Chapter 6 – The Persistence of God By Don Rogers

The Persistence of God

“ ‘When I suggest that God’s love, patience, and persistence never end, many become angry.’

One Woman said, ‘I worked hard to live a good life, and now you tell me everyone is going to get in.’ ”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard or read this response to the idea of Universal Reconciliation, God’s infinite grace for all. It, to me, says a lot about the person. Just exactly why is he a follower of “the way”. What is his “raison d’etre”. Like the authors, I have little sympathy for such a response. But, you know, when I think about it, I was exactly where she is. I was “works” oriented for 59 years, even though I claimed to have been “saved by grace through faith”.

I can really appreciate the parable of the workers in the vineyard, which the authors used in Chapter 6, which Jesus is said to have related. It is a perfect example of the above response. It is truly not our concern how our Source responds to people. Personally, my concern should be how I respond to him/her/it, and my response should be one of joy when I see “good” things happen to others. Why are some bothered by extravagant grace? I don’t know. I should know. I’ve been there.

 I want you to know that I am not in agreement with the authors on everything in this chapter or in this book. The disagreements are not large, and may be nothing more than semantics, but I’m not totally sure that’s the case. When the authors discuss who will be the last to “come around”, who will be the last to end his rebellion against God, I’m not so sure any of us have a clue when this will take place, if at all. Will it be before the person dies, or will it be the moment they “cross over”. I will ready admit I don’t know the answer to that question. I will say at this point that I don’t see the purpose or reason for God causing the suffering, no matter how short, of a person for finite “sins” committed during our stay here on this plane. It does not appear to me to have any remedial or reformative value. Our problem seems to be our obsession with TIME. We feel it is invaluable to us. Yet, God knows no time, is not limited, or restricted by time. He could “purify” us in an instant (to use a time-characterized example). The authors seem to feel there is a possibility of a remedial state after death. But, that God’s grace will outlast even his most rebellious child.

Impatience is one of our big problems in today’s world. We don’t want to wait for any reason. I hate queues (lines). I detest having to stand in a line waiting. I’m impatient. “Fast food isn’t fast enough”. All of us identify with our fast-paced world we live in everyday. It’s a part of being human. The writers took considerable time to contrast our impatience with God’s infinite patience. They said, “The unlimited patience of God is the hope of the world.” Infinite patience is beyond our understanding. Yet, the picture of God presented in the Old Testament is often of a God of something less than infinite patience. This very enigma, the God of limited patience in the Old Testament, versus the God of unlimited patience in the New Testament, bothers me today. My “new” perception of the stories in the Bible, to which these authors contributed, has given me pause to consider the idea of “weighing” verses found in the OT especially. The character of God that is established by this book is one that I particularly like; a God of unlimited grace, patience, and persistence, not the impatient God often pictured in the Old Testament.

Why persistent grace? The authors say that the purpose of his persistence and patience is our “salvation”, a really loaded word in the English (religious) sense. I think I might have put it differently because of my own feelings about the word “salvation”. I think I might have used the word “reconciliation”. Salvation, is a multi-faceted word in religion today, and has become a “hot” topic even among those who believe in God’s infinite grace. I particularly like the two verses used in the chapter to describe God’s persistence; “He will NEVER leave nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6) and “Surely I will be with you ALWAYS, even unto the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20) This last verse is a part of a somewhat controversial section at the end of Matthew’s gospel which many believe was added much later.

These verses plainly exhibit a God of infinite persistence. He’s not giving up on anyone. NEVER & ALWAYS are the words of a persistent God. The New Testament is replete with symbolic language that expresses that God is not interested in just a few chosen people, but wants and desires reconciliation with ALL. Time and again God states he wants ALL of us. Jesus is quoted to have said that he would draw (greek= drag) all men to himself. Sounds to me like a lot of persistence is involved in universal reconciliation.

If Grace is True, then the triumph of grace (God’s infinite persistence to reconcile ALL) is still not complete, and it won’t be until all are reconciled to God. When that will take place I do not know. I do know in my heart it WILL take place and it WILL be for everyone!

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Chapter 5: “Save”

Chapter 5, titled  “The Salvation of God” starts “I believe God will save every person”. It is, in essence, about Atonement, or how salvation is affected. And McGulley as an interesting view, at odds with mainstream thought.

