GAFCON Day 3 – Mike Ovey on the Distortion of Grace in the West

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Dr Mike Ovey

Yesterday’s plenary session included an enormously well-received presentation by Dr Mike Ovey, Principal of Oakhill College in London. The full pdf of the text is available here. Just a couple of things to whet your appetite…

…how  has  it  come   about   that   we  have   a   different   gospel   now   from   the   one   we   first   preached.  What  is  this   difference   between   what   we westerners   say   now   and   what   we   said  then?

I  think  the  difference  is  nothing  less  than  the  grace  of  God  and  what  we  mean  by  it.  The  difference   comes   from   the   way   that   western culture   and the   western   church  deny   or   distort   God`s   grace.   The   modern   west,   in   both   culture   and   church,   is,  overall,  graceless, and  has  become  so because  of  its  worldliness.  That  is  why  I  have  called   this   plenary  talk  the   grace   of   God  or  the  world   of   the  west. Ultimately   you  cannot  have   both.

But  while  the  world  may  want  cheap  grace,  it  is  not  what  the  world  needs.  To  cheap grace  Bonhoeffer  opposed  costly  grace,   a  costly grace  which  costs  us  everything  in that  it  is  grace  that  we  receive  repentantly  and  with  humility  not  presumption.    That is  the  grace associated  with  the  forgiveness  of  sins  and  peace  with  God.  The  world’s needs   are   many,   we   all   know   that,   but   this   is   its   greatest   need,   that   its   sins   be forgiven.  And  that  is  why  it  is  absolutely  imperative  that  we  at  GAFCON  preach  not cheap   grace,   but   costly   grace   to   the   world,   not   because   we   hate   the   world but because  we  love  it,  as  our  saviour  did.

I don’t think it’s overstating to call the whole thing a theological tour de force! Read it all.

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  1. David Clarke

    Fantastic talk by Mike Ovey there!

    1. David Ould

      it was! Good to hear from you, David.

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