Sunday, March 13, 2011

Crossan on Grace

A wonderful passage on the meaning of grace, from In Search of Paul. Crossan presents perhaps one of the simplest ways to understand this often difficult concept.

"Think, for a moment, of a physical example such as the air itself. It is there for us all the time, equally available for everyone in every place at every time. We do not need to do anything to obtain it. We could not do anything to obtain it. It is not a question of whether we deserve it or not. It is absolutely transcendent in the sense that we depend on it totally. It is absolutely immanent in the sense that it is everywhere inside us and outside us, all around us. And we hardly notice it unless something goes wrong with us or with it. But air does demand the reaction of awareness, the reply of acceptance, and the response of cooperation. Or, better, it does ont demand that we breathe so much as we need to breathe to avoid either asphyxiation or hyperventilation. And, if you choose asphyxiation or hyperventilation, do not say that the air is punishing you. It is only and always a matter of collaboration. A grace gift is like a free upgrade but, of course, there too, you need at least to download it."

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