Talk:Grace in Christianity

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Why a Disclaimer???[edit]

I was going to ignore this but I cannot.

(This part of the article carries an agenda and should not be taken as fact, or even as a justified explanation. Like the statement said, "it [grace] is a prerequisite to salvation": of course you need favor from God to receive a chance at salvation, that's obvious; but one needs faith, which is shown/expressed by good works, to be given that salvation [made possible by God's grace] see James 2: 14-26 for justification).

This has to be fixed. If it really was a neutral article, this would be unnecessary to have.

Stevendjc (talk) 15:52, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Faith applied to grace?[edit]

A more works-oriented perspective is presented by the James 2:1-26, concluding that faith without works is dead. By "works," James here appears to include both acts of charity, and righteousness according to the code of laws; the preceding text mentions charity to the poor as well as sins against the law of Moses. An inward change, the forsaking of old sinful ways, and being reborn in a spirit of generosity is to James the true test of conversion. Without these things, claiming to have "faith" is a sham. Grace must be something that steers the Christian to avoid sin and practice charity. Without these signs, it seems likely that grace was never there. James speaks of works after salvation, as a result, and Paul speaks of the lack of works in gaining salvation.

Isn't there a clear distinction between faith and grace? As in I have the faith (power to believe in) that such and such can occur in contrast to I have grace from God. From my understanding, the faith metioned in this passage is not a "religious faith" as in, "I am of the Christian/Muslim/Buddhist faith." It is more in the sense of someone saying, "I have faith I will get a job today," and then proceeding to go look for a job. The convergance between believing something and then acting on it. The Apostle Peter believed he could walk on water, and he went on to do it. I am not sure this would go along with grace, as in having grace and then acting out to also merit God?

(P.S. why does grace move in and out of Divine Grace to Grace Divine to just Grace. Should there be some consistenecy? The last I checked, the term Grace Divine is using French adjective placement for poetic purposes. And I still agree with -- John Smythe 19:55, 5 April 2007 (UTC) in saying that this is more of a thelogical essay...)

Stevendjc (talk) 15:34, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Seinfeld[edit]

On Seinfeld it is said the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassas had grace. She was compared to Elane, who it was said did not have grace. Later, another man said she did have grace. She made scrunched-up faces when asking if she had grace and drank from a straw with a silly look on her face, as though she actually lacked grace. My question is: What is meant by grace in this situation? What did Jackie Kennedy have that Elane lacked? I do not believe it is a religious thing but I could be wrong. Please answer someone. Thank You. --Jon in California 208.127.73.82 06:28, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

I doubt you're serious but - Some of the definitions of grace: 1. elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action. 2. a pleasing or attractive quality or endowment. 3. favor or good will. 4. a manifestation of favor, esp. by a superior: It was only through the dean's grace that I wasn't expelled from school. 5. mercy; clemency; pardon: an act of grace. 6. favor shown in granting a delay or temporary immunity. BTW def 3. thru 6. when applied to God are the source of the meaning of "Divine Grace"

Outline[edit]

I've attempted to provide an outline here: what in my no doubt vain imaginings I hope would serve as a shared statement outlining and defining grace in Christian theology, that I hope can be shared at least by Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant. I'm going to leave it alone for a while, waiting for all those with theological interests to pick it apart before I do much more with it.

I've also set up on subjects that IMO ought to be touched on in a discussion of the differences between Orthodox, RC, and Protestant concepts of grace, starting with law vs. grace in the New Testament and working forward more or less historically.

I don't really know if Mormons, Unificationists, Jews, or Muslims have concepts of grace that ought to be discussed in the article, but probably under subheadings of their own.

I await your vehement disagreements. -- IHCOYC 17:27 Mar 4, 2003 (UTC)

It's actually not a bad start. I'll just say that under the "imperial churches", the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox only hold maybe around half of those doctrines in common. Many of them were innovations the Catholics made after the Great Schism, or had roots in ideas held by them before that but were not shared in the East. In particular, the idea of merit and a "treasurehouse" of grace, and distinguishing between mortal and venial sins, generally reflect Western Christianity's more legalistic way of looking at sin and grace, rather than the East's more relational way of looking at it. You probably want to mention Purgatory in there as well, although that's another Roman-only doctrine. And in general, everything needs to be couched as "This is what Christianity teaches" or "This is what XXX Christian tradition teaches" rather than stating any of this as bald fact, for wikipedia NPOV reasons. Wesley 17:48 Mar 4, 2003 (UTC)

This page really needs to have a New Testament scholar look at it. It is woefully inconsistent to quote sometimes from the AV and sometimes from the NIV, and in any case no encyclopaedia should be quoting from the NIV, which is a poor and biased translation. Why not use the RSV or the NRSV, which are the standard scholarly translations? I also see a number of basic errors here. For example, the letter to the Ephesians was not written by Paul - as any first-year theology undergraduate knows - yet I see a Pauline attribution unquestioningly given more than once in this article. 62.136.143.135 15:40, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

In my opinion, since Dr. Gene Scott, Ph.D. taught extensively from Ephesians and always as an epistle of Paul, and since he certainly had the expertise and resources to determine where this epistle came from, I think it should be acknowledged that the epistle is Paul's. If it isn't, then the repeated references in it to himself and his own imprisonment at the time this was written make it a forgery, and there is nothing in it that indicates this to me; you get to know these writers after a while and this epistle is in the same blustery, forceful, no nonsense style as his other letters and is doctrinally in agreement with those others.TurtleofXanth 06:25, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Re: reference to imperial churches. This seems to be a topic list about concepts from the Roman Catholic Church. If so, then referring to the church with other than its normal name would seem to be a suggestion of illegitimacy. So lets use the correct name. If imperial churches is instead a more precise term, I apologize...just put it back. User:Williamv1138

By "imperial churches" I meant the churches whose roots are in the state churches of the two divisions of the Roman empire: what eventually came to be called the Roman Catholic church, heirs to the Latin-speaking church of the Western Empire; and the several Eastern Orthodox churches, which ultimately have their roots in the church of the Greek-speaking Eastern Empire. -- IHCOYC 20:16 Mar 4, 2003 (UTC)
A couple points about the so-called "imperial churches": first of all, there was only one Church from its founding on Pentecost until we began to see actual schisms, such as the Montanists, non-chalcedonians, and eventually the Great Schism between East and West. But you're talking about the church involved with the Emperor, and for most intents and purposes this would have been the Byzantine Emperor. Another point: Constantine I did not make Christianity the state religion. All he did was call off the persecutions, and summon the first ecumenical council to bring unity to the church. He didn't participate in the council or unduly affect its outcome; I'm not even aware of any serious accusations that he did. The "several" Eastern Orthodox churches for the most part remain in full communion with each other, just as they did then, beginning with the churches of Rome, Constantinople, Jerusalem, Antioch and Alexandria. You can refer to each patriarchate as a separate church, or each diocese, or each parish, but these distinctions are nothing like the distinctions between denominations. They are regional distinctions for purposes of governance. Wesley 17:22 Mar 7, 2003 (UTC)