Atonement is a word invented by William Tyndale in the 15th Century, and means the state of being “at one”, hence at-one-ment. It derives from the Hebrew Kaphar (from which we get Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement). In the context of the priestly tradition of Israel, blood had to be shed for the forgiveness of sins. Hebrews 9:22 states “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness”. But for the most part the Gospel of Christ introduced a much wider set of concerns in the debate, as has 2000 years of church history.

McGulley’s critique with the current “orthodoxy” (for want of a better word) is a critique of the “Penal Substitution” (hereafter PS) theory of atonement. This has held sway in Protestantism since Calvin. Most Protestants are not even aware that there are other theories out there. In fact there are at least 10 of them evident in church history. I am not going to go into these details, as important as they are in this discussion. (But I am currently working on a larger set of writing which will deal with the overall context of our thinking about atonement, on my blog).

In essence, his problem with PS is that its emphasis is on blood, payment for guilt, and the appeasement of a wrathful God. Although he grew up with it, he never felt comfortable with it, and now rejects it. In its place, he offers a view of atonement with mercy and love at its centre. Salvation is not so much from personal guilt as it is from self absorption (or ego). The emphasis of the atoning work is the transformation of man by Gods love.

While McGulley does not feel that the divinity of Christ was key to this transformation, not that the inerrancy of scripture is an issue, he does hold to the resurrection being fundamental. So while liberal in many aspects of his theology, he can perhaps still be counted as an “evangelical”; we must not forget his Anabaptist (Quaker) roots.

In atonement theory, his theology is similar to what is known as the “moral influence” view, in which the death of Jesus effects our transformation rather than appeases God.

Traditionally, atonement is understood as having 4 components: Sacrifice, Substitution, Propitiation (Punishment), and Reconciliation. In PS, all 4 are crucial. However, McGulley places emphasis on Reconciliation at the expense of the first 3. Not holding to the inerrancy of scripture, and therefore not compelled to reconcile all texts, he argues that those aspects he ignores have been made redundant by a fuller revelation of God in Christ.

Be that as it may, when examining his set of key texts, his anti-sacrifice view is of mercy as primary, does provide a compelling picture:

Hosea 6:6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.

Isaiah 1:11 ‘The multitude of your sacrifices— what are they to me?’ says the LORD. ‘I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.’

Psalm 51:16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.

Mt 9:13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.

Mark 12:33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.

Titus 4:4 But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

To bring the argument into the wider context of the book, the last concern raised has to do with the scope of the atonement. Clearly, McGulley holds that this is universal, not limited to the elect few. At face value, it is apparent that this scope presents the biblical picture – just look at the word “all” in conjunction with “salvation” or “save”. The idea that only few are to be saved, is in my opinion an aberration to true orthodoxy, and a flat denial of a wide set of texts.

Millard J Erikson, in Christian Theology, in discussing the extent of the atonement, points out the disjunct between unlimited atonement and limited salvation. He illustrates the situation whereby God gave himself for all (unlimited atonement) and yet does not expect all to be finally saved (limited salvation), thus: “It was as if God, in preparing a dinner, prepared far more food than was needed, yet refused to consider the possibility of inviting additional guests.” [Millard J Erikson, in Christian Theology p 835]

It is one thing to accept that Christ’s Cross atones for all, but harder to accept that all will in fact be saved. At that point it becomes a matter of faith. And McGulley is clear, that “Salvation is not the hope of a few, it is the destiny of all.” [p 160]

In summary then, I believe McGulley’s view to be a welcome corrective to the Penal Substitution emphasis on sacrifice, punishment and justice. However, it does jettison some of the key components in Atonement, which are necessary for a fuller picture to emerge.

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Chapter 4 – The Will of God

I believe God will save every person, although I’m not sure about how we respond to this in relation to our free will.

Some of the questions that came to mind as I pondered this:
• If God saves everyone, is hell necessary, or actually does it exist?
• If salvation through Jesus was not necessary, why die at all?

Rom 8:28-30 and Eph 1:4 speak about God loving us from the beginning of time and us being acceptable through Jesus Christ.
These texts indicate that we would all be in an eternal relationship with him.

