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« Soularize - General Session 1 | Main | Soularize - Hookin' Up »

March 09, 2005

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I love what Todd has to say ... Please send my regards to him if you meet him. Tell him I miss the phonecalls:-) But I'm delighted to hear more from him on the net. Thanks

I'm on board with the substance of what Todd has to say but don't agree with his assessment that Christians have generally misunderstood or understand grace in such a limited way (merely as forgivness of sin). Wesley (and others) long ago articulated grace in a trinitarian way: prevenient grace, justifying grace, and sanctifying grace. Prevenient grace calls to us quietly but persisently to seek God, justifying grace washes our sin away and reconciles us to God, sanctifying grace moves us to more and more holiness -- to the works of heart that please God. Like our trinitarian concept of God, these dimensions of grace cannot be neatly divided or segmented. Grace is grace -- mysterious, seductive, cleansing, saving, and elevating twenty-four-seven.

Lauren, I think Todd is mainly addressing the current dominant form of USAmerican Christianity, namely conservative evangelicalism. That is really cool about Wesley.

Lauren and Jon -- I'd add that Todd is probably reacting to a popular vein of evangelicalism which, by means of viewing the salvation "event" as distinct from the process of "discipleship, has overly focused on what Wesley understood as "justifying grace." To see grace (and one's followership of Jesus) holistically is what we need to return to.

"Grace is grace -- mysterious, seductive, cleansing, saving, and elevating twenty-four-seven."

Lauren, this is powerfully put and merited being repeated. Thank you.

Discipleship can't take place until people receive the "justifying Grace". How can they move forward if they are not on the path in the first place? "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has risen from the dead you shall be saved." While I do believe in the responsiblity of the Believer this doesn't undermine the responsibility to "receive" the Grace that Christ did on the cross.

dh, Jesus merely said, "Follow me." He did not have an altar call, offer assurance of salvation, then put them in a christian growth class. For a 1st century person, to confess and to believe were to act. There was no distinction between belief and action. That is a Western concept. We are the culture that can say "I believe in Jesus" but go out and cheat our way to business success, yet still be considered "saved" at the funeral. They didn't have that.

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