Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Too Much Grace?

An e-mailer asks, "Has BCC not talked about sin and repentance enough, and talked about grace too much?"

My answer: Yes and no.

I'm of the opinion that we can't talk about grace too much. We should be shouting it from the rooftop. It should be in our words, songs, actions, expressions, tones, and eyes. Shots of grace should be slipped like "mickeys" into everyone's cup at Coffee Connection.

The hitch, from my point of view, is that we have to know what grace is. So, no, we have not talked about grace too much. We should be talking about it more. But we should be talking about it correctly. Grace is for sinners. When you subtract authentic talk of the real problem, it doesn't matter how hard you push grace; it would be like offering a cure for cancer to someone who doesn't know they have the disease. The whole counsel of grace must include what grace is present to heal and deliver us from; otherwise it's just cheap sentimentality. It's feelings or behavior.

This doesn't mean, however, that we go back to hammering people over the head with all they've done wrong like Churchy McChurchisons did in the olden days. That was subtraction of the real solution. The danger for us in our day and in our kind of church is, to paraphrase a saying of Martin Luther's, to "fall off the horse in the other direction." The real Gospel lay in the balance of the truth of the Law and the truth of Grace, and when you preach one at the expense of the other, you have ceased preaching the Gospel.

So grace is so necessary, so vital, and cannot be underemphasized. But when you preach grace as merely the "solution" to a lack of confidence or to doubt or to powerlessness to prevail or anything else that is a paraphrase (at best) for the real problem -- sinful natures -- you are not really helping anyone. Given what I know of myself, I am glad that grace is for sinners. And that, given God's grace, I shall not be reckoned a sinner in Jesus.


At 6:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Great post. A vital perspective here. Really like what you've posted. Lots of thoughts on it...but I'm convinced that much of the "problems" with Christianity and/or "religion" (as you stated in your other blog) is that we aren't digging deep enough to find out what is below the surface. Everything is connected under God's watch. That includes grace. You've just tapped on my shoulder to keep moving and keep reaching.

Thanks for the blog!

Dan in Antioch!


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