The Evangelical Universalist Forum

What is the Gospel & a Christian

#21

It is interesting that Origen has selected these three for examination—

John Piper: a Calvinist who therefore believes in a limited atonement for a limited number of people, who were chosen by God for heaven before their birth.

Andrew Wommack: an Arminianist who therefore believes a genuine Christian can indeed lose his salvation through poor performance.

And,
Joseph Prince: who is neither a Calvinist nor an Arminianist; that is, whereas like an Arminianist he believes in unlimited atonement for all, yet like a Calvinist he also thinks that a genuine Christian cannot possibly lose his salvation.

All three men believe in “the Baptism in the Holy Spirit” as an experience distinct from the initial salvation experience (that is, they are “charismatics”); and implicit to that, that the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are still available and vital to believers today.

Again, while it is true he is not a universalist (yet), my preference is Prince, who teaches that grace IS the gospel. He vigorously insists that the gospel is the gift of righteousness without works. He confronts how that although Christians start out understanding righteousness by faith, they usually end up moving into a false gospel of righteousness by works. However, we are saved by unmerited favor (not works), and we are kept by unmerited favor (not works).

Finally, here is an interesting article by a universalist titled, The “Grace Teachers” Lead Us Toward A Global Understanding of Salvation.

Blessings.

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#22

The problem I see, with folks like Joseph Prince, Joel Osteen, Peter Popoff, Benny Hinn, etc. - is that they are just one person. What happens to their movement and theology - after they die.?

Now granted… I like to watch Joel Osteen. And when Peter Popoff has an infomercial - I watch that also. I find it “entertaining”. And if Price is on - I watch that. I do understand somewhat - about oriental customs and conventions. Since I am dabbling, in Mandarin and Japanese.

Now I was brought up Lutheran. Then went off, on a period of exploration. But became Anglican - via an ACLA church. But I am still, a Lutheran at heart. And I do adopt elements, of Eastern Orthodox theology, Franciscan contemplation, and Pentecostalism. And bring them back, into the Anglican framework. Anglicanism does allow for Pentecostal and Anglo-Catholic orientations.

But Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Lutheranism and all the other theological isms…will be around, until the end of time.

Can we say the same, for individual church leaders and their movements? Will the same or similar ideas, be passed down through the generations?

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#23

I would argue that Joseph Prince is part of a movement much bigger than himself: “The GRACE Revolution”!

And he is certainly not the only teacher in a movement which is resurrecting the true gospel of grace. For other names—including Steve McVey (Grace Walk), Paul Ellis (The Gospel In 10 Words, The Gospel In 20 Questions), and Andrew Farley (The Naked Gospel)—I again refer you to this interesting viewpoint from a fellow universalist:

The Grace Teachers” Lead Us Toward A Global Understanding of Salvation.

Blessings.

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#24

I wish Joseph Prince (and folks like Joel Osteen) - all the best. Only time will tell - if their message - resonates with future generations. :slight_smile:

I did point out here, the Calvinist Got Questions insights - into Hyper-Grace,…which is what Joseph Price - apparently teaches:

What is hyper-grace?

They do have some Biblical and scriptural concerns - regarding it.

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#25

Well… I have never heard of Joseph Prince before (I’ve heard of DEREK Prince and admire his teachings).

I listened to about half of Joseph’s message. The question is not so much what the gospel is. I’m sure we agree that the gospel is the good news of the grace of God. The problem I had with Joseph’s message was his definition of “the grace of God.” He defined it in the usual fundamentalist/evangelical way as “the unmerited favour of God.” That idea has been spread around so widely and so long, that it has become almost the universal understanding of God’s grace. It’s the idea that God will show us His favour through no merit of our own, and take us to heaven at death because we have “accepted Christ as our personal Saviour” or “trusted in the finished work of Christ” or some other such formula.

