[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer uses Refined (Consistent) Free Grace Theology phraseology Part 2

by Antonio da Rosa

In my last post, we saw that the brilliant Lewis Sperry Chafer, founder and first president of Dallas Theological Seminary, employed terminology and proposed concepts that were the precursors and foreshadows of the developing Free Grace theology in its Refined and Consistent form of today. Much like there have been generations of Dispensationalists, each with its development and refinement, so, too, Free Grace theology has become more consistent (in relation to 1: fidelity to the Scriptures, 2: internal consistency of theology in its many areas, and 3: correlation and harmonization of all difficult passages which leave the Scriptures and contexts intact) as the years pass. In each generation of Free Grace advocates there are issues that are tackled. When these issues gain sufficient solution and articulation, other areas are moved to. Thus for each generation of Free Grace advocates new issues arise to the forefront in which they must grapple. Development occurs as new thought and exegesis is wrought in areas that have not been sufficiently plumbed, in the sense that sufficient emphasis of concentrated and directed study has not occurred in these areas prior (this is not to say that study has not been done, just that it was not the burden and issue of most importance at that particular time). With refinement comes consistency and harmonization, as the flaws and inconsistencies are ironed out.

With that said, here is the second installment of L.S. Chafer's words:

The Sin of Unbelief
The far-reaching importance of believing may also be seen in the fact that men are said to be lost in this age because they do not believe. "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God" (John 3:18). "He that disbelieveth shall be condemned" (Mark 16:16 R.V.). Likewise when the Spirit is said to approach the unsaved to convince them of sin, He is not said to make them conscious or ashamed of their personal transgressions. One sin only is mentioned: "Of sin, because they believe not on me" (John 16:9). "This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil" (John 3:19). The sin sacrifice of the cross is forever satisfying to God. What God does is based on His own estimate of the finished work of Christ. The facts and conditions of salvation are based on that divine estimate rather than upon the estimate of men. That men are not now condemned primarily because of the sins which Christ has borne is finally stated in 2 Corinthians 5:14, 19 R.V.: "We thus judge, that if one died for all, therefore all died"; "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not reckoning unto them their trespasses."...

At the judgment of the wicked dead before the Great White Throne, those standing there are said to be judged "according to their works." There is additional evidence recorded against them at that judgment seat: their names are not written in the Lamb's book of life. This might be taken as evidence that they have rejected the "Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world."

As you see here there is the seed of Consistent Free Grace theology. As we have grappled with the idea that Jesus is not the potential "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" but in fact took it away in its entirety, being the propitiation for the sin of the whole world, refinement and development has occurred which has better taken into account all the biblical evidence, which in turn produces a more consistent theology.

For the more Consistent and Refined Free Grace position on the atonement, you may refer to this post of mine:

The Intent of the Atonement


  • Another one of the reasons why development takes generations is that each one has to come to grips with all of the handed down traditions of the previous ones. Developement and refinement occur when one chooses to rely upon the Scriptures in prayerful study using the solid principles of language and literary interpretation rather than the strong and immoveable superficial interpretations proliferated down through the centuries in textbooks and theologies.


    By Blogger Antonio, at Monday, January 21, 2008 8:21:00 PM  

  • Good post.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Tuesday, January 22, 2008 9:32:00 AM  

  • Antonio? Are you a ventriloquist?

    If you are then you are doing a good job of carrying your voice to England.

    Sometimes I don't know whether to laugh or cry about all of this.

    Don't get any ideas. This really bothers me. In fact this bothers me so much that I didn't even wince when Hillary and Obama was going at it and John Edwards corrected both of them. From the outside looking in to this blog, it almost seems in a way similar.

    By Blogger Only Look, at Tuesday, January 22, 2008 1:31:00 PM  

  • Hi Antonio

    I agree!!! Great Post!!!

    one drink

    By Blogger alvin, at Thursday, January 24, 2008 8:47:00 AM  

  • From your point of view in being refined about the understanding of the gospel...do you believe that Chafer is saved since he was almost persuaded by what you feel you are fully persuaded of?

    By Blogger Only Look, at Thursday, January 24, 2008 1:49:00 PM  

  • Brian, saving faith is trust in Jesus Christ for eternal life. A person may have many wrong ideas about what saving faith is, but if she believes that Jesus has given her eternal life, she has saving faith regardless of how confused she is about what it is.

    God Bless


    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, January 25, 2008 12:16:00 AM  

  • Hi Matthew. Do you think Chafer was saved if he did not believe what you did? You seem to be admitting since Chafer did not believe in the name of Jesus alone like you all make a point of then he may still be saved. If this is the case then why do you vehemently oppose the Lordships if when one gets the gist of something then they can be saved?

    By Blogger Only Look, at Friday, January 25, 2008 1:05:00 PM  

  • Also, do you view Chafer as being soft Lordship or moderate free grace?

    By Blogger Only Look, at Friday, January 25, 2008 1:06:00 PM  

  • I think anyone who reads Chafer's books will agree that he was Free Grace, even if he was not always consistent in his approach to passages and the expressions he used.

    God Bless


    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, January 25, 2008 1:38:00 PM  

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