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Absolutely Free: A Biblical Reply to Lordship Salvation Hardcover – October 1, 1989

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 238 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (October 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310519608
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310519607
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #568,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


In defense of the purity of the gospel of grace, Zane Hodges has combined his years of careful biblical exposition with seasoned humility and simplicity to recapture a portrait of God's unconditional love. He does not engage in empty rhetoric nor biting polemic. There is no attack on individuals. Rather, he depends on the Spirit of God to use the repeated exposure of the words of God's revelation to bring understanding, edification, thanksgiving, and worship.

When you have finished Absolutely Free!, I trust that you will be able to join me in saying, "Thank you, Lord Jesus."

-Earl D. Radmacher President Emeritus, Western Conservative Baptist Seminary Portland, Oregon

This book leads me to look back to the time when I came to trust the Lord Jesus Christ. It happened in an old building with a woodburning stove and handmade benches. But the true gospel was preached there every Sunday and every Friday night.

How easy it was for a boy of nine to understand the freeness of the gospel that was taught there. The gift of eternal life was received just by asking for it! But how soon we forget how we came to trust the Lord. We begin to put things into the gospel, things like "lordship," repentance, surrender, even baptism.

Absolutely Free! will challenge every Christian to look at what he or she is teaching today concerning the true gospel. In a time when all kinds of things are being taught, evangelical Christians must decide whether salvation is a free gift or not.

Zane Hodges has helped us in his other books. But this may be his best book yet. There are many important insights into how the truth of God works in us, both in salvation and in the Christian life. Some of these insights are found in the twelfth chapter on repentance.

Absolutely Free! is like a breath of fresh air. The truth it presents has always been here in the church, but just covered over. This book brushes away that cover and now we see God's truth once again.

-Luis C. Rodriguez Co-Pastor, Victor Street Bible Chapel Dallas, Texas -- Earl D. Radmacher, President Emeritus, Western Conservative Baptist Seminary Portland, Oregon

From the Inside Flap

In Absolutely Free! Zane Hodges issues a vigorous call to the evangelical church to return to the biblical and Reformational truth of sola fide -- faith alone. The author expounds the New Testament doctrine of salvation as the simple giving and receiving of a free gift of everlasting life. He contrasts this with modern "lordship salvation" teaching in which repentance and surrender to God are made conditions for salvation.

Hodges rejects the "lordship" view of saving faith as both unbiblical and a clear departure from the view of faith held by John Calvin and Martin Luther. He stresses that the Christian life is a process of growth and spiritual education in which believers learn to develop the rich potentials of eternal life. Christian living is also presented as a spiritual warfare. Although, salvation cannot be lost, says Hodges, defeat in the spiritual conflict must be taken seriously, and the believer must learn to rely on God's power in order to live victoriously.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 52 people found the following review helpful By "shofar" on May 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Hodges argues very clearly and simply the case for the absolute freeness of the gift of salvation. He argues for a simple faith that needs no qualifiers, no contingencies, no long drawn out explanations of what faith is, what precedes it, what follows it, or what accompanies it. In short, he argues for a true faith alone. Though well argued, many others just cannot say "faith alone" and leave it at that - they must qualify it somehow. He argues that "free" means just that - free. He argues that a "gift" is just that - a gift, not something that we have a coupon book for that we must keep on making payments for the rest of our lives. This is one author who has let his yes be yes and his no be no, and for his integrity of conviction has suffered being called "Raca" by many professing believers.
There are no offers of salvation in the Bible that took 200 pages of text to deliver and understand before they could be received. Nor do any of the offers require the recipient of the offer to have thorough knowledge of a complicated theology that had not been invented yet. They didn't even have to read a copy of John or Romans (if they existed yet). They were asked to believe, and in that split second they either believed or they didn't. Hodges argues for a faith that is just that - faith (no qualifiers).
The teaching is rather simple as he leaves the more technical debate for the endnotes. This allows the reader to simply grasp the ideas while at the same time knowing that they can be backed up with solid exegesis.
"Absolutely Free," along with "The Gospel Under Siege" and "Grace in Eclipse" by the same author form a sort of mini commentary filled with verse by verse interpretation.
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38 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Jason Usry on August 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I love this book. As someone who once promoted lordship salvation, this book is especially comforting. I had absolutely no assurance of my salvation back when I held the view of lordship advocates, and since realizing that salvation is really by faith alone, I no longer doubt my salvation. I glanced at the introduction to MacArthur's book "Saved Without A Doubt", and it is understandable to me why some in his congregation who are pretty solid Christians would doubt their salvation. I feel for the man who wrote the letter to MacArthur that was quoted at the beginning of his book; I know what he is going through. Anyone who holds to lordship salvation and thinks they can have assurance of their own salvation is kidding theirself...or either they do not understand how utterly wicked their own sins are in God's eyes. This book was very comforting to me, and in addition to helping me have assurance of my own salvation, it has encouraged me to be more of a soul winner, since the gospel is even simpler than I had imagined. Hodges' arguments are very scriptural and his exegesis is superb. I wholeheartedly recommend this book.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Guerra on November 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Zane Hodges' book, "Absolutely Free! A Biblical Reply to Lordship Salvation," has given me a newfound confidence and trust in the finished work of Christ.

