Editorial Note from Dr. Fred Chay: One of the purposes of Grace Theology Press is to provide fresh resources concerning grace theology to the church. This week we highlight a new resource from a veteran author and choice servant of the Lord, Dr. Charlie Bing. For the past 30 years, Charlie has provided leadership and resources for those of us who hold to grace theology. We are pleased to have published his latest book and hope you enjoy our interview with him.
GraceLife Ministries Founder and Director Charles Bing earned his Th.M. and Ph.D. from Dallas Theological Seminary. Dr. Bing pastored Burleson Bible Church in Texas for 19 years before transitioning to GraceLife full-time in 2005. He has served as Adjunct Professor of Biblical Studies for LeTourneau University from 1992-2011 and is a former President of the Free Grace Alliance. He is active as a speaker for churches and conferences in the United States and abroad and has published a number of books and articles on the gospel, salvation, evangelism, and discipleship. Dr. Bing recently partnered with Grace Theology Press to release his book Grace, Salvation and Discipleship: How to Understand Some Difficult Bible Passages.
Can you tell us just a little bit about what you do?
GraceLife Ministries is a ministry that shares the gospel of grace with those who need to hear it and are unsaved, but also shares the grace of the gospel with those who are saved and need to understand what it means to live and grow in grace. In the United States, our ministry takes the form of speaking at church and Bible conferences. With our overseas ministry, it takes the form of training pastors and leaders in the clear gospel so that they can share a clear gospel with their people.
You just wrote a new interesting book called “Grace, Salvation and Discipleship: How to Understand Some Difficult Bible Passages.” Why did you write the book?
I wrote this book because I saw that it was needed. The book deals with some passages that are often confused when it comes to salvation and discipleship. If pastors and teachers are confused about these passages, they will present an erroneous or confused gospel. There are a lot of questions which have arisen in my past teaching, and usually they’re the same questions over and over. We also see that when we teach on these passages, we encounter the same misunderstandings. I wrote the book to address these issues. I thought that it would be a much-needed tool greatly needed right now for those who are trying to understand these difficult passages that we sometimes call “problem passages.”
Who was the audience that you wrote this book for? Who would get the most use out of your book?
Well, obviously the audience is for anyone who wants to understand some of these difficult Bible passages. I think that the book will be used by those who really study the Bible, serious Bible students, especially those who are teaching at any level from Sunday School teachers to preachers and even in the seminary classroom. I think that they will all find it helpful to see how some of these passages, when taken in context, can be determined as speaking to salvation or discipleship.
You just can’t get away from the distinction that you have used with how you wrote the book. You wrote the book in what you call an A Truth / B Truth format. Can you describe a little bit about what that format is and why you chose it?
A Truth/B Truth refers to salvation or discipleship. A Truth is truth about our initial salvation and reception of eternal life, and B Truth is truth about discipleship, which is the Christian life or growing in grace. Originally, I actually titled the book A Truth / B Truth, but then realized that no one would know what it is about and therefore changed the title to Grace, Salvation and Discipleship. The A Truth / B Truth model is applied to every one of the 130 passages that I address in the book. I have found that it’s a very simple model and approach for people to use when they look at a passage on either salvation or discipleship to determine which it is talking about. I’ve received such a good response in using that model everywhere that I thought this is something that might really be a helpful tool if explained in a book.
To find out more about Dr. Bing and GraceLife Ministries, go to gracelife.org where you can receive more information on the ministry. At gracelife.org, sign up for the newsletter or purchase the book Grace, Salvation and Discipleship: How to Understand Some Difficult Bible Passages. Be on the lookout for Part 2 in this interview with Dr. Bing.