I’m pleased to announce an online conversation among Jay Guin, Todd Deaver, Phil Sanders, and Greg Tidwell about grace. It’ll take place starting in a week or so at Grace Conversation.

Jay is the author of The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace: God’s Antidotes for Division in the Churches of Christ, and he operates a blog at One in Jesus. He is an elder at the University Church of Christ in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and practices law for a living.

Todd is the author of Facing Our Failure and has his own blog at Bridging the Grace Divide. He is the minister for the Oliver Springs Church of Christ. Todd and Jay would both be called “progressives” in the Churches of Christ.

Phil and Greg are regular columnists with the Gospel Advocate. It’s fair, I believe, to refer to them as “conservatives.” They are not what some would call “ultra-conservatives.”

Phil operates the popular Philanswers blog and has recently joined In Search of the Lord’s Way, a ministry that produces a widely syndicated television broadcast. Before making this transition, Phil was the longtime minister for the Concord Road Church of Christ on the south side of Nashville.

Greg also writes regularly for Church of Christ-affiliated publications, including several articles posted online at the Forthright Magazine website. Greg has been the pulpit minster at the church of Christ which meets at Fishinger and Kenny Roads, Columbus, Ohio for 25 years. Their building is situated next to the Ohio State campus, and they operate a campus ministry there.

The conversation will begin with a statement of agreed principles. Phil and Greg will then take up the question of when does a Christian lose his soul — the apostasy question. Closely related, of course, is the question of fellowship.

The site will permit comments, and there will be no moderation unless someone unduly tests the patience of the community. All commenters will be expected to follow the same rule that applies to the four of us –

(2 Tim 2:24-25) And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth … .

We’re hoping for lots of comments, and the authors may well not have the time to respond to all of them — or even most of them. They really need to focus on the main conversation. However, please don’t let that discourage you from commenting, we hope all participants will feel as I do: I need all the help I can get. All thoughts will be most appreciated.

Please be in prayer that this conversation brings glory to God and helps to heal the division that so affects the Churches of Christ.


About Nick Gill

orphan-poet-adoptee-soldier-prodigal-servant-husband- counselor-desperate seeker after my Father's face "I feel my body weakened by the years as people turn to gods of cruel design. Is it that they fear the pain of death, or is it that they fear the joy of life?" - Toad the Wet Sprocket

Posted on 26 March, 2009, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. That sounds really interesting. I may well drop by!

  2. I’ve gotta check that out, Nick!

  3. I think it will be an important dialogue. Both Phil and Gregory are well-respected, honest, and articulate conservative thinkers. I’m praying that this really will open our tribe up to a new measure of God’s healing grace — I really believe the “Christians only” Restoration plea has much to offer the wider Christian world (and I even think a cappella worship has much to offer those seeking simplicity and authenticity), but our bitterness and self-destructive gracelessness has deeply undermined any gifts we might offer.

    Ben, if you haven’t read “Facing Our Failures” contact Todd and buy a copy (it is like $10). If he doesn’t have any left, I’ll send you mine. It is worth every penny, for his brotherliness, his honesty, and his courage.

  4. The exchange should be interesting, though I hope many will realize that both positions will probably have some basic flaws: an impatient sectarianism on one hand versus too much compromise with postmodernism on the other. God bless you Nick.

  5. I will also check it out and keep it in my prayers! Hope you are well brother!

  6. Nick,

    I appreciate your comments over at GraceConversation. Thanks for injecting your wisdom.

  7. Thank you for the information.
    I am always praying for love and unity for believers.
    We need to be praying like ever about this discussion because Satan in all of his powers is going to keep us seperated and divisions going on with in the body of Christ. Pray like never before!!!!

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