Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:13-14)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thoughts on the Up-Coming Free Grace Alliance Conference

Hi Folks,

October 4 - 6 the Free Grace Alliance will be having their annual conference. I just overlooked their tentative schedule. It promises to be "the best conference in Free Grace history" says the FGA president, Fred Chay. That is an impressive prognostication! Certainly this conference will have much to contend with given the many years that the Grace Evangelical Society has enjoyed them.

I must say there is much to look forward to. I do hope they will be recording the plenaries and workshops as I wish to procure the mp3s.

Jody Dillow spoke at the 2009 Grace Evangelical Society's Annual Conference. At it he hinted concerning major revisions to his ground-breaking work, "The Reign of the Servant Kings". In response to what Dillow calls "Neo-Legalism," Jody continues to re-examine key Sermon on the Mount texts, paralleling the thought of the millennial-exclusionists of yesteryear (yet not fully adopting their interpretations), and providing ample fodder for thought. I did enjoy his plenary address, and it seems as though he is continuing on this vein with his discourses entitled, "Entering the Kingdom is Based Upon Works," and "Entering by the Narrow Door - Matt. 7". Surely he will raise a thunderstorm of controversy with the Duluthian Antagonists, whose key publication has recently released an article entitled, "Unraveling a Confusing Verse: 'Another Look at "Inheriting the Kingdom of God"'" 1.

It seems to me that the Free Grace Alliance is willing to fellowship with all types of Free Grace Theology except as biblically expounded by the late Zane Hodges and the present-day Grace Evangelical Society. Or possibly after the conference, the FGA will make disclaimers against the theology of those who believe that works play a real and substantial role in the Christians' accountability at the Bema and their subsequent position (or presence) in the coming Millenial and Eternal Kingdoms due to pressure from dissidents. We will see.

From the cursory view I took of the proposed schedule, three presentations stuck out to me:

1) Dr. Fred Chay, “FGA: Who We Are, Where We Are & Where We Are Going”
2) Sam Sacco, “Essentials of the Free Grace Message”
3) Jeremy Vance, “Getting the Offer Right: The Gospel Offer Defined”

I cannot wait to dialogue and comment on these three discourses, oh, and as well as those by Jody Dillow.

Controversy will not cease in the Free Grace community so long as there are vocal dissidents who make papal-like condemnations on their brethren. This is a time for Free Grace Theology proponents to unite, to exhort and edify, and to convince with superior biblical arguments in humility, grace, and love.

I pray for a blessed conference for those attending, and I hope that Free Grace Theology as a whole is benefitted.

Oh, by the way, in the upcoming weeks I will be providing verbose, yet slightly edited, text versions of my two workshops at the 2009 GES Conference. I hope to stimulate comment and cogitation by incrementally posting these helpful and thought-provoking dialogues in their full.

Free Grace Alliance, I wish you the best for your conference, and I pray that Christ is exalted and His grace admired and proclaimed. I look forward to reviewing the messages that come from it.

xaris soi kai eirene,

Antonio da Rosa



1. Dennis Rokser, The Grace Family Journal, Winter 2009

18 Comments:

Blogger Steve Dehner said...

Greetings, Antonio.
It's nice to see you back at it. I'm interested in hearing about the last year if you are inclined to discuss it some time. I also just started blogging again, at an all-new blog. It is not a free grace theology blog, but is a blog by a free-gracer! I hope you will check it out some time...thefreerange.net.
Blessings, brother!

October 01, 2010 10:03 AM  
Blogger Sanctification said...

Hi Antonio,

I would really like to see your plenary sessions published. I thought they were great. When you write and speak I sense your heart that respects the freedom we have in Christ and that means so much to me. I'm planning on attending the conference and I too am interested in Dr. Chay's session. I might see if he will allow me to paraphrase and share the content of his message if you'd like. I wonder if Don Reiher is doing the video, and livestream?

Good to hear from you!
Michele

October 01, 2010 11:44 AM  
Blogger Steve Dehner said...

I agree: great job those sessions, Antonio.

October 01, 2010 12:11 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Hi Antonio,

I'm so glad to see you back~!!! Can't wait to read upcoming articles from you.

I really like what you said here....

"This is a time for Free Grace Theology proponents to unite, to exhort and edify, and to convince with superior biblical arguments in humility, grace, and love".

AMEN~!!! We've missed you.

All for God's glory,
Diane
:-)

October 03, 2010 6:57 PM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

Hey Brother,
I miss you!

"Controversy will not cease in the Free Grace community so long as there are vocal dissidents who make papal-like condemnations on their brethren"
Good sentence.

October 05, 2010 12:01 PM  
Blogger wjc said...

Hey BRO!

I've been praying for you Antonio! A dear friend of mine (who majored in NT Greek Exegesis and took every course he could from Hodges at Dallas) is writing a book that I believe will be a game changer as far as this division that has been created by those in the FGA organization. I can't wait for it to be published so please stay tuned as I believe it will be an unequivocal watershed work that will demonstrate the bankrupt and baseless nature of the emerging "theological legalist" arguments that have been raised against the clear and simple biblical paradigm that Hodges fought so hard to preserve!

God bless you!
WJC

October 05, 2010 7:18 PM  
Blogger goe said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 06, 2010 1:55 PM  
Blogger goe said...

WJC,

Thanks for telling us about this book. I'm looking forward to reading it.

"...this division that has been created by those in the FGA organization...bankrupt and baseless nature of the emerging 'theological legalists' arguments against the clear and simple biblical paradigm that Hodges fought so hard to preserve..."

