The 2008 Grace Evangelical Society’s National Conference is under way in Dallas, Texas.
At the Grace Evangelical Society (GES) web site you can download conference notes from the various speakers at this year’s conference. Last night I was able to download several of these papers. I perused three papers authored and presented at the conference by Bob Wilkin. Wilkins’s notes are essentially a reiteration of the same arguments for the Crossless gospel he has been presenting for years.
The GES conference is largely dominated by speakers who are driving a stake in the ground that the Crossless interpretation of the Gospel, which was originated by Zane Hodges, is the official position of the Grace Evangelical Society.
In my opinion, however, the most striking news from the conference is the attendance estimates. Years ago I lived in West Texas. I have several friends who currently live in Texas. One was able to visit the GES conference yesterday, March 4th. According to this individual there are no more than 140 in attendance.* This is significant when you compare the current attendance to recent previous year’s attendance, especially when you take into account there are well over 20 speakers among the 140.
Former GES members have told me that the conference typically hosted up to and over 300 delegates. If the 140 attendance estimate is even close to accurate for this year’s conference this verifies that the “contrary” doctrine (Romans 16:17) of the GES’s Crossless gospel is resulting in scores departing the GES for safer theological fellowships.
In recent months I have made no secret of my hope and prayer that either 1) the GES leadership and its members will come to their senses, repent and return to a balanced position on the Gospel, or 2) the Lord will bring swift closure to the GES. As long as the GES is in existence there is a chance that their egregious errors on the Gospel could gain a foothold in broadening evangelical circles.
Thankfully, many Free Grace pastors and teachers have come to realize just how far askew of biblical orthodoxy the GES has drifted and no longer attend, endorse or host GES events.
It would be a genuine tragedy if even one more unsuspecting Christian were to be deceived and fall into the trap of the Crossless gospel.
*If any GES staff member would like to revise this 140 attendance estimate up or down they may e-mail that correction to me at their convenience.
I posted this article now because it is time sensitive. Later I will drop this article down my home page so that it appears beneath Greg Schliesmann’s wrap up of The Technical Meaning of the Term, THE “GOSPEL”.
March 5, 2008