Maybe our understanding of salvation, is all about our need for exclusivity, right, wrong, compartmentalization and leads to our theology of ‘not all are saved’. Perhaps all will be with Christ in eternity. In charismatic circles, we have a specific view of what salvation is, but actually what does belief in Jesus Christ mean? Maybe Sally believed in Jesus Christ.

Part of the problem is how we come to Christ – frequently arm wrestled into making a decision “in case you die tonight where will you go?” A loving, gracious God who suffered a brutal death on the cross doesn’t need to threaten us into a relationship with him.
How sad that charismatic Christianity has chrystalised our Christian faith into a 20 second decision and episode, rather than a lifetime of transformation. So maybe in charismatic thinking, we need to be bullied into making a decision because “narrow is the road to salvation”.

Do we struggle with the phrase that ‘God accepted me’ because we don’t accept ourselves, so how could God?

Fifty years ago, prior to the charismatic movement, did believers think they would be excluded from eternal life? Growing up in a traditional church, I don’t ever remember anyone telling me that I was excluded from being in a relationship with God.

Salvation wasn’t a moment of saying yes at a rally or crusade. I resonate with the comment on p 114 “God’s love will be the reason, not the reward, for our repentance”.

In summary, my thoughts are that the issues of salvation (exclusion and inclusion) are modern and related to charismatic or evangelical belief. Although if pressed, more traditional churches might also take a stance of exclusion. I believe in an all loving God, who wants to be in relationship with mankind and I can’t imagine how he would want anyone excluded.

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Chapter 3: The Character of God

Phillip Gulley and James Mulholland (hereafter McGulley) have managed to find a way of articulating the gospel of grace simply and straightforwardly. Unlike other authors who have contributed greatly to these issues, they do not use complex philosophy, theology, or historical criticism, but instead appeal to the softer, less rational or “subjective” elements – our belief and intuition.

Chad gave an excellent appraisal of this in his summary of chapter 2, “Trusting our experience of God“, and his criticisms – essentially that experience is hard to use to fully justify a theological stance – have been part of my awareness in reading Chapter 3.

In essence, McGulley examines the character of God as a primary departure point. He acknowledges that many poses a less than wholesome image of this character, but his starting point is the life and words of Jesus. From this simple premise and vision he proceeds. Not only by projecting forwards in time, but backwards as well: he revisits the Old Testament, in the light of the Gospel of Love.

On example of a difficult image of God is from Joshua 10:40, which declares, “Joshua left no survivors. He totally destroyed all that breathed, just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded.” What are we to make of this horrific image? It was bad enough for the Israelites to engage in genocide, but to give as its rationale the express command of God?

In order to hear the effects of texts such as these amongst detractors of the scriptures, let us hear what Richard Dawkins, in his “The God Delusion”, has to say:

“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser, a … capriciously malevolent bully.”

McGulley’s way through the mess is this: While he believes it is inspired, he does not accept the “infallibility” of the bible. A responsible reading of the text will “weigh” scripture, thereby elevating some parts while giving lesser weight to others.

To this end, he points out that when asked which was the greatest commandment in the Law, Jesus did not say, “Why, the whole Law, of course”, but specifically replied “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind … love your neighbour as yourself.” The idea of weighting of the scriptures has merit, and as they declare “Jesus tipped the scales irrevocably in favour of love.” [53]

A part of this tipping means placing the writings of the Old Testament (and even parts of the New) in context: “They contributed valuable insights from their experiences with God, building on the witnesses before them and laying the framework for a fuller revelation of God’s character. I believe the life, death and resurrection of Jesus was this fuller revelation.” [55]

The author explores some aspects of Gods loving character, providing fresh insights into these often clichéd topics: Fatherhood (“I don’t know any perfect parents, but I do know the qualities we expect from good parents”), Holiness (“Holiness is God’s ability to confront evil without being defiled”), and Justice (“My hunger for justice was another obstacle to embracing God’s universal Grace”)

McGulley takes on the story of Lazarus, in the context of texts which are used to support eternal punishment. Using the critical weighting approach, he observes: “Where is the justice in this story? Even when judged by the command of “eye for eye, tooth for tooth” the rich man’s sentence seems excessive.” [81]

But here I feel he might have missed the point. I am of the persuasion that the Lazarus tale is not about punishment per se, but rather about reneging ones responsibilities for stewardship, and that Lazarus specifically represents the Jews rather than the damned. See a fuller exploration in my thoughts on Lazarus and Inclusion.

