Customer Login

Lost password?

View your shopping cart

Dr. Fred Chay

Grace, Grace Theology Press, Dr. Fred Chay, Dr. Dave Anderson

GTP Releases Position and Condition by Dr. Dave Anderson

Grace Theology Press is pleased to announce the publication of our latest book by Dr. Dave Anderson, President of Grace School of Theology, entitled Position and Condition: An Exposition of the Book of Ephesians.

This is an in-depth exegetically based exposition of Ephesians that includes some relevant discussion of some significant theological issues. Let me introduce the book to you by letting you read the opening pages from the pen of Dr. Anderson.

THE PURPOSE DRIVEN CHURCH BUT IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU
Ephesians 1:1-14
INTRODUCTION

Rick Warren is an American pastor who became rich through the sales of one book, A Purpose Driven Life.1 True, it became the best-selling book in the history of the English language, excepting the Bible. For a while it sold over a million copies per month, and before its primary run ended, it had sold over a hundred million copies. He came here to The Woodlands, TX, back in 2005 and was still asking the question “Why?” He claims that he didn’t put anything new in the book not said by others before him. He sprinkled it with Bible verses and biblical principles, yet the secular world was buying it like crazy. He said about a month before his visit here the leader of Rwanda, Africa, had invited him to come to Africa to help them establish a purpose driven nation. Wow, a purpose driven nation; a government was asking for that.

And we all have to ask “Why?” Why now, at this particular juncture of human history are so many people, Christians and non-Christians alike, looking for purpose? As I have pondered this question my mind has taken me back to the beginning of the modern world, which most pundits put at around AD 1750. That’s when The Age of Reason began. Reason rose to near deity status. Reason could solve anything. Man’s mind became the supreme power on our earth—nothing higher. Reason went up to the top floor above faith, and, in fact, within a hundred years or even less had driven faith completely out of the house. Through our science and technology, we could achieve a humanitarian utopia and, for those who still believed in Christ, the millennial kingdom (an approach known as postmillennialism).

WWI was our first hint: maybe advanced technology is not making our society better and better. If WWI rattled the cage of the modern world with its faith in human reason and the ability of our minds to make a better world, WWII dismantled the cage completely. Adolf Hitler used the science of eugenics to help justify his “final solution.”2 And Albert Einstein said the greatest mistake of his life was allowing Leo Szilard to persuade him to write a letter to President Roosevelt that would ultimately lead to the Manhattan Project.3 Little Boy and Fat Man ended the modern era.4 The intentional attempt to destroy an entire race (the Jews) with the use of modern science, and the nuclear age with its potential for self-annihilation, suggested to the baby-boomers that something was wrong with reason. Our reason is flawed; it’s spoiled cheese no matter how you slice it. Science and reason will not bring answers to the problems of the
human race.

Thus began our Postmodern Era. The signs of this era tell us that things do not make sense; things are not logical; much of life is nonsense; words have lost their meaning. The latter is known as deconstructionism, that is, we deconstruct the meaning of words until they have no meaning. At the very best, what words mean to you may not be what they mean to me. Every man just does what is right in his own eyes. But who said there was a right and wrong to begin with?

The depressing approach of postmodernity was short-lived, about two generations. The Gen-Xers and the millennials drifted back to the same questions that have plagued mankind from the beginning: who am I, why am I here, and where am I going? All three of those questions scream PURPOSE. Into the vacuum of no answers came Rick Warren’s book. And what a wonderful book it is. But long before Warren wrote about purpose, another book addressed the subject of purpose. We might say the whole Bible does this, but more specifically there is one book of the Bible that zeros in on the subject.

The Book of Ephesians opens with this thought—God has a purpose for your life, but it’s not about you. This letter talks about the Creation and the Conduct of the Church. The church was a mystery unforeseen in the Old Testament. Yet God says, “I have created this Body, this entity for a very special purpose.” I’d like to call the Book of Ephesians the Purpose Driven Church because I think that’s what it’s about. It’s about God’s special purpose for believers in the Body of Christ.”

