I recently read a post by Paul Ellis where he was talking about a book by D.R. Silva called “Hyper Grace: The Dangerous Doctrine of a Happy God.”
Silva’s book is partly a response to the current fear-mongering and demonization going on against preachers of the grace movement that they’ve given derogatory labels like “hyper-grace.” I’ve also talked about this in other posts like, “Is it “hyper-grace” or just God’s radical grace?”
So, of course, after reading Ellis’s post, I had to get the book. It’s inexpensive electronically, an easy read, and definitely worth getting if you want to know more about what this grace teaching is all about.
There was one part of the book that I thought was particularly good at illuminating the absurdity of the accusations so I thought I would have some fun with this too.
In a section titled, “Is “Hyper-Grace Logical” (loc.313), Silva makes the point that the word “hyper” means “extremely active.” Therefore the warnings against hyper grace would actually be warnings against “the errors of extremely active grace.”
And to take the fun a step further, Silva compiles a list of synonyms for “hyper” to show other ways to explain this grace:
Of course, the antonyms of “hyper” are equally enlightening:
So, which kind of grace would you prefer to have operating in your life?
On a more serious note, Silva also points out the fact that no one who preaches the so-called “hyper grace” message is promoting any idea that remotely gives one license to sin. This is nothing more than an irresponsible straw-man argument meant to scare the faithful away from ever actually understanding the real freedom of living on this side of the Cross.
As I have said, it’s about real freedom from sin, not freedom to sin.
It’s being managed by the Spirit instead of behavior modification and sin-management…or worse, manipulation.
Now, in their defense, I’m sure they believe they are doing the right thing. It’s more a lack of understanding than doing anything malicious.
I just think it would be nice if we evangelicals stopped acting like a bunch of scared little bunnies whenever our assumptions and traditions are challenged and took the time to find out if what these people are saying is actually found in the Bible.
That we teachers would start teaching people how to think for themselves instead of making sure they think what we think.
We all might just learn something…
Somebody might just get free…
Something that has always amazed me, in an ironic way, is that it seems Paul actually taught what these people are calling hyper grace. He told the Galatians they were “bewitched” and preaching “another gospel” for mixing any part of the Law with grace, for trying to mix the old covenant with the new (Gal.1:6-9:3:1-5).
Later, Paul said that when we try live by rules instead of the Spirit by faith, we’ve actually fallen from grace (Gal.5:4).
Anyway, Silva’s book is a good read on the subject. In the meantime, look at the lists above and decide what kind of grace you would like operating in your life.
For me, just like my coffee, I’ll take the bold-intense grace, thank you very much. 🙂