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Dave Anderson

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

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
http://gracetheology.org, Dr. Charles Ryrie, Dr. Dave Anderson, www.gsot.edu

A Life Well Lived: A Tribute to Dr. Charles Ryrie by Dr. Dave Anderson

http://gracetheology.org, Dr. Charles Ryrie, Dr. Dave AndersonDr. Charles Ryrie impacted millions of lives through his writings, his preaching, and his teaching. I am just one of them. But since this is my tribute to him, I want to share two times his influence changed the direction of my life. The first was the end of my master’s program at DTS. I had been pre-med at Rice and decided early on to combine medicine with theology to be a medical missionary. At the end of seminary I was studying for the MCAT exam, a formality since I already had verbal admissions to two med schools.

Dr. Ryrie was my senior counselor and asked me to drop by one afternoon. He asked my plans, and I told him I was about to apply for med school with a view toward medical missions. He said, “I think that’s a good thing, but if you graduated from this school, I think you have more responsibility than that. For every one of you there are a thousand doctors.” Ah, he used the R-word—RESPONSIBILITY. I couldn’t get that out of my mind. My wife and I made the decision not to pursue medical school. But we didn’t know what we would do. We looked at mission boards, but they all wanted to take our kids away when they were six and put them in a school for missionary kids. That seemed to go against everything Dr. Hendricks taught us about the Christian home.

So we were stuck—didn’t now what to do. Never thought seriously about becoming a preacher. Who in his right mind would want to do that, right? Nevertheless, we wound up church planting. That seemed kind of like missionary work, and they weren’t going to take our kids away. As the years went by I picked up a PhD from DTS, and they began utilizing me as an adjunct professor.

Then in 2001 I was having lunch with Dr. Ryrie as I did from time to time. I shared some unmet needs I saw in the seminary world, and he encouraged me to start another seminary. I said, “But I don’t have any money.” His reply? “God’s will won’t lack God’s means.” So we stepped out on faith. We had an organizational meeting in Dr. Ryrie’s apartment, and he wrote our doctrinal statement.

Through the years Dr. Ryrie supported our school financially and with many encouraging notes and personal words of encouragement. A few years back my daughter and I spent a week at the Word of Life center at Schroon Lake, NY. They have a two-year Bible college there with a veritable shrine to Dr. Ryrie. They have a newspaper clipping about his leaving the banking world to go to seminary. They have the old manual typewriter he used to create the Ryrie Study Bible. Shortly after that trip I saw Dr. Ryrie in Dallas and told him I had visited the shrine to him at Schroon Lake. With a twinkle in his eye he said, “Well, did you do obeisance?” Of course, Dr. Ryrie was not God. Like all of us, he had his “humanity.” But more than any other man, God used him to direct the course of my life. Thank you, Dr. Ryrie!

What is the Kingdom of God?

What is the Kingdom of God?

One of the predominant themes, and in fact many would say the providential and primary theme contained in the Bible, is the thematic concept of the Kingdom of God. It seems to make its initial appearance in Genesis 1 and its final form arrives in Revelation 20-22. It is a theme that is continuously present in both the Old Testament and New Testament. It is introduced through the patriarchs and prophets, clarified by Jesus and John the Baptist, finds its theological explanation by Paul and Peter and its culmination is described in the Book of Revelation by John. However, it should not surprise us that not everybody understands the Kingdom of God in the same way.

Let me invite you to hear from Dr. Dave Anderson as he introduces this most important theological theme.

“It is obvious that the title of this lesson is taken from what is commonly referred to as the ‘Lord’s Prayer.’ But it is not so obvious to most of the people who repeat this prayer on at least a weekly basis just what they are praying for. What is this ‘kingdom’ to come? Is this a reference to heaven? Are we praying for ‘heaven on earth’ or what?

Most people are somewhat surprised to discover
 that the gospel (good news) of Matthew, Mark and Luke is not about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Sometimes I ask students to imagine that I am someone who would like to go to heaven when I die. I am in a car wreck with five minutes to live, and they have discovered me alongside the road. My only hope for heaven is the words they will share with me. And I encourage them to give me some good news, the gospel, if you will. But they are limited in what they can use. They can only give me the gospel message from Matthew, Mark or Luke. I will not receive anything from John, Romans, Ephesians, or any of the rest of the Bible.

Most of the students are stumped. At the end of five minutes, I have expired. Dead and gone to hell. No one seems to be able to get me to heaven out of the first three Gospels (referred to as the ‘Synoptics’). Yet they are called ‘Gospels.’ Surely they must have some good news to share. And that they do. But the gospel focus of the Synoptics is the Kingdom. In Mark 1:14-15 we read: ‘Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel.‘”* Jesus was preaching the good news of the kingdom of God. That is what He was inviting people to believe in. Naturally He was not inviting them to believe in His death and resurrection because He had not yet died and risen.

But let us be clear. Are we suggesting that the Synoptics present a different way of getting to heaven than the rest of the Bible? Not at all. We are just suggesting that the emphasis of these three Gospels is not getting to heaven. It is getting the kingdom of God on earth – “thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” It is the Gospel of John which focuses on our getting eternal life (John 20:31). That is the expressed purpose of John’s Gospel.

But let us back up a minute. We are going to suggest that the kingdom of God is not only the focus of the first three Gospels, but also the entire Bible. It is not the only theme running from the beginning of the Bible to the end, but it is one of the majors. So let’s go to Genesis and try to get the Big Picture before we go any further.”

Our understanding of the kingdom of God will have a dramatic effect on our theology of salvation. This pervasive and powerful theme is the glue that connects the overarching plans of God. Dr. Anderson concludes:

“The very heartbeat of God’s kingdom program is missions. Let’s remember that Adam was supposed to be fruitful and multiply and take dominion over the earth. Finally, mankind has populated the earth. But dominion? No. Oh, yes, there have been attempts at dominion over the earth: Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus the Great, Alexander the Great, the Roman Empire, Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, and now perhaps a conspiracy for One World Order (see Psalm 2:2 for a prediction of a conspiracy of world leaders to achieve One World Order). But there will be no worldwide dominion until Jesus comes again. Then His scepter will sweep out from Jerusalem with centrifugal force until He has conquered the World Dictator (the Antichrist) and set up His Kingdom over all the earth (Psalm 110).

But our Lord wants servant kings from every tongue, tribe, and nation to serve with Him in His dominion over the earth. The purpose of all this, as we have seen in earlier lessons, is that the nations might glorify God. Through world evangelization, or perhaps we should say worldwide discipleship (see Matthew 28:19-20), each person is given the same opportunity for the eternal security (the love of God) and the eternal significance (a meaningful place of service forever) you have received if you are a believer. And as individuals in each tongue, tribe, and nation respond positively to the gospel and teachings of Christ, God is glorified. What does that mean again? The glory of God is ‘an open, public display of his character qualities (attributes).’ As the nations are brought out of darkness into His light, they become trophies of His grace, His love, His mercy, His omnipresence, His omnipotence, His omniscience, His justice, His truth, His faithfulness, His goodness and on we go.

Tired of the ho-hum rat race of just trying to exist, God’s Kingdom program and our participation in it (missions) gives us a reason for living which transcends the mundane, the trivial, and the banal. It gives you a chance to make your life count for eternity.”

Amen.

Serving Him with you
Until He Comes for us,

Fred Chay Ph.D
Grace Theology Press
Managing Editor