Still, one might take his point not as an in depth exegesis of Lazarus, but a comment on Lazarus as commonly read.

But the central message comes across clearly, and it is that the character of God is love, and its expressions; forgiveness, mercy, justice, holiness, and restoration. This needs to be our central consciousness and starting point in our attempts to come to terms with amongst other things, the problems of biblical interpretations and specifically the teachings and doctrines of everlasting punitive separation.

 

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Trusting Our Experience with God. Chapter Two

Chapter Two: Trusting Our Experience with God

by Chad Holtz

I believe God will save every person. 

This is the mantra that guides each segment of the book.   In chapter two the author aims to lay a foundation that will prop up the rest of the claims made from here on out.   The foundation?  Experience.

I confess that I may be overly critical of this chapter.  So let me get this off my chest at the start:  I believe God will save every person.   By affirming this I am affirming the main thesis of the book.  However, I think there are better ways of arriving at this conclusion than those described in this chapter (granted, there will be more to say in upcoming chapters and more nuance offered, for which I am grateful).   I welcome this opportunity to offer my pittance on this chapter in the hope of sharpening what may be considered a dull critique.  With that said, let me tick off what I call the bad stuff, first…

·         At the root of the author’s belief that God will save every person is the confession that the author has never “experienced a wrathful God” (12).  I do not doubt that.  However, I do not believe the author’s experience is one that is universal.   What of the millions of people who have never known the peaceful, loving God as he has?  What of the millions who grow up wondering if God even cares?  What of the millions who are in a living hell as I type this and cannot imagine that God loves them in the same way the author gives testimony about?  Experience is a fickle lover.  She will give us, individually, our just rewards and confound the rest whom we try to persuade.  While experience cannot be discounted it should never take center stage for this very reason.   I’ll return to this in a moment.

·         It is right to say that Jesus best reveals God to us.  The author insists that this Jesus shows us that God is a God who “loves people more than formulas, mercy more than judgment, and pardon more than punishment” (13).   This is too simplistic.  We do not serve a wishy-washy God.  Yes, God loves the whole world as the author goes on to say but that love is not vacuous – it is love with teeth – it is love for a purpose: the redemption of the world.   When God saves is it always for something and not just because God “loves mercy more than judgment.”   Furthermore, we do not serve a God who turns a blind eye to sin and evil.   All of this will be judged.    What the author seems to miss is that mercy and judgment are not opposed to each other.  Granted, our understanding of “judgment” needs some overhauling, but it does no one any good to perpetuate bad theology by implying that God’s judgment is the bad cop and mercy is the good cop.   Scripture tells a story that anticipates with great excitement God’s judgment.  Why? Because God’s judgment is what will ultimately set the world to rights.  God will name evil and deal with it.   How that dishing out takes place and what it looks like in the end is open to debate.   But God will judge.  We should look forward to that day in hope, not fear.

·         “But I need to admit my faith is not based primarily on theological reasoning.  I believe because God whispered in my ear” (18).    I said before that experience can confound those we wish to persuade.  This is the sort of statement that can shoot us in the foot.   First, I would argue the opposite.  I have come to the conclusion that God will save every person through studying scripture and “theological reasoning” and not because God whispered in my ear.   Second, statements like these construct a dualism that I am never satisfied with.  It should never be the case that we separate theological reasoning from experience.  They must go hand in hand or else both are pointless.   Theology without experience is vain musings in ivory towers and experience without theological reasoning is subject to the ebb and flow of emotion and amounts to little more than wishful thinking.  Again, there are better ways to reach the conclusion offered in the thesis of this book without perpetuating the dead and boring liberal dichotomy of pitting experience against theology, as if they were dueling stepchildren. 

·         The Kantian move in this chapter was pervasive.  Kant made famous the “turn to the self” for truth and made “autonomy” a household name.   Most Westerners today are Kantian without knowing Kant and our Christianity reflects his philosophy in more ways than we can count.  This shines through when the author talks of his upbringing and his discovery of truth only when he stopped taking at face value what others told him and relied on his personal experience alone (29ff).  Again, we can reach the conclusion of the book’s thesis without Kant (thank God!).