I'm removing the following paragraph because it is expressed as pure speculation and the opinion of its author:

It should be obvious from the foregoing discussion of law and grace, of free forgiveness versus obedience to a formal code of conduct, that the relationship of Christian institutions to the surrounding social order is something that you would expect to influence doctrine on the subject. An established church must emphasize law and obedience by its nature. Part of its social function is to clothe an existing government and the social order it upholds with the mantle of holiness. This change of social role was likely to affect the way the church approached the issues of law versus grace.

I've also tried to remove uses of the first and second person ("We" and "you") to make it sound less like a sermon and more like an encyclopedia article. Wesley 17:35 Mar 7, 2003 (UTC)

Thanks. I may try to reword that paragraph. In the meantime, I have supplied a partial treatment, which I have put up under the rubric of Western Christianity, as opposed to Eastern, since it follows the narrative I know. I know much more about the Reformation period than I do about the various councils, and I'm not at all sure that grace was a major issue of contention during the period. -- IHCOYC 21:23 Mar 7, 2003 (UTC)

Regarding this sentence about the 'good parts' of the Catholic theology at the time of the Reformation: It reassured people that the rituals of the Church were actually sufficient to make atonement for their sins. Did the Catholic Church ever teach that the Church's rituals made atonement for sins? The rest of the section seems more or less right, but I wonder about this bit. My guess is that they taught Christ's death atoned for sins, but rituals were needed to appropriate the benefits of that atonement, which isn't quite the same thing. Wesley

I changed that to It reassured people that the rituals of the Church were effective to enable believers to make atonement for their sins.
The church in the pre-Tridentine period does seem to have taught, or at least winked at the suggestion, that its rituals did somehow make atonement for their sins. The Catechism of the Catholic Church continues to teach that the Roman Mass is a sacrifice, though it is murky as to why further sacrifice is needed. The theory in the days immediately preceding the Reformation seems to have been that a believer was damned if he died between a mortal sin and receiving the sacrament of penance; hence the late mediæval fear of sudden death. Eamon Duffy's The Stripping of the Altars goes into a fair amount of detail on this, at least for England. I am not sure to what extent these beliefs have not been revised or at least re-interpreted in the present, though, so I did reword that bit. The idea is not so much that the rituals made atonement, as much as that they worked as advertised and conferred temporary assurance of salvation. -- IHCOYC 01:43 Mar 29, 2003 (UTC)
I think you misunderstand the Catholic Theology. A Sacrament, not the ritual, carries the grace. The Sacrament is both thing and thing signified at the same time. therefore, it isn't a question of atonement. Christ made the atonement on the Cross. Rather, the Sacraments allow us to continue to share that grace throughout our lives. Mass is a sacrifice because it participates in, but does not replace, the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Hence the word, amenesis -- re - membering, literally makeing the past present to us. DaveTroy 20:45, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
I went to http://www.catholic.com and found the following tract regarding the Roman Mass as a "sacrifice": http://www.catholic.com/library/Sacrifice_of_the_Mass.asp. As you'll see, it includes quotations from the Church fathers from the first century up through the sixth that refer to the Eucharist as a sacrifice; this is a very old idea in the church. In one of those quotations, John Chrysostom explains that these are not repeated sacrifices but the same sacrifice, as it is the true and whole body of Christ on each church's altar. This is no more a contradiction than it is to say that the group of believers at a local church is the Body of Christ, while the group of believers in the next town down the road is also the Body of Christ. In the Orthodox Church, I'm still learning about the Eucharist, but I do know that at least one aspect of the Eucharistic sacrifice is the believer offering up everything to God: myself, my family, my money and possessions, even up to my city, my country, my world. In the words of the Liturgy, "We offer up to you [God] what is already your own."
Coming back to the article, it may be more accurate to say that the church taught that its rituals were effective in transmitting or communicating ("communion") God's grace to the believer, than to say that the believers were making atonement, or that the rituals' atonement was something other than what Christ Himself accomplished on the Cross. Unless of course the Catholic Catechism or similar source actually uses words to that effect; haven't read it, can't say for sure whether it does or not. Wesley 05:04 Mar 31, 2003 (UTC)
I changed the reference to "atonement" in that sentence to "pardon," though I'm not sure it really makes a difference. If God would damn a sinner before a ritual, and save him afterwards, the ritual somehow made or at least conferred atonement, by definition. -- IHCOYC 15:22 Mar 31, 2003 (UTC)
Ok, maybe it's just a matter of semantics then, and we're really both talking about obtaining pardon, forgiveness or cleansing of sins. So, when someone responds to an "altar call" at a Billy Graham crusade and mouths the words of the sinner's prayer, does this person "make atonement" for their sins as well, under this definition? Wesley 16:49 Mar 31, 2003 (UTC)
Not really; if saving faith is present, the benefits of atonement are already there for the penitent. Making a public testimony of this fact by responding to an altar call, saying the sinner's prayer, or being baptized may be commendable acts of piety, conforming to the ordinances of a faith tradition, but they can only confirm what has already happened. Calvinist logic says that faith is impossible without "prevenient" grace; God's election paves the way for saving faith; the believer does not choose God, who then extends grace. Arminians differ here, but agree that a believer remains saved despite sinning because the believer (by definition) has saving faith.
At any rate, it's something different from being in a state of grace, losing the benefits of that state, and having them restored by a ceremony, which is what the ritual life of pre-Reformation Catholicism implied. Here, the atonement made by Jesus on the cross is incomplete; it does not automatically cover all of a believer's sins during his life, but must be supplemented as needed by further religious rituals and the believer's own penances and acts of contrition, without which the believer forfeits the atonement of the Cross. In this situation, it does seem to me that the believers are in fact making atonement for their sins, even if these little atonements would be meaningless without the big atonement of the Cross. -- IHCOYC 19:47 Mar 31, 2003 (UTC)
Ok, I see that any outward act wouldn't be seen as effective, only invisible mental choices (saving faith) are effective. Although I think even many Calvinist preachers would say a new Christian should both believe in their heart and confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord, would they not? (Romans 10:10 IIRC) Beyond that, this sounds like the same Calvinist/Arminian debate about whether a believer can "lose" their salvation once having gained it, the difference being that Arminians and Catholics have different rituals for "restoring" a fallen believer. Methodists would probably have an altar call for a backslidden Christian (I've seen such, can't remember now if they were Methodist or Assemblies of God), Catholics would have confession and penance. Unless Catholics call it atonement, I think it would probably not be appropriate to call it that; not sure if they do or don't, but I am sure that if they thought believers were making "little atonements" that they wouldn't hesitate to call them that. Wesley 22:19 Mar 31, 2003 (UTC)

