Saturday, April 2, 2011

President's Letter - April 2011

Greetings;
In the world of theology and ministry there seems to always be something going on, and it is imperative that we be aware so that we can beware of such goings on.
All of us are theologians of one stripe or another. Some of us are paid to think and teach theology and others are not. But it is imperative that we all have and hold a biblical theology. It is essential that our theology be clear, coherent, consistent, comprehensive and complete. However, on this side of heaven it also means that there is the need for balance, living with some tensions and being willing to know that some things we cannot know or at least not know completely.  As Calvin said, “We must as go as far as Scripture and no farther”.
The latest challenge to the evangelical world comes from the hand of Pastor Rob Bell and his book “Love Wins”.  Many having read the book feel that Bell is articulating a view that could be called Universalism, in which hell will one day be empty. This is not simply annihilation theology where people go out of existence. This actually articulates that all will be saved because “God’s love wins in the end.” In a sense this is actually creating a hierarchy of God’s attributes. It is placing love above God’s justice.  God is love and a whole lot more, but He is all of them and one does not trump another.
We of the FGA are in no way Universalists and yet we do believe in the grace of God and His expression of that grace through His love.  But we must make sure that we do not project an image of grace on steroids and thus eliminate the fact of a future judgment and the final justice of God.
The glorious grace of God provides eternal life by faith alone in Christ alone, but that does not cancel out eternal judgment.  For those of the FGA, we are to lead feed and protect the people of God as we also reach out to a lost and dying world.
FGA members have been busy in preaching, proclaiming and training leaders in the grace of God. To mention only a few; Dr. Charlie Bing along with Dr. Roger Fankhauser and Todd Mathis continue to train pastors around the world in free grace theology. Dr. Jerry Burnett, John Correia, Sam Sacco, Brian Fergus, Jeff Bauer, Dr. Ed Clavell, Dr. Paul Benware, and Brian Reed are teaching free grace theology in Bible, theology and psychology departments at Arizona Christian University as does Dr. John Hart at Moody Bible institute and Dr. Gary Derickson at Corban College. In terms of institutions, Free Grace Seminary, Grace School of Theology, and Chafer Theological Seminary continue to offer a free grace theology degree program to the next generation of leaders. Dr. Larry Moyer and the EvanTell team continue to train thousands in how to do evangelism as they seek to keep the gospel free and clear. Bret Nazworth, Bob Tebow, Steve Johnson and many others who provide leadership in mission agencies, and the missionaries who bring the good news to a variety of fields around the world, continue to hold to the free grace message. Add to this the hundreds of pastors involved with FGA who diligently teach and preach the Word of God week in and week out as they seek to feed, lead, and protect the flock of God.
The purpose of the FGA is to Equip, Encourage, and Connect Leaders in Free Grace Theology. It looks like we are still on target. In order to help you stay on target, let me invite you to put on your calendar the FGA National Conference October 10-12 in Phoenix, Arizona.  This is an event designed entirely for the instruction, edification and building up of Free Grace Alliance members. Please see our website for more information.
Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,
Dr. Fred Chay
President, Free Grace Alliance