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There is no teaching in Christian theology that offends our contemporaries (especially our Christian friends and family), any more then the teaching of sola gratia. Americans hate to be told “no,” that they are helpless. Surprisingly, the greatest opposition to the biblical teaching on this point comes not from a secular culture, but from household-name leaders in the American Church. From contemporary figures such as Chuck Smith at Calvary Chapel to Bill Bright and Campus Crusade, to virtually all forms of revivalism and Pentecostalism which spring from the loins of one Charles Grandison Finney … to Alexander Campbell and the Restorationist movement, to Joseph Smith and what later on became the cult known as Mormonism, to William Miller and the Adventist movement, and we can go on and on; all of these movements are based, at least in part, upon a denial of sola gratia, in direct opposition to Reformation theology, and the biblical teaching on this point. Americans hate to be told that God does not depend upon them and a decision that they make. And it is here, then, that we as Reformation Christians and historic Protestants run smack dab into our culture and to much of American Christianity. This is why our friends and families look at us like we have three heads when we speak of these doctrines. But this is the historic Protestant position, and the wholesale rejection of sola gratia demonstrates how far the “evangelical movement” has departed from the historic and biblical Evangelical faith.
– Dr. Kim Riddlebarger