Wesley, regarding the diminishing size of the altar: You probably already know this, but it is practically Protestant canon to eliminate an "altar" altogether - or, if there is an altar, it is forbidden for the minister to turn his back on the congregation or to speak below an audible voice. Mkmcconn \

In the Presbyterian churches, there used to be (and still is in churches close to the Scot tradition) a long table, which might stretch through the length of the aisle away from the pulpit. These tables could be a couple dozen yards long, in a large church! Those who would come to "table" literally come to The Table. This same tradition would often limit communion to 2 or 3 times per year - but, when they would have it, boy-howdy it could be a big deal, called a "communion season", that would last for up to three to six full days of exhortations. Mkmcconn \

In fact, the "invitations" and "revivals" that became such a central feature of the Great Awakenings, originated from the corruption of this communion season practice, drawing people throughout the parish, to hear the admonitions to turn from sin and cast all on the mercy of Christ. Mkmcconn 17:09 18 Jun 2003 (UTC)

You're right, most Protestant churches don't have something they call an altar, except for perhaps the Lutherans, Episcopalians and Anglicans. I was once a member of a small Free Methodist church who had purchased their building from an Episcopalian congregation; they continued to have a large altar in the center until a new pastor came in and got rid of it as part of some general reconstruction. But many protestant churches I've been in have a small table in front of the pulpit or perhaps off to the side that they place the communion elements on, often with the words "In Remembrance of Me" or something similar carved or engraved on the front, or embroidered on a cloth that covers it. Is it too much of a stretch to call that an altar? Maybe so; best to use whatever word they themselves use. I don't think it's uncommon for Lutheran or Episcopalian ministers to turn their backs to the congregation to face the altar or cross at the front while praying; worship leaders in many more evangelical or charismatic worship services will also turn their backs to the people to face the overhead projector screen while worshipping; when they do, they're just facing the same direction as everybody else. I wasn't aware of any groups that forbade this, though I'm sure there are plenty that don't.
The way these things work, little things come in here and there as people become less parsnickety about keeping them out. In Congregationalist and some other Puritan churches, it was forbidden to use any written prayers, for example - that means, even the Lord's Prayer was out: so concerned were they to guard against anything Roman. It's in a slightly different spirit, less extreme, that secret prayers spoken with back to the congregation were ruled out in Protestant churches. Mkmcconn \
Protestants placed emphasis on the responses to be returned by the people and not by the choir, every prayer was made audible, and the prayers were made shorter as an encouragement to the congregation to make them their own, spoken in a language that all can understand, with the design to return the Eucharist to its character as the Communion of the whole body of Christ and not in any part a private ceremony. It's with this idea that the celebrant was originally instructed to stand behind the table rather than stand before it, or minimally to turn toward the congregation for the Eucharistic prayer, and communion was given into the congregant's hand, in both kinds (ordinary bread and wine). These might not seem important, but they were marks of (pre-Puritan) Protestantism at one time. They signified that the congregation is the recipient of grace mediated through Christ alone. Mkmcconn \
Of course, in churches which entirely eliminate any semblance of a euchristic liturgy, the postures and manner of addressing prayers to God lose all of their symbolic significance. Turning toward the overhead doesn't count ;-) Mkmcconn 18:29 18 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Turning toward the overhead certainly counts. It's a perfect example of how an outward action could be perceived by outsiders as the leader "turning his back on the people" when in fact no such thing is intended, nor is it understood that way by the people who regularly participate in that form of worship. Wesley \
In case it's interesting, there are a great number of web pages around, which discuss the "New Liturgy" of Vatican II. Turning away from the congregation is defended as essential to a proper understanding of the mediatorial priesthood. Peruse these googled links, to see what I mean.[1] Mkmcconn
At the risk of straying off topic, an Orthodox priest's prayers may seem "secretive" when spoken quietly, but it's not for the purpose of concealing anything. In at least some cases, there are supposed to be other prayers said out loud at the same time by a deacon; having them both pray at once gets everyone through the service more quickly, and many times you have more than one thing going on at once. So, if two are praying at once, one will pray to be heard, the other quietly. If there is no deacon present, often the priest prays that part quietly anyway. Those prayers are often printed in the service books for people to read; in some cases, a person might have to purchase a more complete service book that contains not only the "secret prayers" but many other rubrics and guidelines that the average lay person would find uninteresting. There are no hidden prayers to Satan, or Osiris, or anything else shockingly different from the prayers you hear out loud. Wesley \
As for language, Eastern Orthodoxy has historically attempted to translate everything into the local language, even while the Romans were sticking with Latin. Now in the U.S., you will find many services done primarily in Russian or Greek or what have you, usually for the sake of immigrants in the congregation. Any time you have more than one language group, the choice of language can be difficult, no matter what the denomination. I once visted an OCA parish in Chicago where the priest told me he starts with mostly Russian at the beginning of the month and moves towards mostly English at the end of the month, in an effort to accomodate his mixed congregation. We've had a number of visitors express surprise that our prayers are all in English (aside from a very few Greek or Russian words like Theotokos here and there). That's certainly an area that many Orthodox parishes in the U.S. could improve in to be more welcoming to newcomers. Oh, and the choir ideally is joined by the entire congregation, or at least represents the entire congregation. There are just too many hymns that change from week to week and season to season for the entire congregation to learn all the music; the hymns rotate with the calendar, much like the lectionary of scripture readings. Wesley 18:29 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Just in case it needs to be said (I say, not knowing), I don't intend any of the above to be a criticism of any kind. My point was only that, on the subject of Grace, the Protestants perceived symbolism in the Mass that they interpreted as meaning that the priest privately communed with God, excluding the congregation from direct participation. They made deliberate changes to the liturgy, designed to symbolize that the congregation, including the priest, is a full, unmediated participant in the grace of God in Christ. Regardless, your notes above on Orthodox practices are interesting, and I'm glad to have them. Mkmcconn 18:59 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)
 :-) I wrote the above thinking that I was responding to criticism, but later on reflection realized, well, what you just said. Of course you're right. In particular, what you said about language makes more sense in the context of a Latin Mass; I'm just more attuned to the current problem language presents for Orthodoxy, so I missed that point and several more along with it. I apologize for the confusion; glad you found some of the above interesting anyway. :-) Wesley 16:38 20 Jun 2003 (UTC)
That's interesting about the Presbyterian communion season. Sounds like it might be a bit like the agape feasts of the early church. Moving from "communion season" to revival doesn't sound too far fetched. I think Orthodoxy tries to use Lent and Easter as a time of repentance and revival as well, at least in its better moments. Wesley
In my parents' Methodist church, there have been a number of practices. In the sanctuary, there is a large table attached to the pulpit at one side. It is not used in Communion services, and never really has been since I have gone there. It holds a large Bible opened and on display; and usually flowers and candles. They may call the table an altar; never really asked.
There is a rail that used to be used for communion services, back when the bread was small bits of cracker, somewhere in between oyster crackers and pastel mints, and individual shot-glasses of (of course) grape juice.
This has fortunately been changed. Now communion is administered by having the ushers offer you a chunk of pita bread, which you then dunk in the grape juice. Other congregations use Italian bread. -- IHCOYC
Displaying the Bible like that is a good way to illustrate its importance. Yeast bread versus unleavened bread (like those bits of cracker) was one of the early East/West differences in the Church; I like yeast bread too. :-) Wesley

