Sunday, April 25, 2010

Facing and Embracing the Ethic

The LORD has been moving in the community that gathered last week at the GES National Conference. It was really neat to watch and listen to the work He had been doing! I could hear it and see it in a bulk of the main sessions. It was in the small talk in the corridors; "I was cut to the heart with that!" with a hearty laugh. It was in the banquet and the prayer session. GES people want to examine the scriptures. And I cannot detect anything but humility in the tone. Praise the LORD! This roughly matches the desires of those I talked with a year and a half ago at the FGA National Conference.

Satan is alone in his desire to finish off Free Grace men and women.

A Blogging Constituency (from left to right): Amy Paige, Don Reiher, Jim Reitman, Tim Nichols, Michele Painter, Diane Boring, David Bell

I was standing nearby when one gentleman read Tim's t-shirt and laughed and then thought on a more serious note, "You know, on the back it could read 'My Local Baptist Church.' After all, we're all sinners saved by grace, aren't we?"

Hey: Did you know that I'm broken? It's true. But the LORD has a plan and a hope for me, and He has the same for you. Right now in your struggles He is preparing you for an even greater ministry-don't let anyone tell you otherwise!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Free Grace is a Movement

My husband subscribes to snail-mail from Ligonier Ministries founded by R.C. Sproul [1]. This month's mailing was sitting out where I noticed what was highlighted in red on the front of the envelope:

"'Reformation is a movement, not just a historical event.'
- R. C. Sproul"

Well. If Reformed theology is speaking of itself as a movement, then I'll speak in turn that Free Grace is a movement too.

Besides video lectures and interviews at the Free Grace Alliance website, and articles and newsletters at the Grace Evangelical Society website, there are some excellent blog writers around the internet. A sample follows.

By introduction, Tim Nichols frames the conversation over Reformed theology with grace and perspective writing in a recent post about the historical Protestant Reformation,
The whole point of their system of doctrine was that we must thank God, and God alone, for our salvation, and that thanks must arise from a joyful heart that is certain of its salvation. ... The Reformation confessions and catechisms teach this quite clearly. They also teach clearly the perseverance of the saints, and this created a hairline fracture in their system of doctrine. That fracture permits a squinty-eyed, untrusting person to begin to question whether, if he were really saved, he would commit the sins that he does. Many Reformed people have widened this hairline fracture to an unbridgeable chasm, and as a result whole denominations have been led to abandon both the Bible’s clear teaching of assurance of salvation and the Reformers’ fine example in that area.
Dr. Fred Lybrand, former President of the Free Grace Alliance has written many posts at his blog largely on logic & doctrine from the Free Grace perspective in the last year.

The Faith/Works Logic Issue

Antonio daRosa, workshop speaker at the Grace Evangelical Society has written some slightly more lengthy arguments in his blog's index of Free Grace articles.

For more information on the teaching of Free Grace, keep reading these blogs or contact the Grace Evangelical Society (GES) or Free Grace Alliance (FGA).

[1] Accessible are some basic teachings of R.C. Sproul at Reformation Theology: Are You New to Reformed Theology?
Sproul interprets Hebrews 6, Romans 9, free will, regeneration preceding faith, God never 'changing His mind,' intercessory prayer, and more in the online mp3 titled Chosen By God: 2005 St. Louis Conference.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

"But God--You Can"

These are the words I said by faith last September, and today, God has. Since that time last year I have seen many prayers be answered both mine and those of others. God is amazing, even miraculous. I asked a couple of friends to evaluate the work of God in one arena by asking, "Is that simply awesome or do you think it is a miracle?" They both believe it a miracle.

Below are those recorded in scripture forever so that I might know the magnitude of God's power and love, and how hope in Him is never in vain. Hebrews 11:32-38
And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again.

Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented—of whom the world was not worthy.
I hold tightly to these poetic passages when it is difficult for me to see. More than just holding on, I am learning to claim the will of God in messes and God is honoring His own purposes. He is amazing--and I am blessed.

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