President's Letter - March 2011

                                                                                                                                           March, 2011
Dear FGA members and friends,
One of the most strategic philosophies of the Free Grace movement over the years has been the tactic of focusing and grounding the issue of grace theology on a proper exegesis of individual passages in the Bible.
We are all too aware of the danger of grounding our views in the man-made systems of theology. For even the best of them, although attempting to be coherent, consistent and comprehensive, at times fail due to allegiances formed by a prior commitment to a system that has as its foundation  a system of theology that is less than biblically based.
This being the case, it is imperative that we make sure that we not only continue this foundation, but that we also make sure the next generation is able to not only engage in proper theological reflection and articulation, but even more so that they are able to do proper exegesis. Don't get me wrong, there is a need for a systematic Free Grace Theology. And by the grace of God we are beginning to see some Free Grace Theology textbooks coming into existence. But these must come about only as we have made sure to ground our theology on proper exegetical procedure and proper hermeneutical principles.
Many of us in the FGA have attended advanced Bible training institutes, Bible colleges and or seminary. That means that many of us have been trained in how to study the Bible or have had a course in Hermeneutics. Might I challenge each of you who have so been trained to make sure you are passing on to others the joy of learning how to study the Bible. I teach Hermeneutics at the seminary level for a living. But I also have just finished teaching a group of laymen a 6 week 2 hour per week course on Bible study methods. (Prof Howie Hendricks lives on forever.) I have done this for the past 33 years. Many of you have done the same both here in the U.S. and overseas. Literally thousands of people have learned how to study the Bible on their own. (If this is not part of 2 Timothy 2:2 then I do not know what is.) I believe this focus on the text has kept the grace issue alive and well.   So here is the bottom line:
"If you can, do --- If you cannot
then find someone who can help you."
 If you can teach others how to study the Bible for themselves then might I challenge you if you are a pastor or church planter to form a group from your church each year and plan to teach some of your people the joy of discovery. If you are a layman, who has been trained in how to study the Bible, ask the Lord to lead you to others whom you can teach.
If the Free Grace movement loses its focus on the text and its ability to exposit the text then we are one generation from - if not extinction, then irrelevance.
Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,
 Dr. Fred Chay
President, FGA

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