Cheap Grace

“Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession… Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate… Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.”

–Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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5 Responses to “Cheap Grace”

  • Drew Says:

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer was not only a legalist but also an ascetic, and he’s probably in hell right now imho.

  • Mike Bull Says:


    Attacking ideas is one thing. Go for it. I do. But attacking people whose lives demonstrate the Spirit of Christ is quite another. I’ll happily point out Mother Teresa’s doctrinal errors, but I will not judge whether or not she was Christ’s. Doctrine is crucial, but the kingdom is bigger than doctrine. See: Tim Nichols’ comments in “Trinity or Triplicate”:

    Many saints throughout history have had errant and even laughable doctrines, but we stand on their shoulders.

  • Drew Says:

    I’m currently in the process of re-analyzing eschatology and for the time being I haven’t seen fit to drop postmillennialism, but biggest problem with postmillennialism is its tendency to dilute the gospel. Mother Theresa clearly preached a gospel of good deeds. That isn’t Christianity. I don’t stand on her shoulders whatsoever.

  • Mike Bull Says:

    She said even worse than that. But it wouldn’t surprise me if she’s in heaven.

    Postmillennialism is prone to its own errors – the reverse of gnosticism – triumphalism! The truth lies in perfect balance between the spring and the outflow into the world. We seem to focus on just one or just the other.

  • Mike Bull Says:

    Here’s a great Herman Bavinck quote someone posted on the BH list:

    “[W]e must remind ourselves that the Catholic righteousness by good works is vastly preferable to a protestant righteousness by good doctrine. At least righteousness by good works benefits one’s neighbor, whereas righteousness by good doctrine only produces lovelessness and pride. Furthermore, we must not blind ourselves to the tremendous faith, genuine repentance, complete surrender and the fervent love for God and neighbor evident in the lives and work of many Catholic Christians. The Christian life is so rich that it develops its full glory not just in a single form or within the walls of one church.”