Embracing Grace

Embracing Grace – Chapter Six

McKnight begins this section saying, “God designed the gospel for us.”  He did not design it for “my redemption and my liberation…it is about more than me” (McKnight 64).  There has been such a drastic shift from individualism in this day and age.  It would be wise to understand here that there appears to be a paradigm shift in America, especially in many emerging churches, trying to turn away from “individualism.”

Instead, the paradigm is calling for one of community.  This is why McKnight says that “grace is shaped for Eikons instead of individuals.
The “thesis” appears to be that the gospel is “the work of God, in the context of community, to restore us to union with God and communion with others and the world.”  This adds on an element that I missed growing up in church.  The gospel is not just about getting right with God, it is about getting right with mankind.  Jesus calls us to be radically different people.  To quote fellow Blogger Alan Hartung (who, by the way, is referencing Dallas Willard, a favorite theologian/philosopher of mine) “you are either the type of person who can love someone who spits in your face, or you are not.  No amount of will or direct effort can cause you to love that person.”
This is to say that we have to naturally be the type of people that Christ calls us to be.  Willard uses an analogy in his book that it is not enough to imitate a good baseball player.  In order to become a good baseball player one must train intentionally for years.  Part of the gospel is training to become the type of person that can love others “in the context of community.”



2 thoughts on “Embracing Grace – Chapter Six

  1. If Dallas Willard is right then the exhortation of the Lord Jesus to “love your enemies” is not right. He did not say that such behavior is natural or easy rather I believe that it’s part of to “die daily” of which the apostle Paul said that we would not be tempted above that which we were able.


  2. Hi Kenneth,

    Interesting and provoking thoughts. Yes, in one sense you are right. It is not easy to love your neighbors. There is though, a subtle dichotomy between that which is easy and that which is natural. It is naturally inherent within the human spirit to want to the “good guy” to win. Unfortunately, this is not easy nor is it the case in many instances. It is the way that the world was created to be. God has called us to be in communion with one another. To use the words of Scot McKnight, we are called to be “eikons” or “images” of God. That is, we are to be people who naturally reflect the glory of God. This is not easy, but it is what I strive for.

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