Monday, October 18, 2004

Opening Statement

Greetings in Christ, sisters and brothers:

This is a new experiment I am creating. Ironically, it comes on a day which has caused much angst amongst my fellow Anglican brethren, as the Eames Commission Report was released this morning. For those of you who are not Anglican, let me summarize by saying it was the much anticipated report of an independent commision within the church to see what can be done to keep the Anglican communion together in light of the consecration of V Gene Robinson as an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire last year. Since this is the opening of my new blog, let us not concern ourselves with that issue yet. I will save that for another day. (Truth be told, I am still digesting the 100 page report.)

I would prefer to open this blog by saying the following explainatory note. The name I chose for the website was costlygrace.blogspot.com; I had no choice with the blogspot name as it is a free blog site, so I guess I am stuck with it. However, the term costly grace, I chose in both homage to my theological hero Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who, in his brilliant work Cost of Discipleship, points out the difference of costly grace versus cheap grace.

Costly grace is the grace through which Jesus bore our sins, suffered, and died for the salvation of humanity. It was not cheap, it was very costly, both for Him and for ourselves. Christianity is not an easy "warm fuzzy" religion. Jesus did not die for us so that we could have forgiveness of sin and then return to our world of corruption and iniquity. We are called to a higher standard. We must pick up our cross and follow Him. This is not an easy task...this is a difficult one. Jesus did not die for the whole of all humanity, only those who truly wish to follow him along the straight and narrow path and accept God's free gift of grace. It is not a cheap grace, thrown about like cheap beads in a Marti Gras, it is not intended to be a cheap get out of hell free card. Grace, if it is to have any meaning, is a costly grace not a cheap grace. We must be willing to follow Him wherever He leads us. Only by the grace of God can we attain salvation, and only by a costly grace; a grace so costly, it cost the life of the incarnation of the divine.

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