There is a frightening doctrinal darkness forming in the firmament. It has appeared and approached through many venues and multiple vehicles. This darkness has descended and caused confusion and corruption inside the most powerful porticos of Christianity.
The purpose of the FGA is to help “turn on the lights” and expose the darkness regarding the biblical and theological doctrine of salvation. There is a difference between dogmatism and doctrine. Dogmatism in one sense reflects an attitude while doctrine reveals a view. It is important that we be able to hear the words of Aristotle who taught, “It is the sign of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” So then, we need to communicate truth and refute error.
One of the key issues concerning both dogmatism and doctrine is the relationship between Calvinism, Arminianism, Molinism and Free Grace Theology. As Jose Ortega y gasset said, Ancient Traditions are the tramways of intellectual transportation. And yet, traditions are not to be assumed automatically or assimilated uncritically. Theological traditions, like all dogma, are to be open to inspection and if necessary, rejection.
I know that most pastors do not think church people are that interested in talking about such theological issues, but on January 28th over 500 people invested their Saturday (9am-4pm) to attend a symposium regarding these theological systems. Our host was Pastor Mark Martin of Calvary Community Church in Phoenix, AZ. There were many pastors and parishioners from a variety of churches in attendance and a few college and seminary students. The seminar speaking team was an all FGA cast. It included John Correia, Sam Sacco (FGA council members) and Bob Kerrey. All three are pastors and adjunct professors at Arizona Christian University. They did a terrific job presenting true doctrine without being dogmatic. Their spirit was irenic and the content was excellent. I had the privilege of speaking on the “relationship of faith and works”. I also was also able to introduce FGA to the crowd and make available many books and resources at the book table.
Let me also ask you to save the dates, October 8-10, 2012 for the FGA National Conference in Dallas, Texas. The goal of the conference is to provide a place for education, encouragement and ministry networking. More details will be coming soon. But please - mark your calendars.
Finally, let me ask you to pray for the FGA.
First, pray for the FGA council. We are making some strategic recommendations that will be mailed soon to you who are members, for your input regarding the governance of the FGA. If you are not a member please see the side bar for how to become a member or renew your membership with FGA.
Second, pray for the National Conference. Dr. Charlie Bing and Dr. Roger Fankhauser are planning the event. They would appreciate your prayers and your ideas.
Third, pray for the Lord to continue to use FGA as we provide a “ministry clearing house” and networking role that helps connect people with resources and opportunities for ministry. Also, pray for some of our members who are engaged in research and writing on key issues of Free Grace Theology. These resources will be of great use for many years.
Finally, please consider and pray as to how the Lord wishes to use you this year to be part of the great commission. The command in Matthew 28 is to “Make Disciples”. This involves evangelization - emblemized by baptism as well as edification - emblemized by “teaching them all I commanded.” The Lord has gifted some of us in evangelism and others in edification. However, both of these aspects are requested by the Lord and required to make disciples. Let’s not forget to keep the main thing the main thing.
Until He comes for us,
Fred Chay, Ph.D.