Monday, December 30, 2013

What Does It Take To Lose Salvation?

By Dr. Roger Fankhauser

Some people have heard the sad words, "we're disowning you" or "we're writing you out of the will". Some think something comparable can happen to the believer; God can "disown us" under certain circumstances. Have you ever thought carefully about what must happen for us to lose our salvation? I started making a list in my mind. To lose my salvation for any reason, including for "losing faith", would require God to:

  • Unjustify us
  • Unadopt us
  • Unredeem us
  • Unreconcile us
  • Unregenerate us
  • Unforgive us
  • Unsanctify us (positional sanctification)
  • Remove eternal life from us
  • Uncircumcise our circumcised heart
  • Disinherit us (remove our birth inheritance)
  • Unbaptize us (Spirit baptism, 1 Cor. 12:13)
  • Unseal us (take away the Holy Spirit)
  • Make both Father and Son release their hold of us (John 10:28-29)
  • Make the New Creature old again
  • Transfer us out of the Kingdom of light and place us back in the kingdom of darkness
  • And most importantly, it would require the faithful, promise-keeping God to be unfaithful (2 Tim. 2:13)


You get the idea. And I suspect there is more we could list. So, "losing my salvation" isn't as "simple" as it sounds. It forces God to undo so much that he has done and so much that he has promised us. 
I'm grateful I'm held by His grace.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The FGA at Work!

One example of  how the Free Grace Alliance works:

"The mission of the Free Grace Alliance is to connect, encourage, equip and lead the body of Christ to advance the grace message throughout the world"

Tero Fredrikkson of the Greater Grace Church in Finland (a free grace church) discovers Gracelife Ministries (a free grace ministry) on the internet and uses some of their materials. The church calls Gracelife Ministries and invites Charlie Bing ( a free grace teacher, writer, and missionary) to Finland. Charlie travels to Finland to teach. He invites Tero to attend the Free Grace Alliance conference in 2012.

Tero attends the conference and meets many others who hold the Free Grace position. He returns to Finland with many new friends and a lot of Free Grace material! Some, including John Corria (a free grace pastor) and Richard Grubbs, agree to travel to Finland to assist the work there by teaching.

Tero returns to the United States for the 2013 conference. He speaks at Burleson Bible Church ( a free grace church) where Roger Fankhauser (a free grace pastor) serves. The church is challenged and encouraged by Tero. At the conference, Tero shares his testimony at the banquet, so many who did not previously know him now know at least a bit about God's work in Finland.

Tero connects with many others, including Dr. Dave Anderson, president of Grace School of Theology (a free grace school). The two discuss seminary training in Finland, with at least some preliminary talks about how GSOT and the Greater Grace Church might work together to enhance theological training in Finland and beyond, since Tero's church includes a large international community.

Do you think anyone was or will be connected, encouraged, or equipped by just this one set of interactions? I do!

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Tero connected with other ministries and people not mentioned above. And connections like this happened and are happening between other people and other ministries with a free grace perspective.

That's what the Free Grace Alliance is about. It's not primarily about the Free Grace Alliance as an organization. It's about

Free Grace, and
Alliances between believers who hold to free grace.


Connect, encourage, equip. Let's do it!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Habitual Sin by Dr. Roger Fankhauser

I have come to the conclusion I am not "truly" saved.

I hope that rattles you. Let me explain why I have come to this conclusion: Traffic.

Yep, traffic.

You see, I consistently get irritated when other drivers fail to use their turn signals. I get a snarky attitude, and I often make some obnoxious comment about said driver (which does not please my wife, by the way).
I am stuck in habitual sin. Sure, I confess.... but then it pops up again. And again. And again. Probably has for decades. Even after deciding to write this post, fully aware of my tendency, I still responded poorly to traffic. While driving through a little town outside Seattle, it took us 30 minutes to go two blocks through two lights. My attitude was stinky, my comments were not kind. My wife was, rightfully, not pleased with me. And then again today, I gave a snide "gee, thanks" to someone who failed to use their blinker.

So here's my problem. As one well-known writer puts it, "The apostle John ... wrote an entire epistle about the marks of a true believer (1 John 5:13)... Scores of ... passages throughout the epistle confirm the same truth, that the one who is truly saved cannot continue in a pattern of unbroken sin (1 John 3:6-10)." Others use the term "habitual sin" rather than "unbroken sin", but the idea is the same.

