I’m wondering if I spoke harshly. I didn’t mean to. I know you’re sensitive and don’t want to hurt you. You do a fine job of expressing yourself. We’re just not all going to agree about everything. Nevertheless, love stands. The important thing isn’t whether we’re right or wrong. The important thing is to be righteous and that means acting in kindness and care toward one another. So if I offended you, please forgive me. I didn’t mean to. Sometimes I get a little passionate and even sound angry though I’m not. You didn’t say anything wrong and you’re perfectly in your rights to express your opinion. I just think you’re mistaken about the two gospels. :wink:

Love in Jesus, Cindy

We are all friends. I appreciate your involvement.

It’s okay Cindy. Really I feel bad that you feel bad!

You have a right to express your opinion too! Not just me.

Everything is fine!


I think in the new year, I will try my best to explain in some detail what is the gospel of the circumcision. So there are not any misunderstandings. With the circumcision I do not believe they needed to perfectly keep the law to be forgiven or pardoned, but to be justified, yes, they would have had to live a perfect life. There really is no contradiction between the two Gospels.

Earlier I had put up a video, but I decided it may cause someone to stumble. Here are 2 video’s that I hope all of you will enjoy. I think it helps sometimes to step back, and see something in a new light. These individuals notice the two gospels, but they consider Paul a false Prophet.
So for those who are bored today, here we are;

  1. … =related– (Muslim perspective).

  2. … re=related. (Women, goes into more detail)

Have all of yourselves a great day

Hey Puddy, on an only partially related note, are you familiar with the site by any chance?

That’s where I learned about the distinctiveness of the Pauline corpus. I was just wondering if that site has been an influence in your spiritual development as well.

Hey my friend.

I figured I better respond to your question. I am taking a break from writing until the 12th, but I don’t want you to think I am ignoring your question (especially since you are new to the system)

No, I am not aware of this website, though I will take an interest. It is sad that dispensationalists seem to be further moderating their positions. This can only mean a chaining up of Paul’s message.

Peace out