And a Good Time Was Had By All!

Three speakers talking free grace and discipleship; 70+ people in attendance; great facilities; delicious lunch. And it didn't hurt that a bald eagle flew over us as I was standing in the parking lot after the conference! The leadership of Lacey Chapel did an outstanding job hosting an FGA regional conference recently (April 30th) in Lacey, WA (although I don't think they are directly responsible for the eagle).
What is Lordship salvation? What is the difference between "salvation" truth and "discipleship" truth? What is the true cost of discipleship? How can we "do" discipleship? Drs. Jack Lewis (of Moody Bible Institute, Spokane, WA), Charlie Bing (GraceLife Ministries, Burleson, Texas), and Roger Fankhauser (Burleson Bible Church, Burleson, TX) each spoke, followed by an intriguing Q&A! By the end of the day, those who already held a free grace view were encouraged, and those who did not hold a free grace view heard a solid explanation of what free grace is all about. It's hard to believe so many good things could be packed into one day!
Of course, it is almost impossible to describe a day like this. There is something about being there, in person, that adds so much more. To those who attended the conference, or knew about the conference and prayed for the day, thanks!

For those who could not attend, look for one in your region. Can't find one? maybe you can be the coordinator! We have guidelines to help you set one up. Contact Charlie Bing, the FGA coordinator for regional conferences, for more information (!

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!

FGA 2011 National Conference: Day 1

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?