I think you will find this book insightful and helpful as you deepen your walk with Jesus. And for those of you who want a good source for your sermon preparation, I believe you will find it very beneficial. You can order this resource from Amazon as well as all of the GTP family of books.

Always remember: Readers are leaders and leaders are readers. Happy reading!


1. Rick Warren, A Purpose Driven Life (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002).
2. Nazi Eugenics, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_eugenics/, accessed September 1, 2016.
3. Albert Einstein, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein/, accessed September 1, 2016.
4. The names given to the two bombs dropped on Japan.


Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,
Fred Chay, PhD
Managing Editor,
Grace Theology Press
Grace, Grace Theology Press, Dr. Fred Chay

Just How Much is Needed to be Sure?

One of the essential questions in the Grace Debate is the requirement of love and other forms of obedience that are essential to prove that faith is genuine and salvific. Many authors provide a variety of lists that are essential to prove that the faith one demonstrates genuinely and actually saves. A new formulation of this is found in Matthew Bates’ work, Salvation By Allegiance Alone (see a previous blog where we have examined this book). His view is that “ embodied obedience” is what pistis (faith) means and hence if there is no love and acts of obedience, then there is no justification. He holds that not only is salvation to be understood in three phases—past, present and future—but he states that justification is a three-part activity that culminates in a final declaration at the Great White Throne that one is finally and fully justified. (See Romans 2:5-6.)

Others sensing the tension and subjectivity of such a theology simply say that “ some” works are necessary to prove that faith is genuine. (See Wayne Grudem’ s, Free Grace Theology 5 Ways is Diminishes the Gospel.) Of course, it is never clarified how much “ some” includes nor what type of “ some” works are necessary.

Historically, in Reformed theology, “ Love” has been the “ true sign,” the “ shibboleth” in determining if a person is justified and saved eternally. Dr. John Hosler, a pastor and an articulate and longstanding defender of the free grace gospel asks the seminal question:

“ Does being born again mean that a believer cannot resist practicing perfect love at all times? Faith Works by John MacArthur, p. 188: “ There is no such thing as a Christian who lacks this love….No-lordship theology ignores this vital truth….Jesus said, ‘ if you love Me, you will keep my commandments.’ ‘ He who has my commandments and keeps them, he is who loves me’ (Jn. 4:21). Conversely, ‘ He who does not love Me does not keep My words’ (v. 24).”

Hosler continues:

“Included in the definition of love is keeping all the commandments of Christ, keeping the word of God, loving all brothers at all times, and walking in the light at all times. How then could the reformers, Roman Catholics and Puritans have hated the Anabaptists so vehemently? Why, then, was it necessary to tell the Romans to let love be without dissimulation (Rom. 12:9)? Why did the Corinthians have to be beseeched to confirm their love to a repenting brother (II Cor. 2:8)? Why did the Galatians have to be told to serve one another in love (Gal. 5:13)? Why did Paul have to pray for the Ephesians to be rooted and grounded in love (Eph. 3:17)? Why did Paul have to beseech the Ephesians to forbear one another in love (Eph. 4:1, 2)? Why did Paul have to tell Christian men to love their wives (Eph. 5:25)? And how could the Ephesian church, founded by Paul, have left its first love (Rev. 2:4)? Why did Paul need to tell the Thessalonians to put on the breastplate of love (I Thess. 5:8)? Why did he have to tell Timothy to follow after love (I Tim. 6:11; II Tim. 1:13)? Why do young Christian wives need to be taught to love their husbands (Titus 2:4)? Why do Christians need to provoke one another unto love (Heb. 10:24)? Why must Christians be told to let brotherly love continue (Heb. 13:1)? Why must Peter tell the saints to love one another as brethren (I Pet. 3:8)? Why does he tell Christians to be diligent to add charity and brotherly kindness to their faith (II Pet. 1:5-7)? Why must John tell the saints not to love the world (I Jn. 2:15)? Why was it necessary for him to tell the saints that they ought to love one another (I Jn. 4:11)? Why did Jude have to tell the beloved to keep themselves in the love of God (Jude 21)? Why? Because many saved believers can and do lack love, and thereby forfeit their fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ and will receive discipline. I Jn. 4:10, 11 says: Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. Love is an important and profitable attribute of a Christian, but it is God’s love and not our own that saves us and keeps us saved.”

