So, Michael Ovey, Principle of Oak Hill Theological College in England, has told the GAFCON meeting in Nairobi that everybody who does not believe exactly what they believe is guilty of promoting cheap grace. Ovey described this grace as self-bestowed at no cost to the individual, cancelling out the need for repentance, amendment of life and the subsequent, uniquely Christian blessing of forgiveness.

What I want to know is how this Ovey character got to be in charge of any theological college let alone an Anglican one. I mean, I'm no doctor of philosophy or anything like that but even I know that there can be no such thing as "cheap grace." 

Grace is grace and the grace of God is absolutely gracious. It is not affected by or contingent on anything outside of the Godhead, least of all by the actions of human beings. Furthermore, God's grace is not the same as God's forgiveness. What makes God's grace uniquely gracious is the fact that it applies to everybody whatever their relationship with God. Jesus died for the sins of all. He cancelled the debt. He was the atonement, the propitiation for everybody's sins.

Jesus did not die for everyone except certain people who do not qualify for the benefits of his gracious action.

I would accept that certain Christians may preach cheap forgiveness but I know of no catholic or liberal Christians who preach cheap grace. In fact, quite the opposite is true, especially among liberal, progressive and radical Christians. It is they who preach the costly grace of God, the absolute grace that cost the Father the life of the Son. It is the heretics and theological ignoramuses of GAFCON who preach cheap grace. I mean what could be cheaper than a divine grace that can be bought by simply saying sorry.



  1. This is why I get a wee bit grumpy when somebody calls TEC “Catholic Lite.” My standard reply, which I attempt to not say in a grumpy manner is, “I don’t think there’s much ‘lite’ about ‘all’ meaning ‘all’.”

  2. What really pisses me off, is the notion that grace is OBTAINED by belief in certain theological propositions. Hell no! That’s just a particularly heinous version of works-righteousness. Grace is GIVEN, w/o condition. That’s what makes God, GOD.