Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Cheap Grace

We are studying Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper in Sunday school. I wanted to post a section out of the book for you to read. (See below). Piper quotes a line out of Bonhoeffer's book called "The Cost of Discipleship" that I think is so critical for our generation. I am asking that you would comment on this line delivered by Bonhoeffer. Oh how I pray we will be done with cheap grace and be moved to do what ever it takes to follow Christ whole heartedly.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a gift to my generation of students. I pray that his costly message will be rediscovered in each generation. Even though he died at the age of thirty-nine, his life was not wasted. His life and death continue to speak with power. He was hanged in the concentration camp at Flossenb├╝rg, Germany, on April 9, 1945. He had been a pastor and teacher and leader of a small training school for the confessing church and had participated in the Protestant resistance movement against the Nazis. The book that set fire to the faith of thousands in my generation was called The Cost of Discipleship. Probably the most famous and life-shaping sentence in the book was, “The cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise God-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ. When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” Fleeing from death is the shortest path to a wasted life. Bonhoeffer’s book was a massive indictment of the “cheap grace” that he saw in the Christian Church on both sides of the Atlantic. He believed in justification by grace through faith. But he did not believe that the faith that justifies could ever leave people unchanged by the radical Christ they claim to believe. That was a cheap response to the Gospel. “The only man,” he said, “who has the right to say that he is justified by grace alone is the man who has left all to follow Christ.”