Saturday, July 25, 2009

Helpful Summary and Explanation of the "Means of Grace"

Ian Campbell has provided a helpful summary and explanation of Reformed theology's doctrine of the means of grace. He helpfully highlights that the Reformed understanding of salvation and grace go beyond recovering fallen man, but also includes God's work of transforming our "human character into the character of Jesus Christ himself. Concerning the role of the means of grace, he states:
But the Reformed tradition recognised, alongside its great emphasis on grace, that while we experience that grace personally and individually, we recognise it through particular channels, or ‘means’.
These channels, according to the Westminster Standards, are the word, sacraments and prayer. The point can be summed up in Campbell's conclusion:
This may all seem academic, but it is anything but. There is a need to recover the creedal emphases of our faith, with their high view of the way God has chosen to minister his grace into the lives of his people. We have tended to dumb down the idea of the church, and even a need for it. But Christ has appointed it, and, however distasteful the idea might appear to some, outside of it there is no ordinary possibility of our receiving the grace of God at all.
Check it out.

[HT: Scott Clark]

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