re: " it may be worth a moment to pause to consider its virtues. It built up the Church, " (under the Reformation section) -- isn't this rather POV? I mean, didn't the Reformation build up its sectarian Churches (actually, I don't know the capitalization rules here, for Church/church or God/god -- my guess would be only use capitalizations when sermonizing, which I'm not so...) ^h^h^h churches at the expense of the competing sectarian churches? Kyk 09:31, 3 Jan 2004 (UTC) I mean, wouldn't the sects on the other side say it "tore down the churches" instead of built them up? But the pause to consider seems to present fact, rather than an allegation.


re: Pelagius. The first sentence gives an opposing view by Augustine, but the rest of the paragraph seems to just outright say that Pelagius is wrong. Is this stating it as "historical" fact that Pelagius was wrong (that sounds pretty questionable to me, as I think the axiomatic grounds depend heavily on christian mythos), or is it simply stating the Augustinian view as if it were fact (which it probably was to Augustine, and perhaps is now to the dominant christian sects)? Kyk 09:36, 3 Jan 2004 (UTC) [Ie, this sounds POV to me, but I'm not educated enough to really tell.]


re: "The word was not often used by Jesus himself" I'm going to go out on (a rather stout) limb here and guess that this is an abbreviation, or euphemism, for "this word is not often attributed to Jesus in the canonical Gospels". I say this because I speculate that no matter how much foolishness we may attribute to Christianity, most of the Christians don't seriously believe that a man Jesus walked around and said only and exactly the words recorded in their favorite bible translation, moreover only and entirely in Greek!? Kyk 09:40, 3 Jan 2004 (UTC)

You are aware that Jesus spoke English, albeit with a King James accent, aren't you? AAR, that is my understanding of the passage: the Greek word charis is not attributed to Jesus, either in the canonical Gospels, nor in the parts of the Gospel of Thomas that are extant in Greek. -- Smerdis of Tlön 19:08, 3 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Ah, see, that is why I make my comments on the Talk page, and don't edit the article, because of subtleties such as his King James accent, which you more scholarly types will bear in mind... Or else so my points may hopefully be filtered into some type of unoffensive modifier, such as I believe you have applied in this case. Thank you. Kyk 21:02, 3 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I was also surprised by the "virtues of the Reformation" including building up the church. That is history, and not interpretation? JesusCantSave

Treasury of grace[edit]

The text that discussed the treasury of grace metaphor was deleted wholesale by an anon user, w/o explanation. I have restored it; without it what follows is incomprehensible. Smerdis of Tlön 11:46, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

That someone deleted it would not surprise me. That section is written from a very strong P.O.V. I'm not sure about its accuracy either. For example, the paragraph:

Before considering criticisms that characterized the Protestant Reformation, of the notion of grace as a sort of spiritual currency, it may be worth a moment to pause to consider its virtues. It built up the Church, by providing men with a clear sense that their acts of service to the Church would be rewarded by God. It stressed the dire consequences of sin. It reassured men that the rituals of the Church effectively pardoned their sins committed after baptism and restored them to the state of grace.

Is exactly the opposite of my understanding of the reformation. It certainly did not "reassure men that the rituals of the Church effectively pardoned their sins" - the 2nd of Luther's 95 theses was the reverse: "This word cannot be understood to mean sacramental penance, i.e., confession and satisfaction, which is administered by the priests" Or the fifth: "The pope does not intend to remit, and cannot remit any penalties other than those which he has imposed either by his own authority or by that of the Canons." The section seems to be entirely incorrect! 144.137.105.74 06:14, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

series bar[edit]

Series bar needs to be at the top of the page, I think. Preferably, the TOC should be on the left and the image in the center, but I was unable to get that result. If someone can switch the current places of the image and TOC that would be awesome. Savidan 21:47, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Miller's Grace[edit]

From Kenneth R. Miller "Finding Darwin's God"; 1999; ISBN: 0060175931; p. 280:

{Edited in accordance with an immanent G-D.}

There is no scientific way to describe the spiritual concept of grace which makes it less than real to an absolute materialist. To a believer, grace is as real as the presence of G-D Himself. Do Darwin's revelations—the discoveries that locate the sources of human passions in survival mechanisms—contradict the reality of grace? Not in the least. To a believer, grace is a gift from G-D that enables us to place our lives in their proper context—not by denying our biological heritage, but by using it in His service. To be sure, our fears, our desires, our jealousies provide us with reasons to fail, but they also provide us with the means and the opportunity to succeed. To a believer, G-D's great gift was to provide us with a means to understand, to master, and to do good using both the strengths and weaknesses of human nature.
Where does science sit in all of this? I would argue that any scientist who believes in G-D possesses the faith that we were given our unique imaginative powers not only to find G-D, but also to discover as much of His universe we could. In other words, to a an amazing source of grace.