The apostle Paul makes clear what “the grace of God” actually is:

The grace of God is God’s ENABLEMENT. It brings salvation from sin itself; this grace trains us to:

  1. Renounce ungodliness and worldly passions.
  2. Live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.

The text tells us that this is the very reason for Jesus sacrificial death on our behalf. He gave Himself for us in order to:

  1. Redeem us from all lawlessness.
  2. Purify for Himself a people of His own who are zealous for good works.

It is true that we don’t “merit this grace by our works.” But it is also true that this grace is provided for us not as a free pass to heaven, but to deliver us from wrongdoing and to train us to live “self-controlled, upright, and godly lives.”

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#26

Paidion, that Joseph Prince video clip clocks in at under 8 minutes. Please go ahead and finish it.

Prince indeed teaches that grace is an enablement, and that grace trains us.

Here is another grace teacher for your consideration named Andrew Farley (a pastor and university linguistics professor):

Blessings.

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#27

I have to agree… Paul’s words to Timothy have nothing to do with nor say anything about “a free pass to heaven — such enabling grace is 100% pertinent to THIS LIFE, thus… to deliver us from wrongdoing and to train us to live “self-controlled, upright, and godly lives.”

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#28

Yep

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#29

True grace is transformational. So I’m guessing that saying ’grace is not a free pass to heaven’ is akin to saying ‘grace is not a license to sin.’ (?)

-Prince teaches that true grace, revealed and received step by step, by its power results in freedom from sin:

-Prince teaches that true grace, revealed and received step by step, by its power results in hard work:

I would argue that Jesus himself is the grace of God, and that “the gospel of grace” (Acts 20:24) is the announcement of grace, with an explanation of how to freely receive, and continue to live under, grace.

**The true gospel of grace keeps the focus on JESUS, and what he has already done, not on SELF, and what we must do. **

Today, it is no longer a question of how much or how well we have kept God’s commandments. It is a question of how much we can believe God for His blessings. All the promises of God in Christ are “Yes,” and because we are in Christ, we can say “Amen!” to His blessings! (2 Corinthians 1:20)

Blessings.

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#30

Hermano said:

You said “It is a question of how much we can believe God for His blessings.”

This could be construed as works righteousness 101.

But you said:

From my point of view, there is no grace when you demand how much someone has to believe. :open_mouth:

Who will make that determination. To say ‘oh God will know’ is the very cop out the denominational churches have been making for a long time. (And is why they are shrinking TBH) or to say that our ‘FRUITS’ somehow show the rest of the world we ‘belong’ to God or Christ.

These are the things I think about. Let me know what you think.

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#31

Actually, a friend from the East - shared this message on grace today. It’s probably NOT too far removed, from the teachers like Joseph Prince - on grace. :slight_smile:

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#32

Joseph Prince defines grace as the unmerited favor of God. However, there are other definitions of grace.

grace:
1.“effortless charm or beauty of movement, form or proportion.”
2.“a characteristic or quality pleasing for its charm or refinement.”
3.“a sense of fitness or propriety.”
4. “a disposition to be generous or helpful: good will.”
5. “mercy”
6. “a favor rendered voluntarily.”
7. “temporary immunity or exemption.”
8. “divine love and protection bestowed freely on human beings.”
9. “an excellence or power granted by God.”
10. “to impart beauty, elegance or charm to.”

Hermano, The gospel of grace is the showing/practice of grace.

What do you say to the little orphan child left stranded in the world all alone? As James mentions, are you going to simply say, “God loves you, be filled!” as you pass by. This child would get as much from a stone statue.

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#33

What if I told you that you could go shopping for free today at the Sam’s Club nearest your house between 6 and 8 p.m., no membership required!

You might say, “Wow! I know Hermano Sam Walton, Jr., and he’s good for it.” Or, you might say, “I’m not going anywhere. Like my momma taught me: there is no such thing as a free lunch.”

And even if you did believe me, you might say, “Yeah, but I would have to drive all the way over there. Then I would have to walk up and down the aisles trying to decide what I need. Then I’d have to load those things in my car. I’m just too tired. And I already have a busy schedule today. Plus, I just went shopping yesterday.”

