Grace and Discipleship


by Mike Ratliff

Right at the beginning of my “revival” or “restoration” or whatever it was in 2004, I discovered an author and preacher named John Piper. I was teaching an adult Sunday School class at the time and, for Christmas, our director gave me Piper’s book titled “Don’t Waste Your Life.” It took me a while to get into it, however, once I got comfortable with his style I discovered that he had something important to say and God was making that clear to my heart. In that book he talked about his own spiritual journey. When he was in college a popular book among his friends was “The Cost of Discipleship” by Dietreich Bonhoeffer. A few months later, I was preparing for a trip to Seattle for some training. I wanted a book to read at the airport and while flying so part of my preparation was to buy Bonhoeffer’s book. I already knew, from Piper, that its theology was not exactly “pristine,” but I was eager to dig into one particular chapter, also recommended by Piper, titled “Grace and Discipleship.” In this chapter Bonhoeffer presented a contrast between something he called Cheap Grace with something else he called Costly Grace. Continue reading