I deeply appreciated this well written and spot-on column by Jerry Johnston yesterday--Humility only real response to salvation.
Johnston juxtaposes Stephen Robinson's Parable of the Bicycle with Brad Wilcox's take from his book "The Continuous Atonement". I haven't read Wilcox's book, but I like this much:
"I think of the Atonement more like this: Jesus already bought the whole bike. The few coins he asks from me are not so much to help pay for the bike, but rather to help me appreciate it, value it and use it correctly."
Johnson goes on to write that "Wilcox -- like Robinson -- shows that humility and gratitude are the only honest responses, since we have so little to do with redemption. More than that, I like the way Wilcox pulls the emphasis from our 'contributing' to salvation to our 'appreciating' it."
I like that too. After all, "we're not so much partners in salvation as beneficiaries. Being asked to keep the commandments isn't about 'chipping in.' It's about learning to value and put to work what has already been done for us."
The entire column is excellent--but I especially loved the last line: "The old Protestant hymn had it right [all] along: grace, however one defines it, will always be amazing."
While some may initially think this sounds evangelical, I hope they reconsider. Emphasizing "Christ reliance" over "self-reliance" ought to resonate among humble Latter-day Saints. I, for one, could certainly stand to hear more of it. And more often.