·         Finally, at the end of the chapter the author asks, “Is God a gracious, loving father waiting long through the night, with the light lit and the door open, confident his most defiant child will one day come home?  Or is God a harsh judge eager to pass sentence, eager to punish and destroy all who do not satisfy him?”(46).   My answer:  Neither!! God is not timid and docile, waiting at the open door!   Our God is a God who stormed the streets looking, searching, calling and wooing and dying.   God became flesh incarnate because God knew that left to ourselves we would never wander back to the open door.  This issue bleeds into the author’s Christology which will be developed some more later in the book.  Again, we can reach the conclusion of this book’s thesis with a more robust Christology – one that does not leave God waiting by the door wringing his hands but becoming the Victor the early church came to believe in.

And now some good news…

·         I can hear the Wesleyan influences in this chapter (Mulholland was a Methodist).  “God speaks to all people, even when they’re not inclined to listen” (19) is a wonderful illustration of how prevenient grace operates.

·         I appreciated the Barthian influence as well.   The author is careful to highlight the necessity of understanding Israel’s election and the continuity between the Old and New Testaments.   Given the author’s somewhat liberal view of Scripture I might have assumed them to make a move like Marcion did and divorce Jesus from the God of the Hebrews.   To my delight they go the other way and insist that we only know the God of the Hebrews rightly through Jesus and that God’s election of Israel is a proto-type for God’s election of the world.  

·         I was particularly interested in the use of the Peter narrative in Acts 10 and 15 and how Peter’s experience with the Gentiles can be “theological reasoning” for our own experiences.  I have long considered Acts 15 and the Jerusalem Council to be paradigmatic for the Christian life and our use of experience, reason and scripture and have written an exegesis of that passage that you can find here: Acts 15: Paradigmatic for the Way of Jesus       One caveat:  I wish the author would have demonstrated how Peter is not a lone ranger in these narratives but is acting in concert with a community and, most importantly, the Holy Spirit.   Our experiences should never give us a green light to think ourselves autonomous (Kant) or that we can do better at expressing God than the God we have revealed to us.   We have the God we got, not the one we want.

·         The author hits a pastoral note by sharing that he tries to be gentle with people who believe differently or hold convictions he once held but no longer does (34).   I think this is a lesson all of us should heed, especially as we try to articulate what it means to be an emerging Christian and especially what it means to confess that God may in fact save every person.    Let us be sure to extend grace to those who do not understand in the same way we confess that God extends grace to those who do not yet believe.   I will be the first to admit that this is my greatest challenge (and on the other side of this is the fact that by realizing how I, a Christian, can love so poorly and yet claim with trembling lips that I am saved and going to heaven that there must be hope for those who do not yet know the God I confess to know yet follow so blindly).  

·         I loved how the author sees God as still active and still “speaking fresh words” today (37).  The Holy Spirit did not take a vacation after the canon was closed.   Jesus promised the Spirit would lead us into truth and that job is far from over (for we do not yet know fully just as we are known).  The Bible should not be a tool to be used and manipulated for our benefit but a means of grace by which we experience God (more Wesley).    Scripture is not to be worshipped but the one to whom the scriptures give witness to is to be worshipped (more Barth).  This quote is brilliant: “We belong to a long tradition of people who’ve found it safer to trust the Scripture we can control than the God we cannot” (42).  How true. 

This chapter was challenging for me in the sense that I agreed with the thrust of it but was not always in agreement with how we get there.  I look forward to hearing everyone’s comments.   Perhaps I was overly critical.  Perhaps not enough.   May God’s grace haunt you.

Peace,

Chad

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If Grace is true Chapter One – The Dilemma

By Jeremy Barty

  • Sally died suddenly; I realized my opinions of Sally had been unfair.
  • I would leave next to the flowers arranged around her grave a belief I had held since I was a child.
  • In her last years Sally repented (Sally turned) she turned away from her despair (Sally turned and was drawn into a more light way of living).
  • Sally died searching.
  • For too many Christians, Sally’s destiny was an easy judgment.
  • It was a formula. It limited God’s grace.
  • By grace I mean God’s unfailing commitment to love.
  • Now I have a new formula.
  • I believe God will save every person.
  • Others, like Sally, long for this salvation, but will find it only beyond the grave
  • Many like me have misunderstood salvation- we have thought it a trophy, rather than a gift, a personal achievement rather than a work of God.
  • I found myself wishing God could be more like Jesus. At Sally’s funeral, I realized he was.

