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"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to
  one who is striking at the root."
- Henry David Thoreau
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What is a God
Basic Questions for Theology
Criteria for Good News
Major Theological Differences
Consistent Theology
Theology ABCs
   Specific Doctrines
Why God not More Involved?
Determinism & Foreknowledge
The Question of Blame
Understanding Forgiveness
Personal Relationship with God
Awareness Level of "God"
The Case for Unity
Destiny of Man
What about Death?
The Gift of Miracles
Who WAS Jesus?
   Sin and Evil
The Problem of Evil
Meaning of Word Sin
The Devil and Satan
Credibility of the Resurrection
The Issue of Physicality
   Second Coming
Nothing Much for 2000 years?
Traditional Advent
Waiting for Godot
The Issues of Belief
Contrast of Believers
Something Meaningful Article
"Take up your cross"
Christianity and Gnosticism
Gospel of Thomas not Gnostic
Meaning of Imminent
Humanism versus Jesus
A Look at Legalism
Spiritual Growth
The Agonizing, Praying Jesus
Rich Young Ruler Account
Gradations of Grace
Empowerment vs Natural Law
Comments on Nicene Creed

Now although everyone knows what is meant by Beauty, Goodness, and Truth, it is impossible to visualize them as absolute values. We can visualize a beautiful thing, but not beauty; a good man, but not goodness; a true fact, but not truth. - Phillips, J. B., Your God is too Small, MacMillan Publishing Co., 866 Third Ave, New York, NY 10022,  p. 72

Gradations of Grace in Christendom

We can, of course, say the same thing as above about grace.

In its development of theology during the last two millennia, Christianity has generated about a handful of doctrines with different levels of grace for God.

G0 - The first level of grace in God is not much grace at all. God is seen as a God of justice to whose will we must submit and obey. At some point we must become perfect in our obedience and performance. Almost no Christian believes this, or will admit it.

G1 - The second level of grace is that God forgives sins of weakness indefinitely as long as we are striving, which demonstrates his grace, but he does not forgive deliberately considered or planned sins.

G2 - The third level of grace is that God will even forgive deliberately planned sins, when the person sincerely repents, but we must continue to strive for perfection of behavior. He cannot ever forgive alienating the Holy Spirit.

G3 - The fourth level of grace has God forgiving anything and everything when the person fully acknowledges that he was, is, and will be a sinner, and then accepts the substitution of Christ's merits for his own. God's grace continues as long as the person somehow stays on the path of sanctification, growing more righteous in his behavior.

G5 - The fifth level of grace has God not giving up on anyone, and having a plan to ultimately save everyone. Every human being has merit and unlimited potential merit. Merit is not the issue. It is our sin, our wrong concept of the nature and character of God and our perverse clinging to it, that must be eliminated, and no sham bookkeeping entry of righteousness or pretension of justification will do.

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