• John G. Stackhouse, Jr.

Cheap Grace, Again

You don’t need me to tell you why this famous passage from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s great work, Nachfolge (“Following”–called The Cost of Discipleship in the first English edition), pertains here and now:


Is the price that we are paying today with the collapse of the organized churches anything else but an inevitable consequence of grace acquired too cheaply? We gave away preaching and sacraments cheaply; we performed baptisms and confirmations; we absolved an entire people, unquestioned and unconditionally; out of human love we handed over what was holy to the scornful and unbelievers. We poured out rivers of grace without end, but the call to rigorously follow Christ was seldom heard. . . .


. . . It could not happen any other way but that possessing cheap grace would mislead weaklings to suddenly feel strong, yet in reality, they had lost their power for obedience and discipleship. The word of cheap grace has ruined more Christians than any commandment about works.

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