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Not goodness, but grace

“The quality that should mark the Christian church is not goodness, but grace, not merit, but mercy, not moralism, but forgiveness, not the enshrinement of success, but the acceptance of failure … Lacking the nerve of failure, we have suffered a failure of nerve—to dare to dream dreams, venture visions, and risk getting splinters that come from cutting against the grain.”

Leonard I. Sweet, "The Nerve of Failure," Theology Today, 34 (July 1977).


Some things never change. This is one of my earliest articles, and I'm still strumming the same string. This article was written two decades before Rabbi Edwin Friedman's posthumous book "The Failure of Nerve" (1997). In my article I propose that Jesus gave us a "sacrament of failure," I call it, when he says that "If they fail to receive you, shake the dust off your feet and move on." #sacramentoffaliure #nerveoffailure

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