Periodical Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 19:37 (Autumn 2006)
Article: Periodical Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Periodical Reviews

By the Members of the Grace Evangelical Society

“A Critique of the ‘Exchanged Life’,” Robert A. Pyne and Matthew L. Blackmon, Bibliotheca Sacra (April-June 2006): 131-57.

Since many Free Grace people hold to some form of Exchanged Life thinking, this article should be of great interest to most JOTGES readers.

The authors identify ten “contemporary advocates” of the Exchanged Life teaching: Neil Anderson, Tony Evans, Dwight Edwards (listed as a former senior pastor), Charles Stanley, June Hunt, Charles Solomon, Bill Gillham, David and Denise Glenn, and Ruth Myers (p. 133, fn. 5). Others whom they cite as leaders in this movement include Major Ian Thomas, David Needham, and Steve McVey (p. 133, fn. 5).

After giving a strong disclaimer that this is a broad movement, they say that “the distinctive teaching of Exchanged Life theology is that believers will experience victory and happiness in the Christian life only be recognizing and living out the reality of the inherent change already produced in them at conversion” (p. 133, italics theirs).

The outline out this article is a bit confusing. Here is the outline:

I. Introduction.

II. Man—a Tri-Unity

A. A New Identity

B. Continuing Struggles with Sin

C. Appropriating Christ’s Life

III. A Response to Exchanged Life Teachings

A. Sharing the Secret

B. A Faulty Anthropology

C. Problems with Justification

D. The Wrong Questions

IV. A Final Word

The three points under the second section do not seem to fit under the heading, “Man—a Tri-Unity.” A better title for this second section might have been, “The Exchanged Life Position Explained.” These sections are the most helpful in the article since they do capture the broad position, though not without caricaturing it in some ways.

The four points under section three are hard to follow. What is meant by “Sharing the Secret”? After reading the section, I’m still not sure. I think what the authors really mean by their first point is this: Exchanged Life theology doesn’t work. Note this quote: “Those feeling this burden [having tried to live the Exchanged Life, but continuing to struggle spiritually] should take heart. It is not their fault that the technique does not always work. Not only is the spiritual secret of Exchange Life theology not the key to Christian spirituality, but the search for any such secret is mi...

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