Monday, October 01, 2007

Is grace redundant?

Does the term actually mean anything at all?



Blogger Karin said...

Yes the term does mean something. Can grace ever be redundant? Who doesn't need grace?

Wondering why you ask, but perhaps it was just an idle thought that flitted through your head. ???

1:53 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Well, I don't think it does mean anything very much because All I Learnt In Church Is Wrong.

Or at least a good portion of it.

Grace has been explained as a 'free gift' yet I don't think it is that at all. Hence as the term has wide misunderstanding, it is time to bin it altogether.

1:54 AM  
Blogger Karin said...

Oh right. I don't think of grace like that. I think I have heard it described that way in the past, though.

I don't know how else to describe grace. Perhaps there should be a crackdown on it's misuse.

The term 'Christian' means so many different things to different people but it's still the only one I can use to sum up my whole belief system. Mostly I'd talk about specific beliefs, though.

I'm not sure you can do that with grace because it's harder to breakdown into parts. I see it as a combination of forgiveness, understanding and acceptance and probably something unique that is grace.

3:46 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Well, we've polluted it by using it to refer to small prayers before a meal and mouthed inanities we say after church meetings.

I think grace is actually a two-way process, more a free gift which costs everything. If we're not prepared to talk about it in that way, I'm not sure we should talk about it at all.

4:01 AM  
Blogger Karin said...

I see. The word grace comes from gratia or something like that, which means thanks, and a grace said before meals or whatever is a giving of thanks.

However, the other meaning of grace in my book isn't really about thanks I don't think. I'm not sure why the word means two different things. Perhaps there is a different root, but I can't think of it.

This meaning of grace is more than what God shows us, it is what we can show each other when we forgive,understand and accept others without judgement, as God does to us all in my opinion.

I'm not sure what I think of your definition, but I am sure grace is worth talking about even if there is more than one way of thinking about it. Of course you might prefer not to talk about other defintions.rc

9:19 AM  
Blogger Karin said...

My etymology could be up the shoot. Perhaps the meaning of thanks is a later development.

According to

c.1175, "God's favor or help," from O.Fr. grace "pleasing quality, favor, good will, thanks," from L. gratia "pleasing quality, good will, gratitude," from gratus "pleasing, agreeable," from PIE base *gwer- "to praise, welcome" (cf. Skt. grnati "sings, praises, announces," Lith. gririu "to praise, celebrate," Avestan gar- "to praise"). Sense of "virtue" is c.1330, that of "beauty of form or movement, pleasing quality" is c.1340. In classical sense, "one of the three sister goddesses (L. GratiƦ, Gk. Kharites), bestowers of beauty and charm," it is first recorded in Eng. 1579 in Spenser. The short prayer that is said before or after a meal (c.1225, until 16c. usually graces) is in the sense of "gratitude." Verb meaning "to show favor" (c.1440) led to that of "to lend or add grace to something" (1586, e.g. grace us with your presence), which is the root of the musical sense in grace notes (1657). Gracious as an exclamation (1713) is short for gracious God, etc.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Benjamin Ady said...

I find the "secular" meaning more useful. The word we use to describe michael jordan and olympic figure skaters.

It *means* something--it a symbol for a shared internal experience. I say "That's grace!", and you say "Yeah--exactly".

12:05 PM  

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