Can I get an Amen!


Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,
Fred Chay, PhD
Managing Editor,
Grace Theology Press
Grace, Grace Theology Press, Dr. Fred Chay

Eternal Relevance

As a seminary professor and publisher, I am committed to the idea that Theology must never be half-hearted or hesitant. The simple reason is that the nature of the subject and the consequences of its study concern nothing less than the Glory of God and the eternal destiny of people.

This being the case, seminary should not be a sanctuary of comfort but a crucible for confronting ideas. The same is true for the publishing of books. The title of Richard Weaver’s 1944 landmark book says it all, “Ideas Have Consequences.” Ideas expressed in words are powerful tools. The fulcrum of a clearly expressed idea can leverage people to action and to change.

Our desire at Grace Theology Press (GTP) is to provide ideas that can lead to change.

Our commitment is to education, not indoctrination. We believe thinking is a good thing and that people should critically consider concepts that might run counter to their thinking. Remember, as James Russell Lowell said, “Only fools and dead people never change their opinion. Fools won’t and the dead can’t.” And wishing to be neither, we must demand the time to think and develop the habit of thought. A good book expressing clear ideas can do just that.

Our goal at GTP is that we heed the advice of Sir Lancelot Andrews who said, “I do not wish to preach what men wish to hear, but what one day they will have wished they would have heard.”

For those who cry out that in today’s book-world we must bow to the pressure of the people and accommodate the desire to be relevant, I say speak and write about things that are eternal and you will always be relevant.

Coming Soon!


Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,
Fred Chay, PhD
Managing Editor,
Grace Theology Press
Grace, Grace Theology Press, Dr. Fred Chay

Position and Condition

After the magisterial exegetical commentary by Dr. Harold Hohner on the Book of Ephesians, most thought that it was the last word on all things Ephesian. But although it is the best technical exegetical commentary on the book of Ephesians, let me give you a sneak preview of Dr. Dave Anderson’s commentary, soon to be made available through Grace Theology Press. It provides not only exegetical details and argumentation but also a smooth exposition that will benefit both pastor and student, and lead them to an in-depth understanding and appreciation of Ephesians.

“ Through my years of teaching both in church and at a seminary level, I have seen more confusion on the difference between our Position in Christ and our Condition on earth than any other doctrine. Without thinking in categories and keeping these categories distinct, both the Bible and the Christian life wind up like tangled underbrush. It is incredibly important that we understand Luther’s famous statement: simul iustus et peccator(simultaneously justified and a sinner). This paradoxical statement makes sense when we realize he is making a statement about both our Position and our Condition. In our Position in Christ in heavenly places (Eph 1:3ff), we are completely justified before God—declared righteous. And nothing in our Condition on earth can change our Position in heaven. But even though we are completely “ accepted in the Beloved” (Eph 1:6) in heaven with His perfect righteousness credited to our account, our Condition on earth can be quite riddled with sin. The contrast between our Position and our Condition can become depressing . . . if we keep focusing on our miserable Condition. But when we learn to focus on our Position in Christ with all of its attendant circumstances, our Condition will actually improve. Why? Because “ as a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Prov 23:7). We become what we think about. As we think about (dwell) on who we are in Christ (our Position), our Condition will slowly but surely conform to our Position. The first three chapters of Ephesians is about our Position in Christ; the last three are about our Condition on earth. But the two are not disconnected. In the last three chapters we are called to walk (our Condition) worthy of our calling (our Position)—Ephesians 4:1. The last three chapters begin with “ therefore.” In other words, based on all Paul has just taught them about their current Position in heaven, a certain type of behavior (Condition) should ensue. This order (Position before Condition) is crucial. It’s when we think our Position is dependent on our Condition that the fog sets in. Nothing in our Condition can affect/change our Position. This works in two ways: 1) No matter how good an unbeliever is (Condition), it will not open the gates of heaven for him (Position); 2) No matter how bad a believer might be (Condition), it will not close the gates of heaven for him. Can you handle that statement? If not, there is much to learn about God’s grace and His ways of dealing with mankind. To learn more, read on.”

