Grace and Judgment

I’m reading and rereading Brennan Manning’s Ragamuffin Gospel right now. In case you don’t know who Brennan Manning is, click here. He died this past April. He was a fantastic writer and that’s more praise than he would have preferred. Ragamuffin is his most popular work, and it is well worth reading. In the opening chapters, he uses this parable from Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment that I wanted to share.

At the last Judgment Christ will say to us, “Come, you also! Come, drunkards! Come, weaklings! Come, children of shame!” And he will say to us: “Vile beings, you who are in the image of the beast and bear his mark, but come all the same, you as well.” And the wise and prudent will say, “Lord, why do you welcome them?” And he will say: “If I welcome them, you wise men, if I welcome them, you prudent men, it is because not one of them has ever been judged worthy.” And he will stretch out his arms, and we will fall at his feet, and we will cry out sobbing, and then we will understand all, we will understand the Gospel of grace! Lord, your Kingdom come!

Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment, trans.. Constance Garnett (New York: Random House, 1950), 322.

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