Monday, November 7, 2011

President's Letter -November 2011


                                                                                                                     November 1, 2011  

Greetings,

Let me tell you that the FGA 2011 National Conference last month in Phoenix, Arizona was a tremendous success as we honored the Lord.

The presentations, including the plenary and the many wonderful workshops, went very well. We heard many inspiring messages on the topic of grace theology as it intersects living the Christian life. Many appreciated Dr. Mike Stallard as he cleared the air of the charge that we who believe in grace do not take sin seriously. Dr. Mike Cocoris also clarified the need for obedience and living a life of consecration. Dr. Dave Anderson, Dr. Paul Benware, and Pastor Bob Kerrey each did a fine job expositing the scriptures and providing principles by which to live and love.

There were many ministry and educational booths to see and books to buy. Many commented on enjoying the ability to see old friends and spend some time getting reconnected and caught up. The FGA banquet provided the opportunity to present the Trophy of Grace Award to Trevor McIlwain for his faithful service over the past 50 years. We also had as our guest speaker Dr. John Cross, President of Good Seed Ministries, from Canada. His creative use of props and multimedia made the evening quite special and unique.

This was the first time we have held the conference outside of Dallas. It seemed to work quite well. The hotel met all of our needs and the free shuttle from the airport provided some additional savings. A “BIG Thank You” goes to Sam Sacco who headed up the conference this year. It was wonderful! We hope to see many of you next year’s national conference.

Like many of you, I have been teaching and preaching the grace message for many years. It seems baffling to me that the church, after 2000 years does not seem to understand such a basic, simple, and important concept such as free grace. But then I remember that the early church fought the same battle, such as the Apostle Paul with different theological formations of Judaizers. The Apostle John as well dealt with insipient Gnostic teaching that would rob believers of the grace of God. The Apostolic Fathers all but forgot the grace of God and salvation by faith alone. And of course, the Roman Catholic Church for hundreds of years held grace ransom by works and denied the love of God to His people. The reformation, for all that it did for the church, also did not do enough to free itself from a theology of assurance that was less than fully biblical. And so today we see many of the same errors and divergence in theology that has always been upon the church. So I tell myself--- game on!

The FGA exists to help educate, encourage and connect you so that you can be in the game. But remember, it is not a game.  As C.S. Lewis reminds us, “Every square inch of the universe is claimed by God and counter claimed by Satan.  But also remember--the battle is His and the battle is won, and we have the joy of doing His work. 

Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,

Dr. Fred Chay
President, Free Grace Alliance