I hope you want to read on. I believe you will find it a very helpful resource for anyone who wishes to study, understand and apply this most significant book of the bible.

Coming Soon!


Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,
Fred Chay, PhD
Managing Editor,
Grace Theology Press
Grace, Grace Theology Press, Dr. Fred Chay

Forewarned is Forearmed

I have been called many things in my life but the most treasured description given to me was to be called a “White Crusty Corpuscle.” I’m not sure what the “crusty” referred to but as for the White Corpuscle, it is a badge of honor. White blood cells are “the cells of the immune system that are involved in protecting the body against both infectious disease and foreign invaders.”

In ministry and especially in theological publication, it is always important to be on the lookout for theological ideas and books that expound those ideas that are significantly disturbing and  clearly dangerous. Let me make you aware of such a book—Salvation by Allegiance Alone, by Matthew W. Bates, published by Baker Academic press, March 2017. This book is very new and crystal clear as to the author’s theological viewpoint regarding grace.

Dr. Bates recently received his PhD from the University of Notre Dame and teaches at Quincy University, a Catholic school of the Franciscan order. Dr. Bates is a protestant in his faith tradition, having been raised in a King-James-only church.

The thesis of the book is that both the Protestant Reformation and Catholic traditions, to a lesser degree, have not got it right regarding the meaning and method of salvation and faith or justification and assurance.

Dr. Bates believes that Faith should not be defined as belief or trust but as allegiance. Total, continual, obedient actions, embodied activity and enacted fidelity and loyalty are not optional but essential and required as a part of the definition of faith, which is why allegiance-faithfulness is a more preferred term. In fact, Dr. Bates states that this is a more accurate translation of the term based on the use during the first century in Romans (pg. 78-80). Thus, commitment seen in obedience and confessional loyalty are essential as an ongoing part of saving allegiance.

As a result, there is no presumptive assurance of salvation until the end. The one who has allegiance to Jesus must persevere to the end and with God’s help, they will. But if they do not, then they never had the gift of eternal life. He states, “No member of the body of the Christ can be unwillingly fired or forced out by external pressures, but if a person were to entirely cease giving allegiance to the Lord (and the Lord’s people) then she or he would be denied the benefit secured through Jesus’ contract” (pg. 173). In fact, the final judgment is rendered at the end and is based to some degree on the works that one has done in this life (Rom 2). He states “it is necessary for an individual to persevere in pistis throughout the course of her or his lifetime in order to attain final salvation (pg. 191).

In fact he states, “ …in other words initial declared allegiance (pistis) to Jesus the king causes a union with the king and his body, and the maintenance of this union is in embodiment of allegiance and a lived obedience that includes good deeds with in its purview. So there is not a simple cause-and-effect relationship between faith and works, rather, pistis is quite simply not pistis at all if it is not embodied and embedded in the allegiant community” (pg.121).

It is his view that a gospel that asks a person to believe that Jesus died for his sin and that He will give him eternal life is very deficient. “A better gospel presentation will not give total assurance of the security of final salvation on the basis of the acceptance of the gospel invitation. It may be pastorally pleasant to say ‘if you prayed this prayer with me and you sincerely asked Jesus into your heart then you can have complete confidence that you are now eternally saved and on the road to heaven’. This sort of comfort is precisely what the audience loves to hear making it tempting to give it but unfortunately it is a false assurance. To suggest otherwise is dangerous.” (pg. 203)

This is a “Bold Provocative Book” says one endorsement. It is a book that runs Calvinism out to its logical conclusions and shows that it did not disentangle itself enough from the dangers of Rome. The author interacts with TULIP, N.T. Wright and the New Pauline Perspective and the high and low points of the theology of the Council of Trent. In terms of the content of the gospel, you will need a large piece of paper to list what is the content of what one is to have allegiance to. It involves corporate election and the enthronement of the cosmic King and His mission to rule the world and the universe.

