There is always something exciting and fun when people who hold to Grace Theology get together, and this past week was no exception. There were over 120 people at the Free Grace Alliance National Conference in Arlington, Texas, who were delighted to hear from seven plenary speakers as well as a host of excellent workshop speakers. Mixed in between was plenty of time to see old friends and make new ones.
This year’s conference theme was First John and Free Grace. The plenary speakers presented presentations that clarified issues regarding the overall thrust of the book and detailed exegetical arguments concerning difficult passages. They included a variety of practical points of application for our personal and ministry lives. Many of the workshops focused on both theological and ministry issues.
We also had the privilege of listening to Dr. Charles Ryrie as our banquet speaker as he spoke on the power of propitiation. Dr. Ryrie used a story from his previous ministry in flashback monologue style to illustrate the central theme of the substitutionary atonement and the propitiatory sacrifice of Jesus for our sin. The Lord has had many faithful ministers to His Word, and Dr. Ryrie continues to be one those choice servants.
In addition, the annual Trophy of Grace Award went to Dr. Joe Wall, Professor of Theology at Grace School of Theology, for his faithfulness to the message of grace, always presented in a gracious manner. Dr. Wall has served as president of Colorado Christian University and Vice President of East West Ministries as well as being a church planter and pastor.
A variety of mission reports from around the world helped us to see how the grace of God is reaching out into the world. It reminded me that we at Grace Theology Press (GTP) need to continually get our publications translated into other languages so as to reach people with resources that will teach them about the grace of God and provide insight into the Bible. So many people overseas have been taught a legalistic form of Christianity, a “neo-Galatianism” if you will, or the total lack of assurance because of strong Arminianism in the form of the Orthodox Church. GTP publications have never been more needed.
GTP introduced conference attendees to a variety of new book resources, as well as presenting part of a workshop on “The Status of Christian Publishing.” Many of our authors were at the conference, and most of them were plenary speakers or led workshops. Networking is always part of a successful conference, and we had the opportunity to conduct several interviews that will be made available in coming weeks here on the GTP Blog.
If you were unable to attend this year’s conference, DVD’s and CD’s will be available soon. Go to the Free Grace Alliance web site, for more information.
Serving Him with you until He comes for us,
Fred Chay, PhD
Managing Editor, Grace Theology Press