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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Fantastic talk by Mike Ovey there!
it was! Good to hear from you, David.