Or, you might say, “Wow! Hermano Sam didn’t actually put any limits on what I could choose, or how much, or even that it had to be ‘for personal use only’! So…I’ve got a friend leading a homeless ministry, with an empty storage shed in his backyard. I think I’ve got time to go get a rental truck at UHaul and still get there by 6!

Here’s a relevant email devotional from Joseph Prince, with a catchy title:

Blessings.

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#34

“…or to say that our ‘FRUITS’ somehow show the rest of the world we ‘belong’ to God or Christ.”
Huh? You consider THAT a copout? It’s pretty much what Jesus Himself taught.

Jesus said:
“A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:18-20 ESV)

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#35

Don, the fruits and what they represent are dictated by the denominations, and there are so many. If I asked everyone here on this forum to list what they thought the fruits of the spirit are we would get a great multitude of answers. Obviously many would point to Paul’s view, but many churches do not stick to his words only regarding these things or maybe they are thinking that they can somehow expound upon what St Paul is saying as it is dealing with the 21st century. Culture has a huge impact on these things. :wink:

EDIT: Don I agree with you but was making a point that the ‘idea’ of what constitutes ‘fruits’ is kind of all over the board. :open_mouth:

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#36

All in all, I consider this by NT Wright to be a most fruitful approach - and it addresses the questions of authority and of innovation that is consistent with it:

“But what might this appropriate response look like? Let me offer you a possible model, which is not in fact simply an illustration but actually corresponds, as I shall argue, to some important features of the biblical story, which (as I have been suggesting) is that which God has given to his people as the means of his exercising his authority. Suppose there exists a Shakespeare play whose fifth act had been lost. The first four acts provide, let us suppose, such a wealth of characterization, such a crescendo of excitement within the plot, that it is generally agreed that the play ought to be staged. Nevertheless, it is felt inappropriate actually to write a fifth act once and for all: it would freeze the play into one form, and commit Shakespeare as it were to being prospectively responsible for work not in fact his own. Better, it might be felt, to give the key parts to highly trained, sensitive and experienced Shakespearian actors, who would immerse themselves in the first four acts, and in the language and culture of Shakespeare and his time, and who would then be told to work out a fifth act for themselves.[5]
Consider the result. The first four acts, existing as they did, would be the undoubted ‘authority’ for the task in hand. That is, anyone could properly object to the new improvisation on the grounds that this or that character was now behaving inconsistently, or that this or that sub-plot or theme, adumbrated earlier, had not reached its proper resolution. This ‘authority’ of the first four acts would not consist in an implicit command that the actors should repeat the earlier pans of the play over and over again. It would consist in the fact of an as yet unfinished drama, which contained its own impetus, its own forward movement, which demanded to be concluded in the proper manner but which required of the actors a responsible entering in to the story as it stood, in order first to understand how the threads could appropriately be drawn together, and then to put that understanding into effect by speaking and acting with both innovation and consistency.” -http://ntwrightpage.com/2016/07/12/how-can-the-bible-be-authoritative/

Like it/hate it?

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#37

Hate it.

Have no idea what it means. It is all bovine feces, and I will say that there are many here on this forum who may agree with me. :laughing:

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#38

Seriously? You could not understand it.
You could not understand it. But you call it feces anyway?
Hmmmmm…

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#39

You are smarter than me.

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#40

I know that, Chad. But still. :laughing:

NO, you hate it because it does not fit with your theology, right? Everything is ‘finished’ , AD70 and the second coming has happened, the covenant is abrogated, even the New Covenant was fulfilled,I think those are some of the highlights and since you ARE a smart guy, I’m not going to keep pushing against it.
Plus maybe someday you’ll buy a guitar from me - stranger things have happened. :astonished: :astonished:

But Wright’s little essay - if truly you read it all - has great explanatory power, makes room both for the authority of Scripture and for necessary innovation, and saves the important stuff.

Love it.

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