Yesselman 18:09, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Holy spirit[edit]

"When we commit a mortal sin, the Holy Spirit departs from us and we lose our sanctifying grace. Sanctifying grace is sometimes called habitual grace or justifying grace." Where is the cite for this? I thought the Bible specifically said the only time that the Holy Spirit left was if it was blasphemed, and once you lose it, it's gone forever; other than that, it was a permanent seal from God.

The only citation about offending away the Holy Spirit that I can find would be this one:
Mat 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy [against] the [Holy] Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
Mat 12:32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the [world] to come.
Note that the active aorist subjunctive case in Greek is used for "speaketh," indicating (to me, at least) that continuous action is involved and the consequence of offending away the Spirit is not automatic. (Citation and grammatical notes from http://www.blueletterbible.org.) This may be a very fine point, but following a subjunctive tense verb phrase with an active indicative (in this case, future) tense in a phrase referring back to the subjunctive case verb renders the entire thought subjunctive in the languages I have learned. I'm sure this applies to Greek as well, and in that wise, even though "it shall not be forgiven him" is future active indicative in the Greek, the connection to the subjunctive thought coming before it makes it subjunctive case by application. Therefore the consequence of not being forgiven is dependent on the extent of injury to the Spirit done by continually "speaketh against" and it is unknowable at what point the Spirit decides "it shall not be forgiven him." To repeat, Spiritual withdrawal of forgiveness isn't automatic, and it takes an undefined process of time during which the offending action is continued.TurtleofXanth 07:28, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
Seriously. I was just about to post another section about this issue until I saw yours already up. This article states that within Christianity, after a person has received sanctifying grace, they are right with God and have salvation until they commit a mortal sin. This is simply not so. Scripture clearly states that there is no way for someone to lose their salvation. A segment of people might hold this belief that you can lose your salvation, but it is not the whole of Christianity. I would like to see the stance solidly supported by scripture if anyone can find it, that once you receive salvation, you're good until you sin again, and then you have to receive salvation again.
There is also the view that spiritual withdrawal of forgiveness is simply the person never being forgiven in the first place, because they never meant their coming to Christ. RCIWesner (talk) 16:41, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

POV Check[edit]

Certain elements of this article are phrased to presume that one or another doctrine is correct; the article should be altered to indicate attribution of each doctrine to the saint, theologian, or denomination advancing it.

For instance:

"However, a true study of Biblical teaching will show that in reality, there was no tension. The contrast between "faith" and "works" is really a contrast between Grace and the Law for salvation.

Paul was dedicated to stamping out the efforts of the Judaizers, who taught that Gentile believers must follow the Law of Moses to achieve Salvation. It was in this context that Paul spread the truth about Salvation being achieved through grace, not works."

Is this *really* a commonly shared interpretation? Whether it is or not, a claim of "true study of Biblical teaching" is quite a strong statement for Wikipedia.

Phrasings in the section "Western Christianity" describe subsections of grace that are not shared among all Catholics and Protestants; a revision may be in order. For instance, Methodists have three, not two, types of grace.

However, in my finding, most of the article is nonetheless well NPOV'd. Alba 06:34, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree. The interpretation of Paul you refer to here is merely one interpretation, and indeed quite a minority one nowadays. Certainly I doubt most Biblical scholars would be happy with this attempt to make Paul, Matthew, and James all agree, and I suspect Paul wouldn't much like it either. The use of the word "truth" to refer to the doctrine attributed to Paul is completely unacceptable too. 62.136.143.135 15:43, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Does anyone know whether there is an article or category on Wikipedia that lists people who have the first name Grace? Most first names do, but I have been unsuccessful in finding one for Grace.

Neelix 21:15, 10 April 2006 (UTC)


The Wikipedia entry for the name Grace is found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace#Names

Universality of views (on birth into sin)[edit]

The article seems to suggest that virtually all Christians believe that humans are born into a sinful nature. Certainly, many churches offer this position. I would like to give some exceptions, even if some are based on non-religious ideals. I think that there are many who disagree with the official Catholic view that unbaptised babies go to hell, although it is certainly possible to believe that people are born into a sinful nature without believing that. Also, the United States was essentially founded on the doctrines of English philosopher John Locke (although many U.S. history courses don't point this out and most in the U.S. couldn't tell you who he was). Some Chistians in the United States and other places which have important influences from Locke try to adjust their views to encompass both Locke's views and their religious views. Indeed, Locke's ideas of natural rights can be thought of as being sourced from God. However, my understanding is that his view was that humans are born neutral. His idea is that institutions that cause them to later become good are good institutions, while institutions that lead them toward a life of harmful actions are bad institutions. It is possible to hold the ideals of both Christ and Locke dear, and the number of people who do is enough for statements about every Christian believing in birth into sin to be wrong. In any case, I think almost every major Christian sect believes in God/Jesus saving people from sin, but beliefs about original sin are varied enough for a one-size-fits-all-christians description of it to be inadequate.

Yes, there are people who reject the doctrine of original sin. We usually call them "Pelagians." But this article is about the Christian belief. And certainly even if some of the people who reject may justly be called Christian -- I doubt it -- saying that "some of" Christians is inappropriate when the overwhelming majority accept it. Goldfritha 23:50, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

You may call them "Pelagians", but I fear that simply reflects a lack of knowledge of Pelagius! I would say there are plenty of Christians who do not believe in "original sin", at least as that doctrine is traditionally defined. I certainly do not think that an "overwhelming majority" believe in the doctrine, and I definitely don't see any reason to deny that those who do not are not Christians. 62.136.143.135 15:37, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

See my notes in "Orthodox church does not teach original sin?"TurtleofXanth 06:57, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23, KJV (NIV says "life in" with a footnote saying "or 'through'". "For as in Adam all die, so as in Christ all will be made alive." 1 Corinthians 15:22, NIV.
That is a good point about John Locke (I do know who he is, he's even taught in our local middle school, just by the way, haha), he was very influential, but he was a philosopher, not a theologian. Many church goers, whether self-identifying Christians or not, and many self-identifying Christians, whether church-goers or not, do not believe in original sin. I have no idea how many, or what kind of proportion that would be out of the total populations of their respective groups. However, original sin is a biblical doctrine. Babies going to hell because they were not baptised, however, is not. The Bible is not very specific about that issue. It is a Catholic doctrine, yes, but we need to keep doctrines voiced by all of Christianity and parts of Christianity distinct in this article. The Protestant stance is that babies, both born and unborn, whatever they do, are not held accountable until the age of accountability, or the age of reason, at which point they know the difference between right and wrong. Roman Catholicism also holds this idea, so I'm wondering now how babies could go to hell when they can not be held accountable for sin? They have their inherited sinful nature (original sin), sure, but that's different from actually committing a sin. Is the official Roman Catholic stance then that all people are born destined for Hell, whether or not they've actually lived long enough TO sin and thus separate themselves from God and so choose eternal death over eternal life? Honest question here, I'm not trying to bash the Catholic Church. RCIWesner (talk) 17:21, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Grace vs. mercy[edit]