Hodges' book is a reply to John MacArthur's book, "The Gospel According to Jesus." Hodges' book, compared to another MacArthur book on a similar subject ("Hard to Believe: The High Cost and Infinite Value of Following Jesus"), was truly a work of grace. Even in refuting MacArthur's arguments, Hodges showed considerable grace, refusing to engage in ad hominem attacks, a tactic far too frequent in Christian polemic works.

Honestly, my only complaint with the book is that it's an old work. But it answers the LS advocates honestly and openly, without resorting to rhetoric, even in 2007.

Reading MacArthur left me more confused than settled, but reading AF! made the topic of salvation clear to me. I am convinced, praise God!, that I am justified by faith alone apart from any works. The free grace position (so despised and maligned as the "no-lordship" or "cheap grace" position) at least tries to be consistent in its declaration that faith alone in Christ alone justifies and saves. Am I glad to finally leave the sinking sand and quagmire of lordship salvation (Neo-Puritanism), and to stand indeed on the promises of Christ, my Rock who is immovable and unshakeable!

And more important than Hodges' book is Jesus Christ's clear promise that "whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16b).
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22 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Sola Scriptura on October 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a must-read for every Christian. Zane Hodges taught New Testament Greek at Dallas Theological Seminary for twenty-seven years. He very clearly presents the purity and simplicity of the gospel message to any reader who honestly seeks truth.

Let me approach this review from a different angle and share a recent personal confrontation last month with a pastor of a very large church in Colorado who holds a "lordship salvation" view of the gospel.

First, some personal background information to put this all into better context. I was raised as a Roman Catholic who often stated that I "was born a Catholic and would die a Catholic". I once told someone from another faith that when your church has been around 2,000 years, come and talk to me. However, God had a different plan for my life. I was saved by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ almost 20 years ago. It was not an easy decision for me to put faith for my eternal destiny (which every human being should obviously take very seriously) in the hands of Jesus Christ alone. Not in a church, not in any human works or attempts at being good enough, but to trust solely in Jesus Christ for my eternal salvation and His atoning death on the cross. All of my sins (past, present and future)were taken away at the moment that I put my faith in Jesus Christ, accepting God's free gift of salvation. This is anything but "easy believism". That term is a reprehensible insult to God, because as I later told this "lordship salvation" pastor, there was nothing easy about Christ's death on the cross.

It was also not easy to have my parents later boycott my wedding, or the sister whom I was always closest to say that she'd rather have a homosexual for a brother than a d@mn protestant,...
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