1Cor. 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
It’s funny as much as things seem to change they stay pretty much the same. Jonathan Edwards spent much of his time dealing with modernists in his day consumed with “freedom of the will”. To him, it was just another form of modernism trying to throw off the shackles of orthodox Christianity. In our arena, many modern Christians want to cloak their belief in so called inclusiveness with the label of grace. It sounds strangely similar to what Bonhoeffer dealt with in the church in Germany in WWII. The so called proponents of grace want to soft peddle on some of the sticky issues of our day such as abortion, sex outside of marriage, drinking, homosexuality; you know the drill. Their version of a loving God ‘accepts’ all of us like we are. In their version, the church looks just like the world with no power to change. Here is a quote from Chelsen Vicari dealing with the hipster version of church we find all too often today.
“Popular liberal evangelical writers and preachers tell young evangelicals that if they accept abortion and same-sex marriage, then the media, academia and Hollywood will finally accept Christians. Out of fear of being falsely dubbed “intolerant” or “uncompassionate,” many young Christians are buying into theological falsehoods. Instead of standing up as a voice for the innocent unborn or marriage as God intended, millennials are forgoing the authority of Scripture and embracing a couch potato, cafeteria-style Christianity all in the name of tolerance.
This contemporary mindset is what Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian whose Christian convictions put him at odds with the Nazis and cost him his life, called “cheap grace.” In his book The Cost of Discipleship Bonhoeffer wrote: “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.”
Right now cheap grace theology is proliferating around evangelical Bible colleges, seminaries and Christian ministries.”
How can you improve on what Bonhoeffer said, “cheap grace is grace without discipleship…grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ…” Don’t settle for the new spin on an old heresy, let’s return to the unpopular path of primitive Christianity.