There is a lot of talk about “hyper-grace” these days in the Church world. Most people who are concerned about “hyper-grace” have very sincere reasons such as “hyper-grace gives people a license to sin” or “hyper-grace doesn’t require any discipline or commitment” or “hyper-grace doesn’t demand repentance or provide accountability”. This is just to name a few. There are many more concerns that people have about the theology they call “hyper-grace”. I hope to deal with these and others eventually in this blog series but today I want to focus on the term “hyper-grace”.
The term “hyper-grace” itself presents a significant conundrum for those who use it to define an extreme view of the finished work of Jesus. The prefix Hyper has an antonym Hypo. Hyper means over, excessive, more than normal, as in such words as hyperbole (extravagant and obvious exaggeration) and hyperactive (abnormally or pathologically active). The prefix derives from the Greek word hyper, meaning simply over. Hypo on the other hand means under, defective or inadequate, as in such words as hypodermic (under the skin) or hypoallergenic (specially formulated to minimize the risk of an allergic reaction). This, too, derives from the Greek: hypo, meaning under. (http://www.dailywritingtips.com/hyper-and-hypo/)
The label “hyper-grace” is used to define a certain brand of theology which is thought to be a misuse of biblical grace. Herein lies the problem, Gods grace is in fact hyper. It is more than enough, it is all sufficient, It is over, excessive, more than normal. It is not however, under, defective, or inadequate. Therefore, the label “hyper-grace” serves to imply the very truth those who use it are trying to disprove.
The term “hyper-grace” is in a sense a tautology. A tautology are two words that say the same thing like “wet water” or “dead corpse”. A tautology is the opposite of an oxymoron, two words that contradict each other. To say “hyper-grace” is actually redundant when characterizing God’s grace not to mention erroneous when used to emphasize what God’s grace is NOT. At least it would be accurate, although redundant from a grammatical standpoint, if it were used to emphasize the radical nature of God’s grace i.e. the tautology. The fact people use the term in an attempt to point out what God’s grace IS NOT means that those people must then believe that God’s grace is “hypo-grace” or inadequate and not up to the challenge of redeeming us from sin once and for all or freeing us from the law of sin and death.
Indeed, “hyper-grace” is simply grace. God’s unmerited favor, unearned blessing, unfailing acceptance and of course endless love. All paid for by the blood of Jesus.
How could that ever not be enough?
So, Hyper-Grace or Hypo-Grace? You decide.