I started and co-manage the Free Grace Theology Discussion Group on Facebook. It is not a GES ministry. It’s something I do in my free time. I started that group to be a place where people from across the FG community can come and discuss FG topics, and where outsiders can ask questions. If you have pressing questions about FG theology, be sure to join that group. (Or, you can send your questions to Ken Yates at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Some people join the group to cause trouble. Why anyone would want to waste their time picking fights on the internet, I do not know. But it happens. Often. One such person recently left the group in a huff and wrote this:
“This confirms my suspicions of this group; you are really not interested in understanding what scripture actually says but only bashing those who stand on the principles of the FULL GOSPEL of Christ. If repentance (metanoeo), a change of mind, does not take place then there is no “belief” in the gospel.”
Unfortunately, this young man did not stay around to learn enough FG theology to answer his own question. He thought that FG people deny that salvation involves a change of mind. On the contrary, we all agree that it most certainly does. How?
Think about it. To have eternal life, you must believe in Jesus for that life. In other words, you must go from not knowing about the promise of life, to knowing about it; from not understanding it, to understanding it; from not believing it, to believing it. In other words, meeting the one condition of eternal salvation involves at least three very significant changes of mind.
So there is no debate about that.
What is debated is whether “change of mind” is the best definition of metanoia (i.e., repentance); what that word means in specific passages of Scripture; what role metanoia plays in the life of the believer and the unbeliever; and whether metanoia is a condition for things like physical salvation, spiritual health, and being born again.
At a recent breakfast for Zondervan authors, Bob was talking to an editor about putting together a proposal for an academic book on repentance. So far as we can tell, there are only two other recent books on that subject, both of which concentrate on the OT. Bob would focus on the NT. We’re hoping Zondervan will accept the proposal. Maybe you can make that a matter of prayer. And even if the editor initially says no, pray that she changes her mind!