This book is the latest articulation of Lordship Salvation unleashed upon the church. If you are a Seminary or Bible college teacher, you must read this book. If you are a pastor, you should read this book. I say this for the simple reason that this is a dangerous book for if it is believed, it will cause confusion to your students or parishioners.

 

In case you wonder how we who hold to Free Grace come off in the book, there are two references to Zane Hodges, one to Charles Stanley and one to Robert Wilkin in footnotes. The other reference is to those who are part of “the so called free grace movement” (pg. 25) and “free-gracers” (pg. 26). Let’s just say we do not come off sounding reputable. Of course, what really matters is not if we are reputable in the mind of man but if we are right in the sight of God!


Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,
Fred Chay, PhD
Managing Editor,
Grace Theology Press
Grace, Grace Theology Press, Dr. Fred Chay

Are You a Verbivore?

“Lexophile” clearly comes from the Greek and is a word used to describe those that have a “love for words,” such as “you can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish” or “to write with a broken pencil is pointless.” Each year a competition to see who can come up with the best “lexophiles” provides creativity if not comic results. Here is a selection of submissions:

  • When fish are in schools, they sometimes take debate.
  • A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.
  • When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U.C.L.A.
  • The batteries were given out free of charge.
  • A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.
  • A will is a dead giveaway.
  • With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
  • When you’ve seen one shopping center, you’ve seen a mall.
  • Police were summoned to a daycare center where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.
  • Did you hear about the fellow whose entire left side was cut off? He’s all right now.
  • A bicycle can’t stand alone; it’s just two tired.
  • When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
  • The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine is now fully recovered.
  • He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
  • When she saw her first strands of grey hair she thought she’d dye.
  • Acupuncture is a jab well done. That’s the point of it.
  • Those who get too big for their pants will be totally exposed in the end.

Words can be fun, and they are often flexible. But when we are dealing with theology, words are not usually amusing; they must be accurate. They must not entertain at the expense of being exact. In writing biblical and theological studies, we must be precise and accurate. This is also true in our theory of textual transmission and translation, which allows the Word to retain the power for transformation.

Interpretation in biblical matters is focused upon discovering and determining meaning. Many look for the meaning of the Bible in what they feel or how they respond to the words of scripture. For others, meaning is in the document itself. But full meaning can only be detected as we seek the authorial intent of the Bible expressed in the text. Hence, we are looking for the meaning in the coded message (the text) from the encoder of the message (the author) as we read the author’s words and apply the laws of language and the laws of structure to the genre utilized to communicate. Hence, we focus on the container of transmission which communicates the content of the text.

It seems that many churches have forgotten “Hermeneutics 101.” Many sermons and many books have allowed the desire to be relevant to replace the need to be accurate. We must be both culturally relevant and biblically accurate. However, many, in their use of narrative theology, replace exegetical theology as the basis of biblical theology. And when biblical theology is supplemented with historical theology, it produces a fully orbed systematic theology.

At Grace Theology Press (GTP), we strive to produce books and products that provide words, based on and built upon The Word. Whether it is in our biblical commentary literature or our theological studies or in our thematic and topical books, each and every book is to be in submission to the infallible and inspired word of God. And it is His Words that cause us to be Lexophiles!


Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,
Fred Chay, PhD
Managing Editor,
Grace Theology Press
Grace, Grace Theology Press, Dr. Fred Chay

Christian Confusion – Concerning the Gospel

We would think that after 2000 years, the church would be able to speak clearly what the saving message is about. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The following statement from my friend Bruce Bauer helps to clarify the confusion and correct the all-too-common errors or additions to the saving message.