Habitual sin means I'm not 'truly' saved. And I am a habitual sinner (at least behind the wheel).
Maybe I can read your mind at this point. "That's not really unbroken sin, Roger. You may slip into it again and again, but the pattern is broken. You probably even confessed it" Or, you may think "Really? You think that sin is serious enough to prove you are not 'truly saved'?" And, at this point in your reading, some of you might have already called me or texted me to straighten me out. But keep reading before you react!

Here's the truth. I do not believe what I said above about the consequences of habitual sin. I have no doubt that I am "truly saved". I think what the above writer and others like him say about habitual sin is wrong.
Think about how subjective and troubling the "habitual sin" or "unbroken sin" trap is. It is easy to look at someone else's life; it is tougher to look at my own. It is easy to think of "big" sins (like addiction to pornography); it is tougher to think of "little" sins (like attitudes towards obnoxious drivers - oops, there I go again). It becomes very subjective! And of course, how does one define "habitual"? What sins? How often? 

Over how much time (days, months, years)? I hope you get my point.  If habitual or unbroken sin of any kind means I never "truly believed" I have a problem and so do most of you (probably all of you). Maybe the sin is as "minor" as anger while driving. Maybe it's our attitude towards certain politicians (I told you this is a problem for most of us). Maybe it is as serious as addiction to something (coffee doesn't count). And if only certain kinds of habitual or unbroken sins cause the problem (instead of any habitual sin), I'm still in trouble, because I don't have a biblical list to differentiate which-sins-are-which. I only have the opinions of people.

Here's the whole truth: When I react poorly to another driver, my actions, words, and attitude are not the result of "walking in the light". They are not a reflection of following Jesus. They are, well, sinful! And I need to let God work on my heart so that the next time that guy fails to signal..... well, you get the idea.
I am saved by grace through faith alone in Jesus alone. My security is based on the objective truth that Jesus died on the cross for my sin, was raised from the dead, and gives, as He promises, eternal life to all who believe in Him.


Thankfully, confirmation of my salvation is not based on how I respond to those drivers. Or on any other "habitual" or "unbroken" sin. Those sins are growth issues, not identity issues.  That's the beauty of grace. My confidence lies completely on what He has done for me, freely, as a gift. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Pastoral Impact of Our Theology by Dr. Fred Chay

I think all of us of FGA realize the impact theology can have at the pastoral level. Consider the advice from Dr. John Piper, noted pastor, prolific author, and reformed theologian.

“When I confronted a man about the adultery he was living in, I tried to understand his situation, and I pled with him to return to his wife. Then I said, “You know, Jesus says that if you don’t fight this sin with the kind of seriousness that is willing to gouge out your own eye, you will go to hell and suffer there forever.”
As a professing Christian, he looked at me in utter disbelief, as though he had never heard anything like this in his life, and said, “You mean you think a person can lose his salvation?”
So I have learned again and again from firsthand experience that there are many professing Christians who have a view of salvation that disconnects it from real life, and that nullifies the threats of the Bible, and puts the sinning person who claims to be a Christian beyond the reach of biblical warnings. I believe this view of the Christian life is comforting thousands who are on the broad way that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13).
Jesus said, if you don’t fight lust, you won’t go to heaven. Not that saints always succeed. The issue is that we resolve to fight, not that we succeed flawlessly.”


This is a quote from Piper’s book, “Future Grace” published in 1995, page 331. This selection is offered in the daily devotional called “Solid Joys” posted July 27, 2013, over 18 years after its original publication. Think about the impact this could have on a Christian, especially one with a weak conscience or one that has difficulty with certain sins. Think about the theology that leads to such a statement. 

This is the theology that Dr. Piper received from his teacher, Dr. Dan Fuller, (“The Unity of the Bible” 1992 Zondervan) who he credits in “Future Grace” as being totally influential in his theological convictions. Dr. Fuller and Piper take it back to Jonathan Edwards. And of course all of the above would go back to John Calvin, who in his “Institutes” put it so eloquently - “Thus it appears how true it is that we are justified not without, and yet not by works.” (Institutes 2:98-99)  

I hope you are ready to explain how you would respond to such a theology.  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Why Teach Grace?

