Month: June 2011

grace without guilt?

In his book Atonement for a ‘Sinless’ Society, Alan Mann contends:

In an increasingly ‘sinless’ society, where guilt is a marginal concern … functional views of the atonement are wholly inadequate in expressing the actuality of the atonement. Indeed, so are many of the rites and rituals that address our sinfulness. What is needed is a fresh engagement with our story. We need to re-hear it in the light of the relational dysfunction — the debilitating, demoralizing, and dehumanizing affects of chronic shame experienced by the post-industrialized self…

Partly in response to this challenge, I developed a series of workshops — working through Paul’s letter to the Ephesians — on ‘living in grace in everyday life’.

(I was also partly responding to a gnawing sense that when we want to highlight grace, we tend to reach for guilt more than the New Testament does. Remember that Jesus preached, “The time is fulfilled; the kingdom of God is at hand — repent and believe the good news”.)

Whatever you think of my motivation, I’d like to share what I came up with. So, starting next week, I’m going to blog through the following six topics:

  1. Living in grace when you’re tired
  2. Living in grace when you’re mixed up
  3. Living in grace when you’re hurting — (i) and (ii)
  4. Living in grace when you’re overwhelmed
  5. Living in grace when you’re frustrated
  6. Living in grace when you’re weak