What is Grace? Often times we hear Grace defined as: “God’s undeserved favor”. But isn’t this a rather negative definition of grace? Doesn’t this definition presuppose that something or someone requires God’s undeserved favor? Let me clarify, this definition of grace might work after the fall, but prior to the fall what required God’s undeserved favor? Beyond that this definition apparently assumes that grace is a quality rather than a characteristic or feature of God’s being. It seems to me that grace necessarily needs to be defined by God’s person as a positive attribute within the framing of the Trinitarian godhead; versus its usual framing found within both Protestant and Catholic articulations (i.e. grace as a quality).

My proposal is that we see grace personified by the person and work of the Holy Spirit. This seems much more in line with a biblical understanding of grace versus the philosophical framing it has received typically within classical theism. If we opt for the philosophical framing, the typical framing, then grace becomes something that we can manage (i.e. a substance). But this is problematic because by definition grace manages us, because grace is God’s gift — emphasis on God’s. My discussion thus far may appear to be reformed with the emphasis on God’s grace as managing us (i.e. God’s sovereignty); but in fact, historically, Grace as defined from the reformed perspective fits the negative definition I provide above — I’ll just leave that as assertion for now.

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