By Dr. Roger Fankhauser


Why proclaim grace?

“I must not be saved if I can’t beat this sin.” The person then walked away from their faith.
Someone else said, “I've lived way too many years of my life in bondage, conforming to religious rules instead of only looking to Christ... Some days I feel as if my heart will burst knowing how much God loves me. Some time ago, I started meeting with a group that, unfortunately, was a shame based group that doesn't practice or walk in grace. I feel like I've been saved all over again finding freedom in Christ as he is showing me truth in his word.

The subtle – or not-so-subtle – problem with any kind of performance based “Christianity” is that it is counterproductive. Instead of producing joy or producing “abundant” life, it produces guilt or unreasonable introspection. Instead of producing power for living, it knocks us down. Instead of producing hope, it produces despair. It doesn’t produce freedom, it produces bondage.

I know not everyone under this type of teaching ends up in the dumps. But it is far too common.

The first person above could well be a believer, one who has eternal life, but one needs help in dealing with an overpowering sin. He needs to see God’s incredible love for him; he needs to see that our relationship with God is based on the objective reality of who Jesus is and what He has done, not on the subjective basis of how well we live. He needs to better understand God’s grace for living. (I say “could well be a believer” only because I have not spoken to this person about what they believe. Others who know him said he has trusted Jesus for eternal life. But he’s been under teaching that says “if you habitually sin, you’re not really saved”).

The second person tasted grace. She and her family are now out from under bondage and enjoying God’s grace.

Don’t misunderstand; grace does not take sin lightly. It realizes the consequences of sin might be severe, but that sin does not mean I have lost my salvation or that I never “really” had it. Grace doesn’t minimize sin, it maximizes God’s love. Grace realizes that God loves us, when we sin and when we don’t. It is not an “excuse” for sin, but it helps us deal with sin the right way.

When we live under the grace of God, we experience freedom and life unlike anything else. Live it, teach it, and help others understand it. I wish we had more of the second story – someone who basks in God’s grace – and fewer of the first.

Saturday, June 1, 2013


Greetings,
 
The arrival of June means that it is officially Summer. For some of us that means summer school has started, for others it is vacation time or time with family. Hopefully it includes a change of pace for ministry and a chance to work on some special projects.

 
FGA has been busy this spring. We have had three very successful Regional Conferences. In March we had one in Phoenix. In April we held a conference in Salem, Oregon. In May we had our first Regional Conference in Tampa, Florida and we're looking forward to one more Regional Conference this month in Charlotte, North Carolina with Dr. Norm Geisler and Dr. Charlie Bing speaking. If you are close to the area I encourage you to attend. I invite you to look at some of the write ups and the photos of these conferences that we have posted on our website.

I also want to encourage you to save the date for the National FGA Conference in Irving, Texas October 14-16. Our theme this year is Grace for Saints and Sinners: 1 Corinthians and our speakers will include Dr. Ron Allen, Professor of Old Testament from Dallas Seminary, Dr. Charlie Bing, Dr Roger Fankhauser, Dr. Jody Dillow, Dr. Ken Wilson, Dr. Sukhwant Bhatia and me. We also will have a full slate of workshop speakers, including a special workshop for the women taught by Linda Dillow; along with ministry booths, and of course plenty of books to peruse and purchase.


One of the ministries of FGA is providing resources that help in theological education and ministry opportunities. I would like to point you toward a new research paper that will be helpful regarding the interpretation of James 2:14-26. Much has been written on this key text regarding Free Grace Theology; but not much has been done on James 2:1-13 and the context. I encourage you to read a paper on our website titled: JAMES 2:1-QUESTION or COMMAND? An Examination of the Grammatical Ambiguity in Translating James 2:1, the Exegetical Significance of Each Translation Option, and the Context of the Passage as the Determining Factor in Translation by J.L. Phillips. Now that is a mouthful, but it is a great description. And what is more important is the significance this has for a Free Grace interpretation to James 2:14-26. I encourage you to take a look at this new article. Jeff is a new member to FGA, a superb exegete, and will be able to contribute at many levels in the Free Grace movement.


