Times of transition cause one to contemplate the state of things. Having been with FGA since its inception, on the FGA council for 6 years, serving as president for the past 4 years, and now having recently stepped down to hand thing off to Dr. Roger Fankhauser, I thought I would reflect on where we are and what has changed.
Although it is true that we are not in danger of the Lordship salvation debate abating soon, it does seem that there has been a subtle transition in the Lordship camp. It seems that we have seen the moving away, slight as it may it be, from the “frontloading” error evidenced by the early works of the Lordship persuasion demanding that faith be attendant with remorse and a repentant change of life evidenced by obedience, full commitment and total surrender as a condition for receiving the free gift of eternal life.
The subtle transition is seen in that the focus has now shifted to the “back-loading” of the gospel with the fixation on assurance being gained through obedience, submission, and a committed life of holiness to validate the faith on the front end. As to which is worse, I would suggest the former is a far more significant theological problem. It is not that the latter is not worthy of great debate; it is! But removing the frontloaded elements allows the purity of the free gospel gift of eternal life not to be compromised when presented as “faith being the only condition” to the question being asked, “What must I do to be saved?”
I would suggest that the FGA is partially responsible for this transition within the Lordship camp. The force of “Causation” is hard to determine and there is often more than one change agent involved in the movement of ideas. However, I sense that the Lord has utilized many of the resources whether books, articles, papers and sermons as well as personal dialogue, produced by FGA members to influence and impact those in the Lordship salvation camp. Of course the greatest asset has been the fervent and diligent prayer by many of our members asking the Lord to lead His Church into all truth.
Let us be thankful for “small victories”.
Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,