Eight Ways That Christians Misrepresent the Gospel
By Bruce Bauer, Lancaster, CA

There is much confusion in the Christian community today as to the basic plan of salvation, often called, “the gospel,” as spelled out clearly in the Bible. If you doubt this assertion, simply check out the websites of a large cross section of Christian churches in America and read their doctrinal statements on salvation (or read their published tracts). You will, undoubtedly, discover many varied and conflicting affirmations of belief regarding salvation. The following list is a sampling of common calls to salvation in the Christian community. Let’s examine whether they hold up to biblical scrutiny.

  1. “Give Jesus your heart!”

    What does that command even mean? Pretty nebulous isn’t it? I heard an actual story of a child who was frightened by this statement, fearing that he might have to forfeit his own physical heart. Christians need to be much clearer when presenting the gospel. Read on.

  2. “Walk the straight and narrow path.”

    Living a relatively clean life will save no one. Eternal life comes only through believing on Christ Jesus and what he accomplished for you on the cross (more on this later).

  3. “Become a follower of Christ.”

    This call sounds noble, but what is it lacking? There is no appeal to believing in Jesus Christ to become saved, which is, the only way to become saved. In Acts 16:30-31, a Philippian jailer, fearing that his prisoners had all escaped due to a great earthquake, nearly killed himself and then cried out to Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied immediately and without hesitation, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.” Now, is there anything wrong with following Christ? Of course not! Christians should follow Christ and serve him faithfully, but these actions are not what bring salvation. When Jesus walked on earth in the first century, there were many, many people who followed him, some for the free meals, others to see miracles, still others to seek physical healing. Some became believers in him, most did not. Jesus warned of unbelieving followers in Matthew 7:23: “Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evil-doers’!”

    Judas was, of course, the ultimate “fake-follower” of Jesus. As a member of the inner circle of disciples, he was a follower for three years. But he never was a true believer in Christ Jesus, as evidenced by his betrayal of Jesus and by his ensuing suicide.

  4. “Make Jesus the Lord of your life!”

    What a presumption! Jesus Christ is Lord of all creation, Lord of the universe, Lord of heaven, Lord of the earth, Lord of redemption, Lord God of ALL, in spite of any puny declaration that you or I might choose to make. We can’t make Christ Lord. He IS Lord! Now, once we have become believers—we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ Jesus alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), then by all means serve him joyfully and faithfully as we submit to his leading, as this is pleasing to God and the right thing for a believer to do.

  5. “You must first count the cost.”

    This demand originates from a wrongful understanding of Jesus’ proclamations in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke). Jesus warned the people of the costs of discipleship (the process through which believers grow and mature in Christ as they serve him faithfully, which can be difficult at times), NOT the costs of salvation.Salvation is an absolutely free gift of God through his son Christ Jesus; it can never be earned or merited–“not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:9). “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior” (Titus 3:5-6).

  6. “You must first repent of your sins (sometimes called, ‘turn from your sins’) and then come to Jesus.”

    This demand is very common indeed. What’s wrong with it? First, it misapplies the term “repent.” From an English dictionary, the term might be defined as sincere regret or remorse, contrition, shame or penitence. But this is not the biblical meaning of the word “repent.” It has commonly (and incorrectly) come to mean in Christian circles, “a work that must be performed before coming to Christ.” Essentially, what its purveyors are saying is that one must first “clean up her act or her life” in order to be presentable to Christ and then be allowed to become saved. This understanding of repentance is unbiblical! There is absolutely no work that one must do to become presentable to Jesus.From the New Testament Greek, repentance, metanoia, simply means, “change your mind.” When applied to salvation, it means, “to change your mind and realize that your own relative good works will never be good enough to earn eternal life.” (ed. Not all who affirm free grace theology would agree with this view of repentance but many do.) You must come God’s way by grace alone through faith alone in Christ Jesus alone. Biblical repentance in no way demands a change of conduct to obtain salvation. God will accept you, just as you are, warts and all, if you simply place your faith in Christ alone for salvation. As the hymn writer Charlotte Elliott put it so aptly, “Just as I am, without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me, and that thou bid’st me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come! I come!”

