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.
Do you think anyone was or will be connected, encouraged, or equipped by just this one set of interactions? I do!
Our 2011 Free Grace Alliance national conference is underway! I will try to post some thoughts on each day and what we are hearing from our speakers.
The first day was phenomenal. First, our praise band led us in spirited worship of God, and then Dr. Fred Chay gave us a great update on the status of the Free Grace movement and the FGA in particular. If you’ve heard Fred before, you know that he always speaks with his signature dry wit, and his speech before our convention was no exception. He spoke in John 3:16 and the many “isms” that it refutes.
After a short break, Dr. Mike Stallard took the podium and spoke on the seriousness of sin in Free Grace theology from James 4. It was, to say the least, a passionate and moving reminder to all of us that God takes sin seriously and calls all believers to live a life of personal holiness. It was moving, convicting, and at the same time encouraging!
The first workshop session was cause for concern. It wasn’t a concern because of the topics, but it was hard to choose which session to attend! There were too many good choices. Personally, I ended up choosing to sit in Dr. Roger Frankhauser’s discussion of grace and sexual purity. It was a great discussion and Roger showed humility, poise, and great care in dealing with a real problem in the church.
Our evening plenary speaker was Dr. Paul Benware. Dr. Benware spoke from the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25 and gave a significant discussion about the difference between this parable and the Parable of the minas in Luke 19. He gave a very intriguing and interesting take on the salvific status of the “third slave” in the parable of the talents from a classical dispensational perspective that helped really put the challenge of this parable in perspective. It was a real encouragement to think critically and deeply about literary and cultural context!
So after only one day, we have been challenged, encouraged, and equipped a great deal. Here is to day 2!
If you’re at the conference, what has been your favorite session so far?