Why is the "Naked Gospel" by Andrew Farley wrong in it's doctrinal foundation

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A book has been quietly passed around our churches in Ukraine "The Naked Gospel" by Andrew Farley, and I have been asked to address its teachings. I definitely have something to comment.

Who is the author Andrew Farley? He was formerly a professor of linguistics at the Roman Catholic University of Notre Dame. He is now the "lead teaching pastor" of Ecclesia, a purportedly Evangelical church in Lubbock. I have highlighted what points he strays in basic Christian doctrine. 

"The Naked Gospel: The Truth You May Never Hear in Church", teaches "Jesus plus nothing. 100% natural. No additives. It's the truth you may never hear in church." which sounds good at first but when you dig deeper into his doctrinal it is nothing short of heresy. It questions much of what is foundational doctrine in traditional Biblical Christianity and he questions the need of the believer to attend a local church.

The True/False Quiz "Challenge"near the beginning of the book, takes the form of a true/false "gospel quiz" 

1. "Christians should ask God to forgive and cleanse them when they sin." False, says Farley. On pages 149 and following, he claims that 1 John 1:9 is a salvation verse, and does not apply to believers. On page 160 he claims that no Christian need ever to pray, "forgive us our trespasses," because Jesus' model prayer is "an Old Covenant prayer taught to Jews before once-for-all forgiveness was accomplished." We know we ought to confess out sins as 1 Jn 1:9 was written to believers. Deception is when a person says he has no sin 1 Jn 1:10

2. "Christians struggle with sin because of their old self within." Wrong again, says Farley. On page 104 he says, "The moment we enter into Christ at salvation, our old self is obliterated." He severely twists Paul's discussion of the conflict between the old and new natures in Romans 6 and 7.

3. "When we sin against God, we're out of fellowship until we repent." False again, says Farley. As noted above, he does not believe this is the intent of 1 John 1:9. He also ignores passages such as the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15. On page 163 he states, "It's inaccurate to speak of the Holy Spirit as convicting believers." - Jn 14 & Jn 16 clearly teach us that the work and office of the Holy Spirit is to convict.

4. "The Bible tells us that Christians can obtain many rewards in heaven." That is a myth, says Farley. On page 168, he dismisses this truth with the specious statement, "The term rewards does not appear anywhere in the New Testament." We know this to be untrue as there will be reward for the believer: 1 Thes 2:19,20; Rev 22:12; and the Bema Seat of the Believer- 1 Cor 3:11-15. We must stand before him and give account for those things done in the body: 2 Cor 5:10

5. "God looks at us as though we're righteous, even though we're really not." Wrong once more, says Farley. He denies justification by faith, specifically the doctrine of the imputation of Christ's righteousness to sinners. He teaches that Christians are inherently righteous, not sinners clothed in the righteousness of Christ. He says, on page 106, "God certainly doesn't condone our wallowing in a poor self-image. The risen Christ doesn't join himself to filthy worms. The Holy Spirit doesn't dwell in dirty sinners. Christ only unites himself with those who are like him in spirit. The Holy Spirit doesn't reside in someone who remains even 1 percent flawed by sin. But we've been perfectly cleansed. And we've been made perfectly righteous at our core through spiritual surgery." What is the nature of this "spiritual surgery"? "Our spiritually dead DNA is miraculously extracted, and new, living DNA is inserted into our spirits" (page 102). Farley believes that the OSN is "obliterated" at the point someone receives Christ as their savior. That cannot be true as Paul was a Christian when he wrote Romans 7. The believer though born again does have an old sin nature that wars against the spirit and is at enmity with God and that is why we "die daily" with Him taking up a personal cross. 

The Naked Gospel is yet another denial of the fundamental Gospel doctrine of justification by faith alone, in the finished work of Jesus Christ alone. This must be addressed in our churches' pulpits lest our churches be infected with a gospel that errs from the truth and causing carelessness and error.

[Thanks to Dr. Paul Elliott for his contribution]