Resources on Understanding the On-Going Grace Debate

I thought it would be worthwhile for those of you my readers who would like to further study some of the items brought forward by Michael Brown on the Hyper Grace movement to post a few recommended resources. Obviously this is not a subject that can be fully addressed by reading one book hence a healthy study of this matter is significantly important.

As I mentioned in my last post, this is not a new doctrine that has bloomed in the past few years. It is a teaching that has its roots in the past both recent and distant. I thought that these resources might be a starting point to further understand some of the particulars.

Hyper Grace: Some Thoughts on the Book and An Article

365891I just finished reading the book Hyper Grace: Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Message written by Dr. Michael Brown. This post is not meant as a book review but merely to say a few points about the books and some other related items.

Firstly, the book is certainly worth reading since I believe whether you hold to the position that Michael Brown is writing to correct or if you are against it, you have to respect his demeanour throughout and especially the amount of scripture that Brown delves into to defend his position. He addresses many key points that I have heard promulgated by mainline “grace” teachers in the past and I think there is much that will need to be thought through by those who bother reading the book. I was especially appreciative of his treatment of who the epistle of 1 John was written to (Hyper Grace promoters seem to think it was written to gnostics rather than to Christians), his chapter treating the law and his chapter on progressive sanctification.

There were still some points of disagreement that I had with Brown especially on his views of future sins and the perseverance of the saints which I feel is the biblical view . He would deny the eternal security of the believer. I point I found humorous is that Brown explained how he is not a Calvinist yet the next five quotes after that statement were all of Calvinists. He quotes Calvinists quite freely all throughout the book!   An issue that I was disappointed that was not examined is how dispensational theology is closely linked to the teachings of this movement. I’m not entirely sure where Michael Brown stands in regards to dispensational teaching but he seemed to shy away at examining how this movement is a natural outcome of dispensationalism.  I don’t see how this movement is any different than what Zane Hodges was promoting back in the 80’s when he and John MacArthur debated this issue. With that said, I still believe this book will be tremendously useful for those speaking with people of the Hyper Grace camp.

It seems that Paul Ellis just wrote a book to respond to Brown’s assertions in his book. I saw today that Brown posted a list of questions that he wanted to discuss on his blog. I thought it might be worthwhile for my readers to take a look at these questions and see some of the replies.

More Apologists with a Lack of Discernment…

BrownWhile my goal over the last week or so hasn’t exactly been to re-visit old posts that I had written, I feel that I’ve been placed materials on my lap that I had covered in the past. Awhile back I posted on the lack of discernment from two very well known apologists who had jeopardized their reputation and essentially given their approval to a couple of theological and moral wolves. Well, this week another reputable apologist, Michael Brown, has appeared to be given some credence to a very well-known prosperity gospel preacher. Dr. Brown is a highly regarded scholar, apologist and the host of the line of fire radio broadcast. He is very well regarded for his understanding of the Semitic languages and he has written numerous books including the Answering Jewish Objectives series and A Queer Thing Happened to America.

Dr. Brown is also a diehard charismatic and has been very vocal in his critique of MacArthur’s Strange Fire Conference. Personally, I have no problem with his wanting to debate the issues surrounding cessation/continuation in regards to the sign gifts. I was a bit startled to read one of his posts on Twitter yesterday which read:

Obviously, anyone who thinks of a ravenous wolf amongst the Health, Wealth and Prosperity Gospel generally thinks of Benny Hinn. He is one of the famous faces of this heresy so much so that he even earned his own time on Dateline.

I believe most people were very much taken back by Dr. Brown’s appearance on Hinn’s show and many attempted to share their concern with Dr. Brown whose only real “reason” for appearing on the show was to “preach the gospel”. I can well think of better places and people to preach the gospel than side by side with a false prophet and one of the biggest (and wealthiest) wolves on TV. I pray that Dr. Brown realizes that his reputation has influence and he is leading people, whether  knowingly or not, to Hinn and his false gospel. I would call Dr. Brown to repent and speak out against Hinn warning others of his abuse and false gospel.

That’s One Strange Fire…

John-MacArthurThe Strange Fire Conference was held last week at Grace Community Church in Southern California. The conference was put on by none other than Dr. John MacArthur who is the Senior Pastor of GCC.  The purpose of the conference was an attempt to promote the cessationist view of the gifts of the Spirit especially in light of the growing movement in places all over the world. The official Strange Fire website describes it as followed:

Strange Fire is a conference that will set forth what the Bible really says about the Holy Spirit, and how that squares with the charismatic movement.     We’re going to address in a biblical, straightforward manner what many today see as a peripheral issue. On the contrary, your view of the Holy Spirit influences your relationship with God, your personal holiness, and your commitment to the church and evangelism.

Guest speakers at the conference included Dr. MacArthur, R.C. Sproul, Steve Lawson, Conrad Mbewe, Justin Peters, Todd Friel and several others. The conference was a three day event that attracted a large audience (approximately 3000 people) not to mention those who were able to watch via live stream. The conference is a predecessor to a new book by Dr. MacArthur that is going to be made available this November.

Needless to say this conference didn’t sit well with many individuals among the charismatic community who are arguing that MacArthur is being divisive. What has especially seemed to have drawn some criticism is that MacArthur has been accused of lumping all charismatics into the same pot and attacking godly men who hold to continuationalism. Still,  others seem to think that MacArthur is just plain wrong about his cessationist view.  Michael Brown, a well known continuationist wrote:

For a man of his stature, a man who has done so much good for the Body of Christ, this is a tragic error, a decided step in the wrong direction, and a rejection of both the testimony of the written Word and the work of the Spirit today. (Source)

Names such as John Piper, Sam Storms, Wayne Grudem and many others were said to be included in the same category as Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copeland. There have been several accusations of failing to differentiate godly Christian teachers from heretics.

Continue reading “That’s One Strange Fire…”

The Predestination Debate

brown-white

I have been waiting for this debate for a very long time. These two gentlemen did a radio debate awhile back and I found it very good. I have witnessed Dr. White take many men to task on the subject of Calvinism but I will admit that Michael Brown has to date been one of the best defenders of the Arminian position (if you want to refer to it that way) that I have listened to. I hope this will be recorded in both audio and video format.