Incongruity and all the Hub-Bub
Recently there has been some hub-bub concerning a new argument against consistent Free Grace Theology by the traditionalist Checklist Evangelists. See my article here:
Dennis Rokser, Duluth Bible Church, and Incongruity
Is there an incongruity in Free Grace Theology to allow for some doubt in aspects of the broad gospel message as long as one places his faith in Jesus Christ of Nazareth for eternal life? It is patently illogical to suggest such.
What our evagelistic efforts are endeavoring to do is persuade the lost to have a very specific verdict concerning Jesus of Nazareth. We desire to convince the lost to believe in Jesus of Nazareth for irrevocable eternal life. We desire that the lost turn in the verdict that Jesus is the Guarantor of everlasting life, who promises to dispense this life to all who simply believe in Him for it, in other words, who take Him at His word in His promise.
Whatever we say in our evangelistic messages are so said to persuade the lost that Jesus of Nazareth is uniquely able, qualified, and willing to dispense eternal life to all who simply trust in Him for that life. Simple as that.
The prosecution in a court case wishes for a guilty verdict of the defendent. Certainly they would want all of the testimony of their witnesses to be believed. But it is not necessary for the jury to believe all the testimony in order to be persuaded that the defendent is guilty. They, indeed, could doubt many avenues of evidence and testimony that the prosecution presents. But so long as something persuades them that the defendent is guilty, it is sufficient for the prosecution.
Furthermore, the judge, when addressing the jury, does not ask them if they believed this or that or the other or did this or that. He asks them whether or not they find the defendent guilty; he asks them what their verdict is.
The judge does not require any checklist of things done or believed for him to hand down a sentence. From the perspective of the judge, the only requirement for a sentence given to the defendent is a verdict of guilty.
There is only one theologically necessary condition to receive everlasting life: believing in Jesus for it. Nothing else. There is no checklist from God, nor do I require one.
There may be several (or not any) psychological preparations necessary in order to place the mind in a subjectively ready state to be persuaded that Jesus guarantees everlasting life to the believer in Him.
When a person wishes to persuade someone of something, there is no one correct way to go. There may be several routes that one could take to persuade someone. There is no exact formula or checklist of things that must be said. For instance, I would be persuaded that my son is getting poor grades if I were to be told it by his teacher, or by reading his report card, or by examining his graded, returned school work. The bar of evidence may be high or low, depending on the individual.
The incongruity does not lie in Free Grace theology, where we evangelize the same way that Jesus did. The incongruity lies in the way that the checklist evangelists evangelize versus how Jesus has given us example.