The strength of FGA is you! As pastors, teachers, writers, speakers, evangelists and leaders, you influence our country and our world in a variety of ways with the message of the grace of God. FGA is simply all of us, as we use our gifts and opportunities to serve the Lord Jesus and tell a lost and dying world about His free gift of the glorious grace of God.


Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,
 

Dr. Fred Chay
President, FGA

 

 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Dear FGA,

As those who hold to Free Grace Theology we are often accused of defining faith as simply mere mental assent. This is often interpreted as meaning we simply believe a set of facts in our head and do not really believe in the person or work of Jesus. I recently found myself being accused of this and reminded my accuser what the FGA actually believes. The FGA covenant actually says what we believe and who we believe in, is the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • The Grace of God in justification is an unconditional free gift.
  • The sole means of receiving the free gift of eternal life is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, whose substitutionary death on the cross fully satisfied the requirement for our justification.
  • Faith is a personal response, apart from our works, whereby we are persuaded that the finished work of Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection, has delivered us from condemnation and guaranteed our eternal life.
  • Christ has delivered us from condemnation and guaranteed our eternal life.
  • Justification is the act of God to declare us righteous when we believe in Jesus Christ alone.
  • Assurance of justification is the birthright of every believer from the moment of faith in Jesus Christ, and is founded upon the testimony of God in His written Word.
  • Spiritual growth, which is distinct from justification, is God’s expectation for every believer; this growth, however, is not necessarily manifested uniformly in every believer.
  • The Gospel of Grace should always be presented with such clarity and simplicity that no impression is left that justification requires any step, response, or action in addition to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Make no mistake; we do not simply “believe a set of facts”. We believe in a person and the work He has done and the results He has accomplished for us. We call that - Good News!

More good news---FGA presented its second Regional Conference for 2013 April 20th in Salem, Oregon. There were 58 people who gathered for a day of fellowship and theological exploration. Dr. Ken Wilson taught on the theology of Augustine. This was from part of his doctoral dissertation at Oxford University, England, which will be published. Dr. Charlie Bing also spoke concerning the ministry of FGA and the message of Grace. The sessions were recorded and will be available. Please look at the FGA website for details and for a photo slideshow of the conference. We will host two other Regional Conferences. Dr Bing and Dr. Yankee Arnold will be speaking in Tampa, Florida on May 18th and Dr. Charlie Bing, Dr. Norm Geisler, and Pastor Donnie Preslar will be presenting at the FGA North Carolina conference on June 22nd.   Also, we are excited about the variety of ministries FGA members are involved with both nationally and internationally. The Lord is using all of us to preach the freeness of the gospel and the grace of God. My hope is that you are enjoying the grace of God in your life and ministry.

Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,

Dr. Fred Chay
President, FGA

  

Monday, April 1, 2013

Letter from the President-April 1, 2013

                                                                                                                      
Dear FGA,

The celebration of Easter Sunday has come and gone but the importance and impact is forever.


As Faulkner put it; “And so in the end we live not in the darkened shadow of Good Friday but on ground that has been illuminated by the dawn of Easter Sunday.” This is the life giving truth that we have the privilege of proclaiming to a lost and dying world, a gift of God’s Grace. So simple and so wonderful!

One of the great proclaimers and defenders of that gracious message went home to be with the Lord this past month. Dr. Roy Zuck, Senior Professor of Biblical Exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary and editor of Bib Sac, was a faithful and gracious man who had been part of FGA from its inception. Roy was also awarded the Trophy of Grace Award this past year at the FGA National Conference in Dallas. Roy was a skilled expositor, educator, and editor and had a way of always remembering his students’ names. His kind demeanor and unassuming presence always manifested the grace of God in his life.                

We also lost another defender of the grace message two months ago, Dr. Howard (Howie) Hendricks. Many of us felt the life changing impact of “Prof” as he was affectionately known, either in the classroom or at a conference.   His commitment to the distinction between discipleship and the reception of eternal life paved the way for many who are part of the FGA.

May both Roy and “Prof” have an abundant entrance into the eternal kingdom of their Lord and Savior who they served so loyally.

