Grace replaces fear with love and people do right because they love God, not because they fear him, a speaker at Brite Divinity School said.
Cynthia Rigby, an book author and professor at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, was the keynote speaker Saturday at the Stalcup School of Theology for the Laity 30th series, sponsored by Brite.
Rigby was cited by the Dallas Morning News on March 28, 2006, as one of the great theologians of her time.
Grace has become a tradition and belief in most contemporary Christian practices, Rigby said, however, she said she believes grace is the heart and soul of the Christian faith.
“We are a fast-paced culture,” Rigby said. “We want to reduce everything to sound bytes so we can manage them and move on to the next thing. You just can’t get to grace that way.”
Rigby said she knows young adults feel an enormous amount of pressure to prove themselves and deliver what people expect from them.
They are not used to getting free gifts with no strings attached, Rigby said.
“God gave you the freedom to be who you want and to be loved for whom you are, not just for what you do,” Rigby said.
Rigby said it is sad grace is not understood.
Liz Branch, a Brite volunteer, said Rigby “is the best at communicating from the heart to the mind. You can see her passion for the topic of grace and love of Jesus Christ.”
Eilene Theilig, director of lay and continuing education, said Rigby has a lot of content that bridges the gap between religion and society, which can be used to strengthen people’s faith and guide their footsteps.
“Theology has gotten to the point where everyone presumes that it is irrelevant, which is why I enjoy the school of the laity,” Rigby said. “I get to speak to people that obviously are hoping that grace is not irrelevant in their Christian walk.”