Six Possible Perfections of Grace

(from Barclay’s Paul and the Gift)

1. Superabundance
2. Singularity (/benevolence)
3. Priority
4. Incongruity
5. Efficacy
6. Non-circularity

Some helpful summaries here and here.

And a survey of different emphases in church history:
2 Temple Judaism (superabundance, not non-circularity);
Marcion (singularity, incongruity);
Augustine (priority, incongruity in spades, efficacy);
Luther (superabundance, singularity, priority, permanent incongruity, and non-circularity but no emphasis on efficacy);
Calvin (priority, incongruity, efficacy, and circularity [not non-circularity, not singularity]);
Barth (incongruity, with wrestling over efficacy).

What then does a contemporary emphasis on ‘sovereign grace’ mean? Priority, incongruity, and efficacy — but efficacy only as far as to effectively create saving faith, not necessarily to effectively sanctify sinners this side of Christ’s return.

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