The passing of both these men reminds us that we are watching a changing of the guard. There are many great leaders, both men and women, who are coming to the end of their time of service for the Lord. This is true of the evangelical church in America as a whole, but it is also particularly true of those who are part of the Free Grace movement. It is ever true: The Lord buries his workmen but His work continues. I hope this motivates you to be sure to pass the torch. I pray that the words of the Apostle Paul to Timothy are guiding your time and stay upon the earth;

“You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. (2Timothy 2:1-2)

As “Prof” once told me, as I am sure he told others; “Fred, when I come to see you the first question I will have for you is, “Where are your men?”. He did come and visit me and he did ask. And I was able to point him to one of my men. Jesus will be asking as well. So, count the days and make the days count.

Let me encourage you to take a look at the FGA website. We have new resources available. You can now download and listen to previous FGA national conference sessions. Let me also encourage you to view the FGA blog and perhaps even contribute a ministry update or a theological consideration. Finally, let me remind you to look at the information concerning the upcoming FGA Regional Conferences (Salem, Oregon on April 20th ,   Tampa, Florida, May 18th and Charlotte, North Carolina, June 22nd) These conferences are a great way to be personally encouraged and participate in gaining some pastoral and professional education and equipping.

If we can serve you and your ministry please let us know. If you have an idea of how we can serve you better, please share it with us.


Serving Him with You
Until He comes for us,

Fred Chay
President, FGA

 

 

 

 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Letter from the President - March 3, 2013


Greetings to the FGA Family,
This is an exciting season for the FGA. Let me share with you some of the strategic ministry undertakings. 

First, we have a full slate of regional conferences. On March 2nd we had a regional conference in Phoenix in conjunction with my ministry, Grace Line. We had over 300 people attend. There were five plenary speakers (two from the FGA executive council) and two others that are FGA members. We also held ten workshops led by the FGA council and many of our members. Topics included: Evangelism in the Workplace, The Relationship of Regeneration and Faith in the New Testament, The Role of Puritan Theology in Colonial America and its Modern Day Impact, A Theology of Spiritual Formation, Why Grace is Difficult for the African American Christian as well as a basics class on Free Grace Theology and many others. I had an opportunity to speak to the pastors and parachurch leaders about the purpose and plans of the FGA and invited them to join us in our vision.

There is another regional conference scheduled for April 20th in Salem, Oregon featuring Drs. Charlie Bing, Ken Wilson and Steve Hill. The theme is “Grace Investigation”. There will be another regional conference in Tampa, Florida on May18th. Bob Tebow, Charlie Bing and Yankee Arnold will be our speakers for that event. Finally, there will be a conference in Charlotte, North Carolina on June 22nd. We will have the pleasure of hearing from Dr. Norm Geisler on the Relationship of Election and Free Will in Conversion. Dr. Charlie Bing and Pastor Donnie Preslar will also be speaking concerning issues pertinent to the FGA.

I hope you are able to attend one of these wonderful regional conferences. If you are interested in hosting a conference in your city please email me and we will see how we can provide the resources to make it happen.


Second
, in terms of pastoral training, Drs. Roger Fankhauser and Charlie Bing, (FGA council members) are going on a two week ministry trip to India and Nepal. Please pray for their personal safety and ministry effectiveness.  We have other pastoral training trips in the works, such as Pastor Jonathan Logan, who goes each year to Africa, and John Correia who has been invited to Finland to help teach at a Bible conference for pastors.

Third, there are many engaged in the research and writing of new materials for the FGA. Dr. Ed DeZago is working on a 4 volume Systematic Theology from a Free Grace perspective. Dr. Dave Anderson will have his book on Romans 6-8 published soon. Dr. Ken Wilson will have his dissertation from Oxford published by Oxford--high praise indeed!  Todd Mathis is working on a Theological Resource Curriculum via the internet.  I will have a book on suffering coming out soon.  I am sure there are many more of you who are working on writing projects that will help the Free Grace movement. Please let me know about them if you will.

This brief report does not begin to share with you all the work of the faithful members of FGA in America and around the world who seek to proclaim the glorious grace of God. Praise the Lord that He allows us the privilege of serving Him by serving His people. I count it a joy to be on the team with you.

 

Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,

Fred Chay, Ph.D.
President, FGA

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Object of Our Faith


By Roger Fankhauser, DMin

I just recently read from a non-free-grace person that the Free Grace position only requires someone to believe in certain propositions about Jesus to receive eternal life. The writer is almost – but not quite – right. However, “not quite right” changes the argument from a valid criticism to a straw man argument. If the writer were correct, then the object of our faith would be limited to statements about Jesus or historical events about Jesus.