  7. “You must surrender your will to Christ (sometimes referred to as, ‘surrender and serve’).”

    While speaking at the Passion 2012 conference in Atlanta, GA, John Piper labeled this approach as, “waving the white flag of surrender.” In his speech, Piper implied strongly that many in the audience of 40,000 Christian youths may not really be saved if they were merely relying on a one-time decision to believe in Christ Jesus, yet have not followed up on that decision with a lifestyle in which the realities of salvation must be apparent in their actions.

    So, what’s wrong with this way of thinking? It puts the onus of salvation back on the individual instead of on a complete trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross of Calvary. This has been referred to as, “a backloading of the gospel.” Backloading of the gospel, in essence, means that it’s not good enough, i.e., it’s not efficacious or meritorious enough, to trust in Christ alone for salvation. One must, in effect, prove the reality of her salvation through a lifestyle of good works. A one-time decision to place one’s belief in Christ alone for salvation, if not followed up with, as some would say, “an on-fire lifestyle for the Lord,” in this way of thinking, means that the person is probably not saved. This assessment is unfair in that it is completely arbitrary. And it decimates assurance of salvation as trust is removed from the promises of God to protect our salvation (John 10:27-30) and placed on the failings of man. It takes no account of differing levels of Christian maturity or circumstances. How long must one serve to “prove” the reality of salvation? One year? Five years? Ten? What about biblical examples of believers in the Lord who experienced extensive periods of failing?

    Jacob, Solomon, David, Lot, and Samson, all believers, come to mind instantly.

  8. “You must make a public confession of Christ to really be saved.”

    This wrongful thinking originates from a common misunderstanding of Romans 10:9: “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” In Chapter 10, Paul is addressing believers (he calls them “brothers”) about how to live out the Christian life. The issue of justification has already been dealt with in the early chapters of Romans. The Greek word for “saved,” sozo, may refer to justification at times, but it has a much wider array of meanings, such as, “kept safe,” “protected,” “rescued from danger,” or “made whole.” 1 Timothy 2:15, for one example, says that women are saved (kept safe, sozo) through childbearing. Obviously, this verse does not mean that women obtain justification from sins through bearing children. Looking at the immediate context of Romans 10:9, we see Paul’s confirmation to his believing audience that the way of justification is simply by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ (by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone)—no strings attached! Verse 10:13 reads, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (a direct quotation from Joel 2:32).

Concluding Thoughts: The Bible is abundantly clear that simply by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ and what he has accomplished on the cross on our behalf (Acts 16:30-31, John 5:24, John 6:29 & 40, John 3:16-18, John 11:25-26, many other verses in John, 1 Corinthians 15:1-8) a person can become saved (justified, receiving eternal life which, by definition, can never be taken away). Let’s all, in the Christian community, strive to keep the message of salvation simple, straightforward, clear and uncomplicated, and always biblical!


Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,
Fred Chay, PhD
Managing Editor,
Grace Theology Press
Grace, Grace Theology Press, Dr. Fred Chay

They Call It I.T.

The intelligence community has been in the news lately and has revealed to the American public that there are many revelations being disclosed and divulged. Intelligence, in both a governmental agency and an individual mind is a combination of Information and Insight. Information is the raw knowledge, the data points. Insight is the wisdom deduced and extracted from the interpretation of the data.

A good book is built upon information or knowledge that then bequeaths insight for living, which we call wisdom. It is proverbial to note that we live in an “information society.” It is also true what Marshall McLuhan declared, “the medium is the message.” However, it is evident that insight seems to be in short supply. The abundance of knowledge is manufactured through a variety of media outlets, stored in the venerable “Cloud” and retrieved by a variety of electronic devices. But knowledge needs to be framed and focused into insight that can be applied, which we call wisdom.

