What About ‘Hyper-Grace’???
Over the past year or so (starting in 2013), a manufactured label, ‘Hyper-Grace’, has been made popular and applied to the Gospel of Grace. Personally, I embrace the term, because in my opinion, the Living God coming to Earth as a man to die for our sin and bear the judgement due us, and then to give those who believe the gift of Righteousness and New Life in order to reconcile us to Himself is a pretty Hyper Grace!
That aside, not all believers embrace the term, and many are uncomfortable with the concept of pure Grace. Rather those who mix Law and Grace use the term as a derogatory label, on which they pile false accusations about what the Gospel of Grace is and how those who walk in Grace live their lives.
A main instigator in applying the Hyper-Grace label to Grace-embracing believers is Dr. Michael Brown. Understand that Dr. Brown is a respected theologian, and many take what he says quite seriously, seeing him as a credible source sounding a valid alarm – “Christians are seeing Grace as a license to sin!”, “Hyper-Grace teachings are leading to ‘grace horror stories!’” and the hyperbolic like.
You can do a search with Dr. Brown’s name and ‘Hyper-Grace’ and get a number of video teachings and interviews that he’s done on the subject, as well as an assortment of articles regarding the Hyper-Grace label/concept. Note the ‘tabloidesque’ flavor to his interviews with Sid Roth, and the unbridled discussion about how this ‘hyper-grace’ can (and in their opinion does) lead to the loss of salvation.
How do you avoid losing your salvation?
By not sinning, of course!
How do you keep from sinning?
By keeping laws/commandments/rules . . . whatever the circle of like-minded folks you surround yourself with deems appropriate as the Biblical standard.
And if you do sin?
Repeated confession and repentance to God for sins that, according to their theology, God will hold against you if you don’t!
Rob Rufus actually recorded a teaching entitled, ‘A Biblical Defense of the Gospel of Grace‘ several years before Dr. Brown made the ‘Hyper-Grace’ label popular. A video version of the teaching can be viewed, as well:
Paul Ellis, author at the site, Escape to Reality, author of The Gospel in Ten Words, and The Gospel in Twenty Questions (links also in the left sidebar below), took the issue head on in “Confronting the Error of Hyper-Grace” – a response to Michael Brown, which garnered a few hundred comments in a good, lively discussion. One more (of many) good articles found at his site in line with what we’re discussing here: Confession, Conviction, Confusion!
When Dr. Brown’s book on ‘Hyper-Grace’ came out, D.R. Silva put together a good resource rebutting the common arguments against Grace. Silva builds a solid defense for the Gospel of Grace in about 68 pages, whereas Brown’s book spends 304 pages trying to refute the Gospel of Grace and expound on its ‘dangers’.
D.R. Silva does reference Dr. Brown in his book, but I think it’s important to note that Hyper-Grace: The Dangerous Doctrine of a Happy God is not primarily a refutation of Hyper-Grace: Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Message (dangerous stuff, that Grace of God!!!), but rather a Biblical defense of the Grace position, taking on the common arguments/accusations leveled by those who mischaracterize the Grace position.
‘Grace is good, But . . . !’ should have been the title for Dr. Brown’s book. A good audio by Rob Rufus, a teaching recorded several years ago, is available with a similar title: Grace is Good – No Buts!
Edited to add 4/7/14:
Paul Ellis has published a book entitled, “The Hyper-Grace Gospel: A Response to Michael Brown and Those Opposed to the Modern Grace Message“, where he also provides an outline of the content, which systematically addresses the false perceptions of the Gospel of Grace as well as responds to specific assertions made by Dr. Brown. Ellis puts together a definitive, clear presentation first and foremost of the Gospel of Grace. Highly recommended:
A good video review of D.R. Silva’s book can be found here: Book Review “Hyper Grace – the Dangerous Doctrine of a Happy God”
So if someone warns you of the ‘dangers’ of ‘Hyper-Grace’, the Audio and Text Resources, Video Resources, and The Gospel pages have lots of materials to support the Biblical Gospel of Grace, and this article has given you a few specific resources (click on the embedded links!) to help you defend the Gospel of Grace with confidence and good humor. [Added 5/4/14 – And more good humor.]
And Grace \o/..
If you or someone you know is in the HRM or a related Law-keeping sect and are questioning what you believe, a clear presentation of the Gospel can be found HERE. For more resources regarding the Hebrew Roots/Messianic movements see the Post Index and the Articles Page. General study helps, discernment, and apologetics sites can be found HERE. Good, foundational studies with a special emphasis on Old Covenant/New Covenant Truths can be found HERE. Be sure to check out the other testimonies on the Testimonies Page, as well. Make use of the tabs with drop-down menus found at the top of this site – there’s tons of info there, and it’s very navigable. May God guide and bless you as you seek His Truth.
Other articles of interest:
- Millennial Prophecy – Measuring Unrevealed Prophecies in Light of Revealed Truths
- Gateways into the Hebrew Roots Movement – An Examination of ‘Identity Crisis’ and Related Teachings of Jim Staley
- The Law of Christ – Defined and Defended
- Tzit Tzit For the Believer In Christ?
- 12 Undeniable Truths That Drive Law ‘Keepers’ Crazy
Filed under: Belief Sytems, Christianity, Discernment, Dr. Michael Brown, Formulas, Grace and Law, Hebrews 10:26, Hyper-Grace, Legalism, Messianic Judaism, Religion, Teachable/Unteachable, Uncategorized, Video | Tagged: Belief Systems, Christianity, Discernment, Discipleship, Dr. Michael Brown, Grace Horror Stories, Hyper-Grace, Messianic Judaism, New Covenant, Religion, Sid Roth, Teachable/Unteachable, Video | 37 Comments »