Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cheap Grace? Is There Such a Thing?

"Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate." (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship. Touchstone 1995, p.47)

"Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble, it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him. . . . Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. . . . Costly grace is the sanctuary of God; it has to be protected from the world, and not thrown to the dogs. It is therefore the living word, the Word of God, which he speaks as it pleases him. Costly grace confronts us as a gracious call to follow Jesus, it comes as a world of forgiveness to the broken spirit and the contrite heart. Grace is costly because it compels a man to submit to the yoke of Christ and follow him; it is grace because Jesus says: 'My yoke is easy and my burden is light.'"
(Dale Larson, Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Costly Grace. InterVarsity Press 2002)

Is there such a thing as "cheap grace?" Is there such a distinction between "cheap" and "costly" grace? Is it blasphemy to speak of any aspect of God's grace as "cheap?"


At 1/23/2009 9:09 AM, Blogger CrackleDawg said...

No, I do not believe there is such a thing as cheap grace. And I think that is exactly Bonhoeffer's point. We have abandoned true Biblical grace and substituted it for a grace made in our own image. It is a grace we feel more comfortable with rather than the costly (but still free) grace the Bible speaks of.


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