Cheap Grace

“Cheap grace is the idea that “grace” did it all for me so I do not need to change my lifestyle. The believer who accepts the idea of “cheap grace” thinks he can continue to live like the rest of the world. Instead of following Christ in a radical way, the Christian lost in cheap grace thinks he can simply enjoy the consolations of his grace. ”  The Cost of Discipleship pgs 11-12 by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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2 Responses to Cheap Grace

  1. Daniel Ray says:

    How many times have we thought about lifestyle change as a change in the way we peruse drugs, sex and alcohol? So many times I feel a self-righteousness boiling up in me where I am thinking, “at least I don’t act like them.” The lifestyle change Dietrich is talking about goes deeper than irreligious motives and strikes religious motives as well on the face. We can see this in politics, “I am glad I am not like those democrats” (or “Republicans”). We can see this in our workplace, “I am glad I am not like that person, they totally dropped the ball.” Polar opposition is the American way, and we always tend to put ourselves on the winning side and the other side is seen as an enemy. The lifestyle change Dietrich is talking about even reaches inside our hearts to radically change the way we pursue our enemies as well.

    Matthew 5
    Love Your Enemies
    43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

  2. Jonathan Sickert says:

    Dietrich’s history also makes this quote noteworthy. His walk also began somewhat apethetically. Went through a discovery phase where he and Karl Barth shared a lot of similar views, but then Hitler came to power in Germany and this seemed to be the “defining” moment for Bonhoeffer. The correlation to us at this point is dim because we don’t view our lives from the perspective of a raging battle that swirls around us.

    It has been inspiring yet humbling to discover Bonhoeffer’s story as recorded in the German Resistance Museum in Berlin. I stumbled across the church Bonhoeffer was ordained in which was actually behind the place where the Berlin wall used to separate east and west Berlin near the “TV Tower” in Berlin.

    It is exiting to “walk in the footsteps” of the giants before us yet so humbling to realize how complacent and comfortable we’ve become in our lives. It’s healthy to imagine how would my life look different living in the midst of Nazi Germany 70 years ago sitting under the tutuledge of this godly man!

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