The Gospel Reformation Network (GRN), a gathering of over 100 ministers and elders from the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), met in Atlanta on February 6-7, 2012, focusing on the gospel as sufficient for believers for life and ministry.
The GRN gathering came as a result of a consultation that was held in August 2011, which was held to discuss the nature of the gospel in light of what is sometimes called the contemporary grace movement. This movement appears to focus on grace to the apparent neglect of the place of God’s law in the believer’s life and ministry. As a result, the GRN centered its discussion on the definitions of justification and sanctification and how they function in the Christian life and affect ministry.
The discussion between the various groups has been framed in terms of opposite poles, the place of God’s law and God’s grace, legalism and antinomianism. The consultation recognized that the issues in this discussion are as old as church history, with just about every generation of the church wrestling with them, and is now a present reality in this generation.
One of the goals of the GRN meeting was a desire to clarify the nature of the discussion as it has been taught and written about over the last decade. One member of the organizing committee noted, “We want to deal with the issue pastorally and theologically, not polemically; this is a time to educate the church on this topic so we can all grow up into maturity in Christ.”
Speakers and topics included:
Dr. Harry Reeder, pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Ala., on “The Grace of God Has Appeared.”
Dr. Ligon Duncan, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Miss., on “What is Salvation by Grace?”
Rev. Richard Phillips, pastor of Second Presbyterian Church in Greenville, S.C., on “The Relationship Between Justification and Sanctification.”
Dr. Liam Goligher, pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, Penn., on “The Use of the Law in Gospel Ministry.”
Dr. Michael Ross, pastor of Christ Covenant Presbyterian Church in Matthews, N.C., on “The Heart and Life of the Gospel Minister.”
The question was asked, “Where do we go from here?” The answer was that “the GRN desires to discuss the issues with those who may define terms differently so that together we may all see the gospel deeply affect Christian life and ministry.”
These messages are available here online where you can listen to them. To downloaded right click on “Listen Now” and click on “Save link as” to save the messages to your computer.
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