The Grace and Truth Paradox chapter 7 (pages 61-70)

This chapter is about grace. On pages 66-67 Alcorn talks about grace versus tolerance. To give grace is not the same thing as condoning something. By the way tolerance doesn’t mean condoning. Someone once told me that we tolerate the smell in an outhouse, that doesn’t mean we like the smell. Alcorn says that grace never lowers the standard of God’s holiness (page 66). the parable of the prodigal son is an example of grace (Luke 15:11-32). Also many of you know of the play and movie “Les Miserables.”
Alcorn shares a great example from C.S. Lewis: • “During a British conference on comparative religions, scholars debated what belief, if any was totally unique to the Christian faith.
• Incarnation? The gods of other religions appeared in human form. Resurrection? Other religions tell of those returning from the dead. The debate went on until C.S. Lewis wandered into the room. The scholars posed the question to him.
• ‘That’s easy,’ Lewis replied. ‘It’s grace.’
• Our Babel-building pride insists that we must work our way to God. Only the Christian faith presents God’s grace as unconditional.” (page 68 more explained on page 69: “’All religions are basically the same’? Imagine a geometry or French teacher who said to his students, ‘It doesn’t matter what answers you give on the test. All answers are basically the same.’ Hinduism’s gods are many and impersonal. Christianity’s God is one and personal. Buddhism offers no forgiveness or divine intervention. Christianity offers forgiveness and Divine intervention. In Judaism and Islam, men earn righteous status before God through doing good works. In Christianity, men gain righteousness only by confessing their unrighteousness and being covered by Christ’s merit. Every other religion is a man working his way to God. Christianity is God working His way to man.”)
Then another illustration:

• Michael Christopher’s play, The Black Angel pages 69-70:
What happens to us when we are forgiven?Christopher’s play is about a former German army general, Engel, who tried to make a new life for himself and his wife outside a little French village. He had been imprisoned for 30 years, sentenced by Nuremberg war war crimes court. He hoped that people will forget and forgive he terrible past. He built a log cabin in the near by mountains he wanted to start anew.A french journalist, Morrieu, could not forget the past. His family was massacred by the generals army. There was not a single survivor in the village. For thirty years Morrieu had planned his revenge. He said to himself: “If the Nuremberg court could not sentence General Engel To die, I will pronounce his death sentence and execute it.” He stoked the embers of hartred and fears in the mind of village radicals. and revolutionaries.They conspired to burn down the cabin in night, killing Angel and his wife. Morrieu as a journalist, had several questions for the General: why did he do it? After thirty years in prison, what did he feel know? So he proceeded to the cabin, surprised the General and his wife and spent the whole afternoon probing his past action, trying to analyze and learn the reason for the tragedy.He found the general full of regret and repentance. He was actually waiting to download his guilt to someone, He could trust. Moved, Morrieu offered to smuggle the General and his wife to safety. He disclosed to them that he villagers would atack his cabin at night and kill both of them. The general said: ” We will accompany you only on the condition; that you forgive me.” Morrieu could not forgive the general. He could save him but forgive him never! That night the villagers burnt down the cabin and shot Engel and his wife dead. The play when staged left the audience gasping for an answer…….
Do you have any thoughts about how tough grace is? Have a blessed week!

• Michael Christopher’s play, The Black Angel. Illustration pages 69-70 (copied and pastied from http://ahimsaakash.blogspot.com/2008/09/black-angel-by-michael-christopher.html
What happens to us when we are forgiven?Christopher’s play is about a former German army general, Engel, who tried to make a new life for himself and his wife outside a little French village. He had been imprisoned for 30 years, sentenced by Nuremberg war war crimes court. He hoped that people will forget and forgive he terrible past. He built a log cabin in the near by mountains he wanted to start anew.A french journalist, Morrieu, could not forget the past. His family was massacared by the generals army. There was not a single survivor in the village. For thirty years Morrieu had planned his revenge. He said to himself: “If the Nuremberg court could not sentence General Engel To die, I will pronounce his death sentence and execute it.” He stoked the embers of hartred and fears in the mind of village radicals. and revolutionaries.They conspire to burn down the cabin in night, killing Angel and his wife. Morrieu as a journalist, had several question for the General: why did he do it? After thirty years in prison, what did he feel know? So he proceede to the cabin, surprised the General and his wife and spent the whole afternoon probinghis past action, trying to analyze and learn the reason for the tragedy.He found the general full of regret and repentance. He was actually waiting to download his guilt to someone, He could trust. Moved, Morrieu offered to smuggle the General and his wife to safety. He disclosed to them that he vilagers would atack his cabin at night and kill both of them. The general said: ” We will accompany you only on the condition; that you forgive me.” Morrieu could not forgive the general. He could save him but forgive him never! That night the villagers burnt down the cabin and shot Engel and his wife dead. The play when staged left the audience gasping for an answer…….

3 thoughts on “The Grace and Truth Paradox chapter 7 (pages 61-70)

  1. Forgiving is difficult because of the pain your suffering, but the only real release from that pain is through forgiveness. Morrieu suffered so much through the years not only because of the losses he suffered, which God would have given comfort to him as he went through each day, but when you refuse to listen to Gods plea to forgive, your heart is not open to recieve His comfort. Unforgiveness puts up a wall between you and God and hardens the heart and starves the soul. We pray for God to forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Often we need help from our brothers and sisters though to help us through the process. Life becomes “hell” when we let our hearts become filled with hate and unforgiveness, can no longer sense the goodness, forgiveness and great love from our Heavenly Father, and we need that. [lessons learned through divorce.]—God bless

  2. Steve, I think we should post this on our morning announcements and our new website:
    ” Every other religion is a man working his way to God. Christianity is God working His way to man.” We as Christians still don’t fully grasp that and how that seperates us from other religions and beliefs. We take God’s sacrifice and grace for granted. We are afraid to fully explore how much Jesus suffered for us and how in eternity there is no tomorrow, no someday and no death, just now and forever. Grace is what we should emanate, practice and it is what we owe our eternity to.
    Guilty as charged.
    Keith

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