Saturday, September 03, 2005

Am I a grace grinder, and should I be ashamed?

Scot McKnight has this to say:

There is a kind of writing, preaching, and talking about grace that instead of offering grace and extolling the goodness of God, seems to use grace as the backhand of God that is used to grind humans into the ground as it talks about grace. I'm having a hard time being gracious about this.

It is the sort of communication that does extol grace, God's good grace, but it makes that grace an angry thing God has to do because he is gracious. God, being so loving but downright ticked off with humans for their sins and stiff-neckedness and hard-heartedness, is still gracious to us. That sort of idea.

This is a massive distortion of what God actually does to us. James tells us, don't forget, that if we ask God in faith that God gives to us simply or unbegrudgingly - and the grace grinders tend to make God a begruding God of grace rather than a delightful and pro-active God of grace.

These people can't talk about grace without emphasizing that we are wretches; they can't read Yancey's What's So Amazing'? without saying it isn't the whole story;

I do not want to be the person described in the first two paragraphs, but I do want to say that Yancey's What's So Amazing'? is not the whole story. While I do not want to emphasise that we are wretches when I talk about grace, I do want it an important part of the discussion to be that we are, or rather were. God's love to us seems to just become just warm and fuzzy when I do, not rich and steadfast, and Christ-exhalting. Maybe I'm just blind to the damage I inflict by using grace as a grinding instrument. Maybe I'm not a grace grinder by McKnight's definition anyway, so I shouldn't worry. Maybe I should sleep instead of regurgitating my thoughts to a computer screen.

---------Update (7th Sept)---------

The discussion has continued, I need to think some more about it before I post any thoughts.


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