It would in my opinion be prudent to discuss these two concepts in the same context since to me they seem to overlap in a rather unclear manner. __meco 06:51, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Its certainly worth dicussing them together, since it can be argued that mercy is the other half of grace (I hesitate to use the word opposite). i.e. God's mercy is not giving to us the punishment we do deserve, whilst His grace IS giving to us the life we don't deserve. To me they're kinda two halves of a coin, though I can understand why some see it differently. TSMonk 07:01, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

request clarification of Caesar reference[edit]

In the article it states: "Cæsar acted to settle disagreements between them." Might anyone know which Caesar this was? thanks BobK 22:00, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Latter-day Saint (Mormon) perspective: Is this an encyclopedia or a debate forum?[edit]

This whole article is a disgrace (ha ha, get it, dis-grace, anyway...) Obviously there will be as many different views on Divine Grace as there are religions in the world. The whole article reads like a shoddy point-counterpoint debate, but one of the worst cases is the line in the section titled, "Latter-day Saint (Mormon) perspective"

Though often accused of adhering to the doctrine of salvation by works, the fundamental doctrines of Mormonism make clear “that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ”(Helaman 5:9)[1]
Even so, most Mormons will be quick to point out that access to the grace of Christ is conditional upon making and keeping covenants with Christ, which encompasses requirements to keep the commandments as dictated by God.''

To state that Mormons are "often accused of adhering to the doctrine of salvation by works," may or may not be true, but why the defensive tone? Can't it just say, "The fundamental doctrines of Mormonism make clear “that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ”?" Not only does the first part of the sentance have little to do with the Mormon perspective on grace, it's not even verifiable. Is this quoting a reliable source (if so, where's the citation?), or your own observation. Even if you did cite cases where theological scholars or otherwise made said accusation, I'm not sure that it's relevent to what Mormon doctorine teaches.

Then there's the counterpoint-

Beginning the line with, "Even so," leads me to believe that this line was inserted by someone whose singular motive was to debate Mormon theology. This is not the forum for that. Furthermore, when you're talking about an entire religion, referring to "most" of its adherents suggests that you have reliably polled an accurate representation of the group. There is no citation such a poll or survey, and therefore is nothing more than heresay or at best original research. When actual doctrine is clearly cited elsewhere, this point has little relevence.

The subsequent lines appear to have more complete information and read with a more consistant tone, making the afformentioned lines redundant. I would like to cut them. --Atomicskier 03:21, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Seeing no objection, the 'ayes' have it. I cut these lines.
There are several sections that could be improved if this pattern of point:counterpoint writing were done away with and replaced with actual citations from noteworthy scholars that are endorsed by their respective religious groups. --Atomicskier 22:44, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

I would like to see more Bible quotes reflected in the LDS section. It really seems Book of Mormon heavy, and it would help with comparison to see how LDS interpret comparitive verses. 208.203.4.140 22:33, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Orthodox church does not teach original sin?[edit]

what nonsense is this? So whats this then http://www.oca.org/OCchapter.asp?SID=2&ID=16 --83.131.159.31 02:15, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

The insinuation in Western Christianity (unless i'm off the mark) is that the Original Sin (Adam & Eve's original disobedience to God) is transmitted into each of us and that we are born already having commited this sin vicariously through Adam & Eve. The Orthodox perspective on the Original Sin is that by commiting the first sin Adam & Eve have created the fate that all humanity is doomed to commit sin. Think of it this way:
Western Christianity: the taint of the Original Sin is transmuted to all down through the ages
Orthodox Christianity: the Original Sin is what allows humanity the capability to sin -SJI, May/13/2007

I think I have found a repeatable principle established in the Bible that gives grounds for those that say that original sin is not a correct teaching, to wit:
Num 27:3 Our father died in the wilderness, and he was not in the company of them that gathered themselves together against the LORD in the company of Korah; but died in his own sin, and had no sons.
Deu 24:16 The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.
2Ki 14:6 But the children of the murderers he slew not: according unto that which is written in the book of the law of Moses, wherein the LORD commanded, saying, The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor the children be put to death for the fathers; but every man shall be put to death for his own sin.
2Ch 25:4 But he slew not their children, but [did] as [it is] written in the law in the book of Moses, where the LORD commanded, saying, The fathers shall not die for the children, neither shall the children die for the fathers, but every man shall die for his own sin.
This might mean that though Adam and Eve certainly opened the door to sin for all mankind, the actual sin state itself is not transmitted by blood, it's an environmental infection. And, it saturates everyone, for:
Psa 14:3 They are all gone aside, they are [all] together become filthy: [there is] none that doeth good, no, not one.
Psa 53:3 Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; [there is] none that doeth good, no, not one.
Rom 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.TurtleofXanth 06:54, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

POV[edit]

I put a POV template in -- several issues already adressed on this talk page do not seem to be resolved; for example, the comment from 2004 regarding the Pelagius bit is still valid, among others. The article still reads like a theological essay, not a neutral encyclopedic article. There are actually people out there who are not familiar with the traditional Christian doctrine of grace, and those might wish to be informed about it, not having it preached to them and presented as a plain fact. -- John Smythe 19:55, 5 April 2007 (UTC)


I put it back in. Characterization of Catholic vs. Protestant views seems highly biased.Ichnography (talk) 15:19, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Vandalism, or poor formatting?[edit]

Today I noticed the section "Biblical concepts of grace", section 2, to have bad formatting with lots of question marks and broken tags. The text itself almost looks like a copy and paste job from someone's personal evangelism tract. Is this how the article generally is, or has it been hijacked?

I'm new to editing Wiki so I'm not too clued in on reverting and that sort of thing. So I am officially bringing it up for someone else's more skilled attention.

