The Granting and Revocation of Grace

The topic of God’s granting and revocation of Grace came up in a recent debate of mine in which the claim was made that because God nor His attributes change, Grace cannot be lost once given. While this was a poor argument for not being able to lose Grace once given (as it’s contradictory toward itself), it does however provide a thought provoking case for predestination. I’ve decided to write this post in a style similar to St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica in format.

Dogma:

God can repeatedly revoke and give the Gift of Grace to an individual.

Objection:

God and His attributes do not change. So, as the giving of Grace is an attribute, no one can be given Grace if they were not created in Grace to begin with.

Correction:

While the premise of this objection is indeed true, the subsequent conclusions disregard, or at most trivialize, God’s omnipresence. Neither God nor His attributes can change because “change,” in it’s common meaning (used in the physical sciences), requires that the changing being be subject to a linear or multilinear experience of time. However, as God is omnipresent, existing in all times and places simultaneously, He experiences neither linear nor multilinear time. Therefore, any “change” that God experiences is a “change” made in eternity, therefore, by definition, no “change” has taken place. It is because of God’s ability to make changes in eternity that He may grant and revoke Grace to an individual repeatedly without an actual change taking place. The current state of one’s God given Grace exist in eternity; however, their repeated gaining and losing of Grace will also exist in eternity. In summary, changes made in eternity (such as granting and revoking Grace) are, by definition, not changes, as they are changing what exists outside of the realm of time.

– James Ingalls

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