The object of our faith is Jesus. Jesus said it (“whosoever believes in me”, John 3:16); Paul said it (“that we might be justified by faith in Christ”, Gal. 2:16).

Almost all evangelicals say this. (I would say “all”, but as soon as I do, someone would point out an exception!) Free-Grace evangelicals; Reformed evangelicals consistently define the object of saving faith as Jesus. We might disagree about what one must know about this Jesus or about the impact that faith in Jesus “must” have on life, but, at the core, the object of our faith is Jesus.

So where does believing the veracity of certain propositions come in? Those propositions tell us about Jesus. They define who He is and what He has done. They point us to the person who is unknowable apart from “propositional truth”. I live two thousand years and half-a-world away from the historical Jesus. I cannot know with certainty who He is and what He has done apart from propositional truth. So it is true that I must believe certain proposition about Jesus, but ultimately justification comes by faith in the person of the one of whom the propositional truths speak.

Part of the FGA covenant says this:
·         The sole means of receiving the free gift of eternal life is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, whose substitutionary death on the cross fully satisfied the requirement for our justification.
·         Faith is a personal response, apart from our works, whereby we are persuaded that the finished work of Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection, has delivered us from condemnation and guaranteed our eternal life.
We receive eternal life by faith IN the Lord Jesus Christ. The rest of the statements are propositional truths about Jesus.
Don’t confuse the object of our faith – Jesus – with the truths about Jesus – propositional truth. Keep it clear in our teaching, preaching, and writing. It’s faith alone IN Christ alone!
P.S. – I did not, and will not, identify the non-Free Grace person. I will say that he is a well known theologian and he wrote the words in February of this year! Identifying him would distract from my main point.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Letter from the FGA President - February 1, 2013


 

Greetings to those, whose heart has been captured by the glorious grace of God,

It is so gratifying to receive letters and emails from Christians around the world thankful and pleased that the Free Grace Alliance boldly proclaims the glorious grace of God. It might be hard for many of us in the states to conceive of a world where you do not have access to sermons, books, or literature that articulate the clear grace of God and the simplicity of receiving the gift of eternal life. I have received emails and letters from a woman in England, a church planter in Africa , a missionary in Pakistan and a pastor in Finland, all grateful for the FGA standing strong and clear and providing resources concerning the grace of God. If you keep up on the FGA “Facebook” page you will also hear from many people about the importance of Grace Theology as they seek to investigate the nuances of a theology of Grace.

Webster defines grace as, "unmerited divine assistance given man for his regeneration or sanctification."  It is not often that secular works describe or define theological concepts correctly, but in this case they have.  Except insofar as God does not "assist" us with either our salvation or sanctification for it is the grace of God in both areas of our life that allows us to grow from glory to glory.

One of the evidences of Free Grace Theology being an accurate system of theology is that it meets one of the seminal requirements for a good theological system; that is: The system that deals with the most data and allows for the fewest assumptions has the best explanatory power. Free Grace theology deals with the entire biblical account and deals with the problem passages without bringing theological assumptions into the text. Hence, its power to explain and exposit the text into an accurate theology is magnified. 

One of the ongoing ministries of the FGA is our conferences. I would encourage you to attend one of our Regional Conferences this year. (March 2nd in Phoenix, April 20th in Salem, May 18 in, Tampa, FL and June 22 in Charlotte, NC) Or, if you would like to sponsor and host an FGA Regional Conference in your area please contact me and we will see if we can help facilitate one near you. These conferences are a great way to enjoy some continuing education in issues of biblical theology and ministry philosophy, as well as enjoy a wonderful time of fellowship with some likeminded people.

Let me encourage you to get involved with the FGA. I invite you to visit and participate in our FGA Blog or our Facebook page. If you desire a Regional Conference let us know. Also, if you have a ministry that we could help share with others through our Ministry Highlights page email us some information.  

My friends, “You” are the Free Grace Alliance. Together we are here to live and learn of the matchless grace of God. As Lewis Sperry Chaffer said many years ago and is ever true,

“Pure grace is neither treating a person as he deserves, nor treating a person better than he deserves, but treating a person without the slightest regard to what he deserves.” 


Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,

Fred Chay, PhD
President, FGA

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

President's Letter-January 1, 2013

Whenever you begin a new year it is helpful to remind yourself what you did last year and then make plans for the upcoming year. This is true both on a personal and institutional level. FGA had a very good 2012. Let me reflect on some of the exciting milestones.

First, the FGA national conference in Dallas was a complete success. We had a wonderful array of ministry guests from out of the country, some spectacular speakers, an extremely good time of fellowship together, and we broke even.

Second, as an organization we assessed and reworked the FGA bylaws and made the alliance much more functional in terms of our leadership and organizational vision.

Third, in 2012 we saw a number of books from a Free Grace perspective come on the market. Let me mention a few of them.  Dr. Jody Dillow’s Final Destiny, Marty Cauley’s The Outer Darkness, the third edition of Dr. Gordon Olson’s work, Beyond Calvinism and Arminianism, John Correia’s Refreshing Grace, Mark Spencer’s A Moment in Time, Dr. Keith Krell’s Temporal Judgment and the Church, and Freely By His Grace edited by Dr. J.B. Hixson, Rick Whitmire and Dr. Roy Zuck. Also, Dr. Paul Tanner had an article accepted in the ETS journal on the Salvation of the Soul which will be a helpful resource for those who are not familiar with Free Grace Theology. (All of these works and many more are available at the FGA website book store.)

Fourth, in our effort to train and connect there were a number of pastoral training initiatives that took place in 2012. Charlie Bing, with some volunteers through GraceLife, and Jonathan Logan through his church, trained pastors in multiple sites in Africa. We also made some good connections with pastors and leaders in Finland who came to the conference in Dallas. They were overwhelmed with the generosity of FGA members and their desire to visit and help train pastors in their country. Dr. Ed Clavell continued to lead the training of Hispanic pastors in the Phoenix area. Ed also serves on the board of the Southwest Conservative Baptist Association, providing training and mentoring for many pastors.

Fifth, the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association shared the gospel with thousands of people this year. Dr. Larry Moyer trained thousands this year through Evantell in how to share the gospel. Many of our members trained and participated in child evangelism through local church and para church ministries. Many of you who are part of FGA participated by sharing and training others to share the free gift of eternal life.

Sixth, Grace School of Theology received institutional accreditation. Also, Dr. Ken Wilson M.D. graduated from the University of Oxford, England with a D.Phil. His dissertation is on the theology of St. Augustine. It will be published later this year and provide an excellent resource from a Free Grace perspective. Ken is also teaching this year at Grace School of Theology.

Many of our members continue to teach at Bible colleges and seminaries providing academic training to a future generation of pastors and ministry leaders. 

This is only a handful of the ministries that many who are a part of FGA were involved with during this past year of 2012.

Looking forward to 2013, what is the FGA planning to accomplish under the sovereign will of God?

●FGA Conference ministry:  This year we will have our national conference in Dallas October 14-16. We will also provide regional FGA conferences in Salem, Oregon; Charlotte, North Carolina, and we will co-sponsor the Grace Line spiritual life conference in Phoenix.

 
●FGA Resource Ministry:  We will continue to motivate our members through writing and research projects on a variety of theology and ministry topics that intersect with Free Grace Theology. Our book store will continue to provide resources for our members and those who are interested.  We also will continue to grow our blog and would invite you to contribute for the betterment of all of us in the FGA.

 
●FGA Ministry Networking Nexus: We will continue to connect church and para church ministries with the Free Grace community to participate in missions, evangelism training and pastor training opportunities. We will also continue to function as a conduit and network Free Grace churches with those looking for ministry opportunities.

 
●FGA Theological Trending: FGA will continue to network with leaders in the academic world who hold to Free Grace Theology, as well as dialogue with those who are outside of Free Grace 
circles so as to maintain a healthy dialogue concerning the issues of the day regarding Free Grace Theology.

 
●FGA Student Ministry:  This year we will attempt a pilot program at Arizona Christian University that will train Bible college students in Free Grace Theology and hopefully add members to the organization.

 
As you can see FGA has had in 2012 and will have in 2013 a significant and strategic ministry agenda. Please pray that the Lord will guide you in how you can be involved and that He will guide and bless our desire to glorify His name.


Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,

Dr. Fred Chay
President, FGA