The dilemma in the first chapter for me is about the dilemma of changing a belief and how when we do this, it is very transformative. Especially if it involves the way we see God.

There was a realization of judgment by the “author” of Sally that he the author was unjust.That his judgment was drawn from an incomplete perspective of Sally.

This for me is the key for a good understanding of our human nature, that judgment with an incomplete perspective is in itself a part of our brokenness. This blind judgment stemming from our knowledge of good and evil is not part of our original heavenly design and results in responses that divide.

The question I would like to have answered is…Did the new held belief of the author move him to a less dual state? (More peace less tension) or is he just moving into the next dilemma? (Perhaps we should mail and ask him/them) the fact that the author needs to find a new formula to replace the existing one is a bit concerning. Life cannot easily be reduced to a set of formulas.

In her last years Sally turned away from her despair, away from some of her dark tension to a less dual, more light way of being, this for me is the evidence of the gift of salvation. This turning, because not connected to a belief in Jesus condemned her in the eyes of many Christians. Yet it could only be God (Jesus) who was drawing her towards the light (himself).

Was it not this evidence of Sally’s repentance (turning away from despair towards the light) that forced the dilemma on the “author” bringing him towards the light also, resulting in him giving up a very dual and divisive belief?

Overall, I enjoyed this chapter because it is a lesson for me in letting go of something that did not resonate for the author any longer and his willingness to risk and explore new and different possibilities based on the evidence of Gods saving grace. This chapter for me is a short story of how we get transformed into Gods likeness.

I really like this new idea (I believe God will save every person) but I must admit I am not really sure if its true or not, but what I can say is living with this belief is a much healthier way of looking at others and it shows good faith. I would prefer to leave decisions relating to these kinds of belief a mystery. For mystery eradicates dilemmas that are only caused by our need to know.

Where there is no doubt for me is that grace saves us – what I mean is that this grace (author explains as unfailing love) will return us to our Eden like state at some stage (not really sure is a return but rather that grace takes us forward into this space).
For me dilemmas are most often caused by conflicting beliefs, we want what we believe to match our feelings and what we do.

How then can we elevate belief to a superior status and disregard the evidence of the light of god in people as not equally important why is it that we say as long as you believe its ok but then not give the same reward to a godly action surely they cant be separate?

This is the same dilemma that the author faces in chapter one where his perception of God and the kind of responses he should be making are at odds, the result is a shifting of a belief that brings unity between his thoughts and responses.

I believe god will save every person, is a thought much more aligned and less dual as it includes and doesn’t divide it paints a picture of a God who has done a work at the cross that has the potential to reconcile everyone too him and as creator of the heart what father wouldn’t want to save everyone.

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If Grace Is True – sychroread 2009

If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person (Philip Gulley, James Mulholland)                                          To buy the book click here

  

 Thank you for joining this project.

To begin to understand God’s Grace is beginning to understand the full extent of the Creator’s love for the universe. Grace is a cosmic event that holds all in its hands. However, there are loads of details to be considered.  So let’s bravely reflect on our historical understanding and then cautiously feel our way forward as we journey together through the pages of this gentle book.

Jesus said:

“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.  You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.” John 6 35-36

 Be blessed and filled with Grace.

 

 

                          We will be following the schedule below:

Chapter 1 – The Dilemma – Starting 26 January –  Posting on Monday 1st February  Writer: Jeremy

 Chapter 2 – Trusting our Experience with – Starting 1st February –God    Posting on Monday 9th February   Writer: Chad

Chapter 3 – The Character of God   – Starting 9th February –  Posting on Monday 16th February Writer: Ann

Chapter 4 – Starting 16th February –– The Will of God   Posting on Monday 23rd February Writer: Kim

Chapter 5 – The Salvation of – Starting 23rd February –God   Posting on Monday 2nd March Writer: Russ

 Chapter 6 – The Persistence of – Starting 2nd March –  God Posting on Monday 9th March Writer: Don

Week 7 – a look at the scriptures mentioned in Appendix 1  posting on Monday16th March  – to be co-ordinated by Nic.

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