Most companies have an Information Technology department; “I.T.”  As a theological publishing company, we also have an Insight & Truth department.  For truth is to be discovered not created. At Grace Theology Press, our goal is that each one of our publications better enables the reader to discover and apply truth for the glory of God.

The best books both examine and explain an idea or a truth, and then correlate and apply to life situations. It is our desire to provide books and theological resources that help to discover the truth based on the Word of God, and then demonstrate how this truth impacts our intellectual life and our individual lives all for the glory of God.


Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,
Fred Chay, PhD
Managing Editor,
Grace Theology Press
Grace, Grace Theology Press, Dr. Fred Chay

Do You Have the Right Connections

We live in a world of networks. It is almost impossible to be isolated. All of us are connected to people in some way and with today’s technology we all leave a digital imprint and footprint somewhere.

To be human is to be in a relationship. It was that way in the Garden of Eden and it is still true today. One network and nexus of relationships that I would encourage you to become a part of is the Free Grace Alliance. As you have guessed or already know, the FGA is an alliance of folks who hold to a free grace theological perspective.

FGA hosts an annual national conference in Dallas every October and a variety of regional conferences across the nation that allows theologians, pastors, missionaries and other leaders to gather and become informed and inspired of how and what the Lord is doing in our world to spread the gospel of God’s grace. The speakers are excellent and the workshops are very helpful. Grace Theology Press is always there to provide books and updates on the latest theological issues.

As an Alliance, it allows you to get connected to a variety of ministry venues and become aware of opportunities for you to connect with and create ministry synergism both in the USA and internationally. I encourage you to go the FGA website and see what resources are available and what relational opportunities are offered.

May I also prevail upon you to pray for Grace Theology Press. We are close to finishing a new book by Drs. Dave Anderson, Jody Dillow and myself as a critical response to Dr. Wayne Grudem’s critique of free grace theology. Dr Grudem’s book is called, Free Grace Theology: Five Ways It Diminishes the Gospel (Crossway Books). I would ask you to pray that our new book be written with grace and truth, and that it is received by the Free Grace community as a helpful theological resource, and that our reformed brothers would read it and realize what we believe and why we hold to our views.

It will only be by the power of the Holy Spirit that those who hold to Lordship Salvation and an unbalanced doctrine of assurance will ever listen to our views. So please pray for the Lord to open their ears that they may hear and their eyes that they may see. It can happen. It happened to me.


Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,
Fred Chay, PhD
Managing Editor,
Grace Theology Press
Free Grace Magnifies the Gospel, Dr. Fred Chay, Grace School of Theology

Defending Our Hope

Free Grace Theology has always been under scrutiny or attack by reformed theologians. Many of you are familiar with the latest critique by reformed theologian Dr. Wayne Grudem in his book, Free Grace Theology: Five Ways It Diminishes the Gospel, Crossway Books 2016. It is a short creedal attack on all things Free Grace. The Free Grace community has responded with a variety of articles or reviews, but there is a new book that has been written with the catchy title Free Grace Theology: 5 Ways it Magnifies the Gospel. It includes chapters by Drs. Jody Dillow, Roger Fankhauser, Charlie Bing, Jeremy Edmonson, and Grant Hawley, who also serves as the editor of the book, which is published by Bold Grace Ministries. I would encourage you to buy this book to hear a helpful presentation of the Free Grace Theology defining elements. This book is not a point-counterpoint critique of Dr. Grudem, but it does interact with some of his arguments.

I would also like to make you aware that we at Grace School of Theology and Grace Theology Press are close to publishing a book that will engage Dr. Grudem on many of his points of disagreement with our theology. It is written for pastors, seminary students and theologians, and we hope to provide a clear exegetical, theological and historical refutation of Dr. Grudem’s concerns.

I ask you all to pray that the Lord would use these theological resources to clarify and convince our reformed brothers and sisters of the error of their theological way. I also ask that you pray that the Lord would use these theological resources to provide clarity and conviction for the Free Grace community and provide a defense for the hope that is in us.


Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,
Fred Chay, PhD
Managing Editor,
Grace Theology Press