Socialside (talk) 03:21, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Problems[edit]

This article suffers from a problem with its premise - namely that divine grace is grace (which it is, though its not explained) and that grace is a purely Christian concept. Needs integration with other grace articles - sola gracia and actual grace. -Zahd (talk) 18:50, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Lede[edit]

The lede paragraph is confusing and POV, reading more like a papal bull than a WP intro. I'm not familiar enough with the topic to sift through it and make a decent lede, so maybe someone more expert could give it a go? Best, GeneralBelly (talk) 03:57, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Grace as luck[edit]

An anonymous editor insists on removing the nontheist account of grace. Wikipedia is not a venue for one-sided propaganda. If there are differing perspectives, they are to be included. A reference has been provided. Interestingly, at no other point in the article is "luck" mentioned, and this is actually a good way for believers to come understand what people mean by grace within your own belief system. (i.e., other people just call it luck). Pontiff Greg Bard (talk) 20:33, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Biased claim[edit]

For neutrality, I removed this statement in the opening paragraph: "Christianity is the only religion where grace is a gift bestowed from God." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Trelawnie (talkcontribs) 12:03, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Stagg[edit]

Dr. Frank Stagg is a Baptist Christian theologian. His quote in the lead paragraph is not neutral. Moved quote to Bible section.
--Trelawnie (talk) 12:29, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

Neutral Point of View[edit]

This article is a mess in many ways. Much of it is not from a neutral point of view. The subject of grace is important to the theology of most Christians, but it is very controversial subject. I think the goal of this article should be to fairly describe the history and current usage of the word in various denominations and traditions. To help deal with this I would suggest that ALL statements about Grace be put into a particular section that is titled appropriately by denomination (or tradition). There really are no broad statements about the theology of grace that are shared completely between denominations so don't make statements about your particular position as if was the universal definition. And even within sections, please do your best to keep a neutral point of view. I removed the begining of the article because it represented a particular view and was not neutral. Philggg (talk) 01:40, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

In my opinion, your wholesale deletion is too radical! LittleOldMe (talk) 02:58, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
The problem with those first sections is that they represented themselves as being applicable to all definitions of the word Grace, when in fact they were not. Go back and look at the first section of that version.. The whole first part was not neutral. It represented a particular protestant concept of grace eg: "In Christianity, divine grace (Gk. charis) is defined as "unmerited favor" from God" Catholics would not agree with it. Frankly it sounded like a sermon. The second section titled "Shared concepts of grace" would be great, except it did not actually list any shared concepts (there probably aren't any). Even the next two sections on Grace in the bible represent a particular interpretation of grace. Now someone could rewrite it as: In this bible section a Catholic would say grace is ..., a Calvinist would say ... and so forth. What I would like to see someone write is a point by point description of the differences between the various concepts of the word. I suspect that many of the people who wrote those sections either don't appreciate the huge differences between theology of the word Grace or see this as an opportunity to win adherants to their point of view. Philggg (talk)
A few more comments about some of the sections for individual denominations

The section on the "Church of Christ" lists no references and since there are several denominations that call themselves "Church of Christ" we don't know which one they are talking about. We should either put a reference in or delete that section. The section on Calvinism does not deal with "Grace" in Calvinism, but rather is a restatement of some of the tenets of Calvinism. We could just link to the Calvinism page for that. Likewise the section on "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" does not really describe how they use the word "Grace". Remember the purpose of this article is not to describe systems of salvation, but rather peoples use of the word "Grace" and concepts around it. If a group uses the word Grace to be the same as "a system of salvation" then make that clear in the definition of the word for that particular group. Philggg (talk) 05:46, 21 February 2010 (UTC)


Please, can someone clear this article up, please? It looks like a flyer ad of a church! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.79.39.12 (talk) 06:38, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

I find that a large amount of the section on Eastern Christianity was infiltrated by a hardcore Roman Catholic trying to force his agenda were it doesn't belong by beating up Eastern Christians and painting them as crypto-Muslims and West Haters. That is why I made large changes to that section.--71.240.138.81 (talk) 22:26, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

Controversial move without consensus[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

No consensus to move. Vegaswikian (talk) 21:51, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

Grace (Christianity)Divine grace — Lets move this back to Divine grace and get some consensus before moving. Greg Bard 22:59, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Oppose As a general rule it is not good practice to move without discussion, but this is quite clearly an article about a Christian concept. PatGallacher (talk) 00:37, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Several non Christian aspects have been removed (and not necessarily refactored to appropriate places). Re-purposing an article like this in a major way should be done with discussion, not by "be bold".Greg Bard 21:27, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Oppose. There are several articles on "grace" and there needs to be some consistency in titles and disambiguation. The present article had two very brief sections not dealing with Christianity. I have moved them to their respective articles—Kripa and Non-theism. ─AFA Prof01 (talk) 03:32, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Comment -Apparently user Afaprof01 is moving a lot of articles containing the word grace to absurd locations with parenthetical titles. This is not preferable, or well advised.Greg Bard 03:41, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Please provide examples of these allegedly absurd moves. PatGallacher (talk) 12:21, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Actual grace, Grace (Christianity), Irresistible grace, Prevenient grace Greg Bard 21:16, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
The parenthetical title is not prepered in general. When it is appropriate is when it designated a different academic field of study (of which this is not a case). What has been created here is called a "POV fork", and they are prohibited. You don't carve up an article to keep one POV by itself in an article (in other words). Greg Bard 21:27, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Oppose. This was actually a good idea, as was the template. I've moved the other re-namings back to their original titles (since they are technical terms) but this one should stay. StAnselm (talk) 21:03, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Oh, and kudos to AFA Prof01 for being bold. Remember BRD, folks! StAnselm (talk) 21:08, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Recent changes[edit]

Afaprof01 made a lot of changes to the article recently. Before I undo any of these I want to make it clear what my objections are. People have been editing this article to define grace as the protestant reformed definition (eg: the lead sentence "is the spontaneous, unmerited gift of the divine favor in the salvation of sinners. "). This definition is not accepted by Catholics. I believe this article should explain both (all) Catholic and Protestant views. This article should be neutral, encyclopedic and not dogmatic. There has been a long history of proponents of the protestant definition of grace editing this article to state that grace is defined to be the protestant view. Perhaps some people don't realize that there has been a five hundred year debate on the definition of that word. It is OK to explain both points of view. But, not to open the article with a statement from the protestant definition as the "correct" definition. (by the way, my own bias is that I believe the protestant definition is correct, but this article should be neutral) Philggg (talk) 20:16, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Absolutely. The point of this article is to show that this is where Protestants and Catholics disagree. StAnselm (talk) 21:03, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
The statement is a very slight paraphrase of the first sentence in the Ency Brittanica article on "Grace (religion)". It reads: "in Christian theology, the spontaneous, unmerited gift of the divine favour in the salvation of sinners, and the divine influence operating in man for his regeneration and sanctification." It does not say that is the Protestant view." The Catholic Ency. states, "Grace (gratia, Charis), in general, is a supernatural gift of God to intellectual creatures (men, angels) for their eternal salvation, whether the latter be furthered and attained through salutary acts or a state of holiness." The New Advent article on Controversies on Grace is at http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06710a.htm. It says "the systems of the Reformers and Jansenists are hostile to free will." The error is that this describes Calvinism (not nearly all Protestants), and then we must look at the variations in beliefs among even Calvinists.
Is EB incorrect here? To me it sounds as if they are attempting to be as generic as possible in their opening sentence. "For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, for it is the gift of God; Not of works, that no man may glory." (Eph. 2:8-9, Douay-Rheims Bible) ─AFA Prof01 (talk) 05:22, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Grace and mercy[edit]

