Monday, March 19, 2007

New Label

I wanted to throw this out and ask a question. During the Lordship controversy there were terms that were coined such as "easy believism" and "cheap grace". Mind you, at the time they made sense in light of what was being offered. However, are they really legitimate terms and do they express the reality of the "other gospel"? I think not, for the other gospel that attacked the true gospel, which really does call me to believe, made it so man centered that God really was an impotent God and actually unable to save apart from man. So was easy believism really belief? Was cheap grace even grace? Maybe we should follow the apostle Paul and simply call it another gospel, which is no gospel at all. What do you think?


Gordan said...

Tim, my two cents: it is rightly called "another gospel."

However, when I hear "cheap grace" there is no doubt in my mind that the adjective "cheap" distinguishes it from authentic grace. I guess I'm okay with the terms.

Tim said...

I understand Gordan, and I tend to do the same. However, it's the noun that seems to bother me. Can grace actually be cheap? Maybe I'm just nit-picking, but thought it might stir us up for possibly a more biblical use of the view:)

Hank said...


I think it is important to define our terms. We know what is meant by 'easy believism' and as well understand its implications to the Gospel. If we called all 'other gospels' only by the term 'other gospel', we would not have a clue to which form of 'another gospel' we were discussing, and there are plenty of them. Labels are a necessity. Let's look at the labels you provided. 'Easy believism' describes the walk the isle and get your get out of hell free card, stick it in your pocket to redeem at a later date, then go about your business living like the world as if you never believed. Belief is there, the participant believes what he has serscribed to. Whether it's just what he wants to believe or if it's what he was in fact told. Also, believe in the true gospel is not 'hard' but it is easy as well. By its own words, the phrase means nothing, but by its definition it means a particular doctrine that is false. A false belief does not mean a non-belief. If we took 'false belief' at its general sense, it could be applied to anything held to be true but is not. The true gospel is easy as it is true and requires belief as well as obedience, in that sense it could be called an easy belief, yet we would not use that term as it in fact describes a false understanding of the Gospel. 'Cheap grace' lends itself to the idea that grace is expensive when in fact, it is free! The 'cheapening' is to grace itself and I think that is what is communicated by the term.

For years I had a problem with the term 'common grace' thinking that the Grace of God is anything but common. The term seemed to belittle the true grace of God when in fact it is just describing a doctrine that has nothing to do with grace in a salvific sense. A thorough study of common grace leads me to the accepting of the term for what it is. The word 'common', qualifies the severity of the grace being given. The same can be said for 'easy beleivism'. A person who holds this type of relationship with Christ in fact has no relationship (at least not the one he thinks he has) with Him and has not bent his knee to the Gospel and therefore is not saved. It is by way of its self, another gospel categorically, yet in order to be combated in our churches, it needs to be defined and a phrase-name has to be coined. These names in no stretch of the imagination belittle or dedragrade God's effectious love manifested in Christ to those who believe and walk after Him.


-Vassal of the Great King-

Gordan said...

I can go along with some of what Hank says about the danger of the labels implying things we don't mean. Like we oppose "cheap grace" but don't mean to imply that genuine grace is costly, as in we must pay a lot in order to obtain it.

But I also agree that labels are a necessary evil. We need them, but they almost inevitably come to shift in meaning, or actually distort what we're trying to say.