Well said. The FGA has, indeed, created for itself a discreditable and grievous legacy.

October 06, 2010 2:48 PM  
Blogger Alvin said...

Glad to see your back in circulation Antonio, we need your sharp mind.

The truth is worth fighting for against these legalist. If I was a betting man which I'm not I would bet part of the evidence proving these people wrong is Jesus talk with the woman at the well. Jesus offered her a gift she could take freely all she needed to know was who Jesus was, and what the gift of God was. If she would have known those two things eternal life would have already sprang up, it was all about the giving and receiving of a gift.

With Jesus came grace and truth, and as a Prophet He told her "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. "You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:21-24).

Jesus was telling her something brand new~! The place for worship would be no longer in a place but in spirit and truth. The key words "and now is" shows the Father was seeking those to worship Him in spirit and truth right then. But she needed spiritual life, God's life, and that is what Jesus was offering her the living water which drank would spring-up into everlasting life. Jesus told her He would have already given it to her if she would have asked.
It was only then could she worship the Father in spirit, and truth.


That same living water is offered today and can be taken freely, once drank you will never thirst again:)

alvin:)

October 07, 2010 8:25 PM  
Blogger goe said...

The FGA executive council voted in to serve the next two years are:

Tom Stegall
Dennis Rokser
Bret Nazworth
Rick Whitmire

Need I say more?

October 07, 2010 9:47 PM  
Blogger dreiher2 said...

I was there at the encouragement of Dr. Radmacher. I am sort of his ears and eyes these days.
I enjoyed the conference more than I thought I would. I found the vast majority of the folks there were amiable toward GES. There is only a small contingent who are staunchly anti-Zane and anti-GES. You could usually tell the strongest anti-GES folks because they were the ones who looked rather sad. It was nothing like the GES conference, where there was a real spirit of unity and everyone was smiling.

I was disappointed that there was no mention of the public apologies from Bob W., and the prayer meeting we had at the GES conference where we spent about an hour praying for reconciliation with folks from FGA. There was not a single prayer meeting for reconciliation at the FGA conference. They are really not interested in reconciliation. The leadership thinks we need to separate and go our separate ways. In other words one party has apologized, and is seeking reconciliation, and one party seems to refuse to apologize publicly, and is not interested in reconciliation.

Please be careful how you speak about FGA board members. I can vouch for several board members who were very gracious toward me even though they knew I supported Zane and GES. They were NOT against Zane or GES. On the other hand, several of the leadership were sort of short with me and immediately started giving me the popular "party line" spin talking points about Zane and GES. I am going to email these folks to question them about some of their comments they made to me which they use to attack Zane's and/or his view. It is all about attitude. The vast majority at FGA can disagree agreeably. We should not complain about those folks. We should complain about those folks who have a lousy, un-Christlike attitude. When wronged, be careful that we do not repay evil for evil.

I gave my paper to several leaders there. Please pray for them that God will work in their hearts as they read that massive thing, to help them look behind the "spin" and start seeing Zane's real main points. Pray for me as I respond to them, that I will respond in a Christlike way.

- Don Reiher

October 08, 2010 7:48 PM  
Blogger Autumn Snow said...

Hi Antonio,
Thanks for sharing the message from Zane Hodges. I am enjoying becoming aquainted with free grece doctrine. I had no idea you had this understanding of Scripture when I knew you in college. It is nice to see a familiar face who agrees with these teachings. Pretty much everyone in my life beside the woman who introduced me to this teaching are in the lordship salvation camp. I appreciate your desire to stress humility, grace and love as we seek to show others the errors of interpretation the lorship stance makes. We are not waring against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, rulers of this dark world, spiritual wickedness in high places. It is hard to keep a loving focus when there is disagreement on such vital matters of the gospel. May God bless us all to turn others from error, in Jesus name.

October 10, 2010 5:28 PM  
Blogger Steve Dehner said...

Thank you, Don, for your gracious report and wise and generous admonition.

October 11, 2010 9:04 AM  
Blogger John said...

So Antonio, when are we going to get your thoughts on the conference?

October 18, 2010 4:52 PM  
Blogger dreiher2 said...

I hope everyone who has questions about the "core message" or implicit vs. explicit ways of communicating the promise, "Promise only Gospel" or the concept of circular problem of "believing that you believe" has listened to Dr. Niemela's excellent message on "The place of Promise in Evangelism."

http://locker.palcs.org/~dreiher/ges2006sp05_jniemela.mp3

John gave this message 4 or 5 times, but this is the best version which was from the GES regional conference in Spokane in 2006. I used the main points of this message in my dealing with implicit vs. explicit in my paper on "Did Zane and GES change the Gospel."

- Don Reiher

October 29, 2010 2:18 AM  
Blogger goe said...

Thanks for posting this Don. I've been looking for this message ever since you mentioned it awhile back. I tried to order it from the link you gave but they said it was no longer available. I'm excited to have it now. Thanks again!

Gary

October 29, 2010 3:20 PM  
Blogger dreiher2 said...

The user wjc mentioned a book being written by a student of Zane's dealing with some of the arguments from the FGA camp.

Could you (wjc) email me at dreiher3 att sign compsupport dott nett and tell me who they are? I would like to offer some help (proofing, editing, etc.).
(Obviously I munged the address to try and trick all the non-humans out there)

- Don

October 29, 2010 9:39 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

What great friends I have here at Antonio's blog. Thanking God for all of you~!!!

Waiting anxiously for you, Antonio, but not trying to rush you. Only when the time is right~!!!

May God be glorified in all we say and do~!!!
:-)

October 30, 2010 8:41 AM  

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