Grace is what gives us as a gift and includes all the beauty and all that is good while mercy is what God does not give us, and that is also as a gift for what he does not give us through mercy is his punishment. We pray for both God's grace and for God's mercy for we know we need both.

We were created just because God wanted to give us the gift of life. At some point or other in our lives, we were in sin and at that time we deserved to go to hell, but through God's mercy we did not. That's why we also need mercy.

However, mercy rests upon the beauty of grace for God is love and love infuses everything. So that God gives us all that is beautiful and good because He is love and that is what he loves to do.

Once we are saved, we abide in grace and the fear of God is only part of our perpetual abiding in his love for we do not abide in his fear any longer but have the assurance of his love through Jesus Christ and so abide in his love. User:Alan347|Alan347]] (talk) 08:48, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

"Grace and Merit" needs a Catholic Theologian to revise and edit[edit]

It would seem that there is too much biased Point of View in this section. For example:

According to Eusebius, the Roman emperor Constantine I was not baptised until shortly before his death in the year 337. To some (Who are we referencing here?) this might suggest that his commitment to Christianity was lukewarm; in an attempt to rebut this suggestion, a contrary suggestion was made (by whom?). Christians at the time of Constantine, or at least at the time this explanation was devised, (What times are we talking about? Reference please.) believed that the performance of the ritual itself (where does this italic come from? - Don't Catholics believe that it is by the 'Sacrament' itself, not the 'ritual') conferred forgiveness of sins. This, however, was a one-shot deal; post-baptism sins cannot be forgiven in a second Baptism not "ritual", and could only be resolved by (please add) another Sacrament called penance. By postponing baptism until the last illness, it made it unlikely that the believer committed a serious sin between baptism and death. Another explanation (from what source?) is that many men at that time followed a very strict interpretation of the passages in 1 John that said Christians do not sin; since they thought themselves unlikely to stop sinning upon their conversion, they put off their conversion and baptisms until shortly before death. Thus, postponing their baptisms was understood as an act of humility. (Where does this come from? No Catholic I know speaks of this.)

Again

From a contemporary perspective, it is impossible to tell what Constantine intended. But the theology assumed in this explanation suggests that the concept of grace as understood by Constantine may have been altered into something Protestants find hard to fit into the New Testament's treatment of the concept. (This is a biased 'Point of View' paragraph.)

Later

Rather than God's property to be offered at His sole discretion, (Point of View bias) in Medieval Western Christianity at least, grace became a sort of spiritual currency, and the Church was its banker. Believers acquired grace by participating in the Church's sacraments.

And further:

The Church can offer the excess merit in its treasury to be applied to the deficits in merit suffered by its penitent sinners. Pope Clement VI proclaimed this to be a doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church in 1343.(reference please)

To my eyes this whole section (and indeed the entire "Grace in Roman Catholicism" sub-section could do with a thorough revision by a competent Catholic Theologian. At present it lacks a certain objectivity with too much bias and a point of view which seems to lack sympathy or understanding of the Catholic viewpoit it is attempting to describe to the researcher (PatrickGuadalupe (talk) 13:21, 25 May 2012 (UTC)).

Are ANY Catholic theologians reading this? Enlighten me if I am mistaken. Can a regular editor put in some "reference please" tags? PatrickGuadalupe (talk) 04:22, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

No professional theologian is needed. All that is needed is to replace the original-research disquisition with well-sourced statements of Catholic teaching on the subject. Esoglou (talk) 10:04, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the input, Esoglou Esoglou. I think the changes you made on 16 January, 2013, at 10;05 go a long way in improving the article (PatrickGuadalupe (talk) 08:15, 31 January 2013 (UTC)).

"Divine Childship" of Jesus[edit]

Is this to avoid "Divine Sonship"? Is it necessary? --Richardson mcphillips (talk) 19:09, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

It's not necessary, and it's not the phrase that's commonly used. It gets 200 results in Google Books vs. 60,000 for "Divine Sonship". Also, the paragraph also needs to be rewritten to avoid the "we". StAnselm (talk) 19:36, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

Suggested merge of Actual grace[edit]

In the section Sanctifying grace, this article states:

Grace has been divided by some theologians into two forms, Sanctifying Grace and Actual Grace.

It feels unbalanced that actual grace is split out into its own article that's only three short paragraphs long, while sanctifying grace is a section in this article. — Hex (❝?!❞) 18:42, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

  • Support. The other article, the one to be merged, is not only unsourced but also quite inaccurate. Esoglou (talk) 18:56, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Since the article on actual grace seems to have been deleted, I updated the title of the section originally called "sanctifying grace" to include actual grace. AthanasiusOfAlex (talk) 18:35, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

Catholicism: sanctifying and actual grace[edit]

The article currently states, “Grace has been divided by some theologians into two forms, Sanctifying Grace and Actual Grace.” This conceptual division is actually referred to in the Catechism (see No. 2000), so it is more than just “some theologians.” I went ahead and rephrased it so as to reflect the presence in the Catechism. (In any case, I think it would be necessary to mention which theologians make this division: as it is now, the sentence would merit the "who?" tag.)

I also added a number of citations, and references to the Summa Theologiae and the Council of Trent, removing some phrases that seem to have come from an old article. (For example, “its excellence, dignity, and importance become immediately apparent; for holiness and the sonship of God depend solely upon the possession of sanctifying grace, wherefore it is frequently called simply grace without any qualifying word to accompany it as, for instance, in the phrases ‘to live in grace’ or ‘to fall from grace.’”)

AthanasiusOfAlex (talk) 18:30, 5 February 2014 (UTC)