I find your definition of faith disturbing

Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved. – Acts 16:31

A friend recently gave me a copy of Grace, Salvation & Discipleship by Charles C. Bing to review. The author, a strong advocate of the Free Grace movement, wrote this book to defend the idea that the term disciple is not a synonym for a Christian (or believer).

A Christian is someone who believes in Jesus Christ as the Son of God who died for sins, rose again, and guarantees eternal salvation. … A disciple is someone committed to following Jesus Christ and learning from Him.

The Grace Evangelical Society, a ministry dedicated to advancing Free Grace teaching, declares that its “aim is to promote the clear proclamation of God’s free salvation through faith alone in Christ, which is properly correlated with and distinguished from issues relating to discipleship.” Bing is a frequent contributor to their journal (link).

The first part of the book, Bing explores the importance of good Bible interpretation. He also defines various terms where he feels there has been confusion across various theological circles. Most of the book is dedicated to exploring the passages dealing with salvation and discipleship with the goal of presenting the Free Grace understanding of each.

I don’t intend to blog through the entire book, but will be writing on various topics that are dealt with. In this post we will examine how we are to define faith, as this is one of the terms tackled in the book Grace, Salvation & Discipleship (GSD).

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Grace for All: What is Hebrews all about anyway?

This post is a part of a series that is examining each essay in the recently published book Grace for All. 

This is the final essay in the book Grace for All, and the second entry by Grant R. Osborne, the author. In this essay, Osborne notes that there are numerous questions about the book of Hebrews. We don’t know who the author was, who specifically it was written to, and where the original recipients were located. The warning passages in this book are also a topic of great debate (see some thoughts on that here).

This essay focuses on the main theme of the book, concluding:

The writer [of Hebrews] argues against a static Christianity that is content to dwell in the assurance of final inheritance. Such a faith is not faith at all; it inevitably stagnates into immaturity (5:13-14; 6:1) and leaves itself open to apostasy (6:4).

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Grace for All: Is Faith just a Moment in Time Decision?

This post is a part of a series that is examining each essay in the recently published book Grace for All. 

Is saving faith the “act of a moment” or is it instead an attitude of a lifetime? That is the question that noted Arminian Steve Witzki tackles in his essay in Grace for All. Witzki relies on Robert Shank’s work Life in the Son, which presents a Classical Arminian view of eternal security.

There are three primary yet different views on eternal security and apostasy (see this link). In this essay, Wtizki presents these views under the headings the Moderate Calvinist view, the Classical Arminian view, and the Reformed Calvinist view.

The Moderate Calvinist view (as well as the Free Grace Movement) hold that a true believer can fall away from the faith (commit apostasy) and still be saved (possess eternal life).  The latter two views both hold that an enduring faith is required to be saved. An apostate would not possess eternal life. The Classical Arminian view is that an apostate has forfeited their salvation. The Reformed Calvinist view holds that the apostate was not ever really saved.

I don’t particularly like these labels, since the Arminian view, while advocating enduring faith, encompasses both the idea that one can forfeit salvation and the idea that one was never truly saved.


However, Witzki doesn’t focus on the differences between the latter two views noting that they are very similar. Instead, the essay targets the flaws in the Moderate Calvinist view (including Joseph Dillow and Charles Stanley).

Many believe that saving faith is the act of a moment – … They believe that one grand and holy moment of decision ushers one into an irrevocable state of grace in which he is unconditionally secure.

However others …

are persuaded that saving faith is not the act of a moment, but the attitude of a life; the initial decision must be perpetually implemented throughout the life of the believer

The question presented in Shank’s book and quoted in Witzki’s essay contrasts these two views asking who is right? Continue reading