The Hyper-Grace Quiz

THG_Nehorai

In the past few months, there has been an aggressive backlash against the gospel of grace. This backlash has been seen in the Christian media, social media, and in the publication of books by respected Bible teachers. I have come across articles with titles like “Confronting the error of hyper-grace,” “The deception of hyper-grace,” and the oddly-titled, “What’s wrong with grace?”

The authors of these articles typically describe the gospel of grace as a “dangerous teaching,” a “false message,” and “a hyped-up, watered-down, seeker-friendly gospel.” Those who preach it are branded “false prophets,” “antichrists,” and “pied pipers” leading people to hell.

What do these critics have against the gospel of grace?

Their criticisms are numerous: Apparently the grace message is soft on sin. It’s opposed to the law. It’s a prosperity gospel. It’s unbalanced. It’s extreme. It’s a fad.

Some of these criticisms reflect abiding misperceptions (“grace promotes licentiousness”). Some of the criticisms are slanderous (“grace preachers are closet sinners”), while others are risible (“this message was responsible for the rise of Adolph Hitler and the runaway Democratic party”).

Presented with these sorts of claims, it is tempting to dismiss the opponents of the grace message as ill informed and reactionary. But not all of them are.

In January 2014, Dr. Michael L. Brown released a book entitled Hyper-Grace: Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Message. In his book, Dr. Brown seeks to correct “some serious distortions and errors” that are being preached as part of what he calls “the modern grace message.” Dr. Brown portrays hypergrace preachers as opposed to repentance and the confession of sins. According to him, we think the words of Jesus have no relevance for us today.

Is this true? Do hypergrace preachers actually think this way?

Since I am one of the hypergrace preachers identified by Dr. Brown, I thought it might be helpful to respond to these accusations. To be fair, some of his accusations are spot on. On several occasions reading his book I said to myself, “Guilty as charged,” and I did so with a grace-addict’s grin. Still, a number of his accusations are based on misperceptions or they misrepresent what we are actually saying.

For instance, on page 37 of his book, Dr. Brown identifies four statements that he embraces and we, apparently, reject. They are (1) sanctification is progressive, (2) it’s healthy to confess our sins to God, (3) New Testament repentance includes turning away from sins, and (4) the words of Jesus are authoritative. To three of these claims, most hypergrace preachers would shout amen! Confession is healthy, repentance is often evidenced by a turning away from sins, and everything Jesus said is good and authoritative. The only claim we would reject out of hand is the first one, that sanctification is a process.

As Dr. Brown’s book illustrates, much of the criticism made against the hypergrace gospel and those who preach it is based on misperceptions and misunderstandings. To illustrate this, ask yourself whether the following claims are true or false.

The hyper-grace quiz

True or false…

  1. Hypergrace preachers are against repentance.
  2. Hypergrace preachers are against confession.
  3. The hypergrace gospel is universalism in disguise.
  4. Hypergrace preachers say it’s wrong to ask God for forgiveness.
  5. Hypergrace preachers say God is not grieved by your sin.
  6. Hypergrace preachers are against the law.
  7. Hypergrace preachers ignore the Old Testament.
  8. Hypergrace preachers disregard the words of Jesus.
  9. The hypergrace gospel encourages sin.
  10. The hypergrace gospel discourages obedience and holy living.
  11. Hypergrace preachers don’t talk about hell and wrath.
  12. The hypergrace gospel makes people lazy.

To have real dialogue, you need to hear both sides of the story. If your only exposure to the hypergrace gospel comes from attack articles and Facebook debates, you may think that every statement in the above quiz is true. In fact, every statement is false. Each is either a fiction or a distortion of what the hypergrace gospel actually says.

We will look at some of these claims in coming articles (click on the links above). But for now, I want to hear from you. Which of the claims above have you heard? Which have you believed? And what are some other misperceptions you have encountered when telling others about the good news of God’s extreme, over-the-top, and hyper grace?

___________

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12 Comments on The Hyper-Grace Quiz

  1. Mark Bromley // January 31, 2017 at 10:12 am // Reply

    And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good’” (Luke 5:39, ESV). This last verse of the parable of the wine skins has confused many and I have never found a satisfactory explanation because so many are locked into a mindset of mixing law and grace. Our beloved Jesus is simply warning us that ANY attempt to return to the old wine of law and tradition will negate the beauty and power of the new. Peter himself fell into this trap and was admonished by Paul. The drawing power of the old wine can be strong and must be completely rejected. Hallelujah

    • This morning I was writing about this passage for my new book. Here’s what I wrote:

      No one, after drinking old wine wishes for new; for he says, “The old is good enough.” (Luke 5:39)

      If you’re accustomed to Moses, you won’t see your need for Jesus. If your liquor is law, you won’t guzzle grace. This is why Jesus said sinners were entering the kingdom ahead of the religious (Matthew 21:31). Unacquainted with the old wine of rule-keeping and proper behavior, they were more than ready to imbibe the new wine of unconditional love and acceptance.

      I’ve written quite a bit more but that’s a taste.

      • Mark Bromley // January 31, 2017 at 12:20 pm //

        Hi Paul thanks for your reply and awesome to see that we agree 😊. On on other subject I notice that Grace Preacher Creflo Dollar is not listed anywhere on your site. I have personally found his teaching on grace and the dangers of a life style of sin consciousness to be helpful. Bless you my brother and keep up the great work your site is absolutely amazing. Luv ya mate.

      • I’ve heard good things about CD.

  2. I have heard that people talking about hyper grace no 8.10

  3. Howard Smith // August 10, 2017 at 11:22 am // Reply

    Thanks to Andrew Wommack, Joseph Prince, Creflo Dollar to name s few, we have found the grace message to be more than true.

  4. I agree that all or most are false. I do not think it is wrong to ask for forgiveness, but also not sure it is necessary since we are forgiven; however, there are many things for which we should be sorry. One can ask for forgiveness and not be sorry. I would think it better to be sorry which may lead to turning away.

    • I’ve been trained to say sorry as well. But the work of the cross is blood-based not word-based.

      • Thomas Land // September 6, 2018 at 8:10 am //

        I agree completely that the work of the cross is blood based. That blood is what paid the price for forgiveness. My point was godly sorrow leads to repentance. One can ask for forgiveness and not be sorry at all. I am sorry if I was unclear.

  5. Elizabeth Murphy // October 17, 2018 at 2:10 am // Reply

    I have encountered every single one of them…
    Hate to admit it, but have even sort of believed all of them…not now, thanks be…
    Now that I know the Lord far better, can be more faithful ambassador for the Kingdom and minister of reconcilationthan …all because of His amazing Grace…

  6. John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. If Jesus has it, He has it in abundance and He’s giving it out joyfully without cost. By definition, there just can’t be any bad news in the Good News (or it would cease to be Good News). The One possessing life brought Good News: abounding grace, truth, light, sanctification, redemption, holiness, righteousness, Sonship, a new birth, the words of life, hope, help, edification, always building up, fellowship, friendship, and the fruit of the Spirit without reservation. To say otherwise would be to say Jesus isn’t sufficient. He is overly sufficient. Call it Hyper-Grace if you will.

  7. Such a shame people are so afraid of the very thing that makes Jesus’ teaching so powerful. Keep up the good work…..humanity desperately needs this radical grace!

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